Southeast MBDA Business Growth Hub, EcoMap Technologies Forge Alliance to Elevate Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Businesses

Three logosATLANTA — In a transformative collaboration, the Southeast Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Growth Hub, has selected EcoMap Technologies (EcoMap) as its partner in launching an initiative to assist socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI) and small businesses.

The effort marks a historic milestone in the evolution of how SEDI-designated and small business operators can use technology to scale. The Business Growth Hub’s support of this project underscores technology’s ability to help SEDI-owned businesses across the southeastern U.S. scale.

Donna M. Ennis, the co-director of the Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (Georgia AIM) project and operator representative of the Georgia MBDA Business Center and the Business Growth Hub — all programs of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute — provided the vision and leadership for the grant proposal that gave rise to the Southeast MBDA Business Growth Hub in 2021.

“I’m excited to see this project launch and to have teamed with EcoMap and other MBDA Business Centers,” Ennis said. “Technology is an essential ingredient for building and scaling businesses. Through technology, the Hub will provide a powerful ecosystem for the growth and development of businesses who struggle to gain access to much needed opportunities, capital, and resources.”

This ambitious partnership between the Business Growth Hub and EcoMap will amplify SEDI businesses’ economic impact by accelerating access to capital, procurement opportunities, and essential resources. Making successful and strategic connections to those resources will enable them to compete and succeed on a global scale.

A key feature of the Business Growth Hub’s mission is the use of technology platforms that will create a multi-state ecosystem to facilitate hybrid communities and engagement for MBDA Business Center clients in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. By fostering collaboration and synergy among these centers, the Business Growth Hub aims to create a unified ecosystem that empowers companies to thrive.

Sherrod Davis, CEO of EcoMap, emphasized the importance of this collaboration: “We are honored to join forces with the Southeast MBDA Business Growth Hub, a visionary project empowered by MBDA’s unwavering commitment to SEDI businesses. EcoMap’s technology solutions will serve as the catalyst for greater access, connectivity, and opportunities, advancing diversity and inclusion in business ecosystems.”

The SEDI-focused effort also includes Tiffany Bussey, Ph.D., founding director of the Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center at Morehouse College. She brings an essential dimension to the Business Growth Hub’s vision as leader of its initiative for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions, including those with predominantly Latino or minority populations.

These institutions offer programs and resources aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and wealth-building in underserved and underrepresented communities.

Kirk Barnes, the Business Growth Hub’s project manager, expressed his appreciation for the collective support of the MBDA, Ennis, and Bussey, saying, “this partnership reflects a historic moment for SEDI and small businesses. MBDA’s support reinforces the vital role SEDI companies play in our economy, while Donna’s vision and Dr. Bussey’s leadership have set the stage for innovation and growth.

“Together with EcoMap, we are poised to make a transformative impact on the business landscape.”

Accenture, a prominent Business Growth Hub corporate partner, has played a critical role in shaping its vision and technology roadmap. The insights gained during the pilot program, along with Accenture’s guidance, have crystallized the Business Growth Hub’s technology needs, laying the foundation for a robust and effective platform.

About the Southeast MBDA Business Growth Hub
The Southeast MBDA Business Growth Hub, a program of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, began in 2021 as a pilot project funded under a Broad Agency Announcement award from MBDA. The Hub’s mission is to accelerate the success of socially and/or economically disadvantaged individuals (SEDI), small businesses, and other business communities across the southeastern U.S. by facilitating access to capital, procurement opportunities, and essential resources. It connects MBDA Business Centers across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and fosters collaboration to empower all businesses. Visit businessgrowthhub.gatech.edu for more information.

About EcoMap Technologies
EcoMap Technologies is a renowned technology solution provider dedicated to fostering inclusive ecosystems. Its platform connects organizations, entrepreneurs, and resources, fostering collaboration and growth within diverse communities. EcoMap empowers businesses to thrive by democratizing access to the tools and support they need to succeed. Visit ecomap.tech for more information.

About the Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center
MIEC is a global model for higher education and industry collaborations to foster innovation and entrepreneurial leadership. Established in 2004 as a unit of Morehouse College, the Center has continually operated with an internal and external focus to promote innovation and entrepreneurship with people of color. Visit mcecenter.com for more information.