The Connect Inclusive program (CIP) was created to address systemic and historical barriers to entrepreneurship and business growth that individuals from minority communities experience, by providing accessible and inclusive resources specifically tailored to their needs, providing them with all stages of education and technical resources to start-up or continue to grow their business.
This program is made possible through funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
STEP 1: Fill out our intake form if you are a minority-owned business located in Luzerne County! This brief form is quick and easy and will take approx. 3-5 minutes to fill out.
STEP 2: After intake, the Connect Inclusive team will do an initial consultation, and clients will receive a welcome kit.
STEP 3: Next, we will provide direct referrals and personal touch points to keep clients guided through the process, based on their responses in the initial form. Referrals will also be made to our Connect Inclusive sub-programs, which are broken out with more information below!
Learn More About Our Connect Inclusive Sub-Programs!
Connect Inclusive Educational Programming & Consulting Services with the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center (in English & Spanish)
As part of the Connect Inclusive program the Wilkes University SBDC has designed a two-phase program: “Getting your Financial House in Order & Small Business 101." Getting Your Financial House in Order is a two-part webinar that focuses on Understanding & Improving Your Credit and will provide an introduction to basic financial statements. Small Business 101, a six part series, will walk participants through the necessary steps that will help businesses start, grow and prosper…topic areas will include feasibility, research, marketing, business plan development and financing.
This program is offered in both English and Spanish on a pre-recorded webinar platform.
Please contact the Wilkes University SBDC for additional questions / one-on-one technical assistance once you complete this program.
Please note: This program requires two registration steps. Once registered through the Connect Intake form you will receive an email directing you to register to become a client with the Wilkes University SBDC- this is a required step to participate in this program.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Business Mentorship Program
A custom Mentorship Program through the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, to assist you in creating mentoring relationships within Luzerne County. Mentors will be established minority-owned business owners or leaders in their field that have been in business for more than three years. Qualifying mentees are minority-owned business owners or leaders in their field that have been in business for less than three years. Mentors and mentees will be expected to meet once a month and are given a topic to discuss. Topics include: business plan review, networking plan, goal setting, how to make a pitch, emailing and professional outreach, discussions about diversity, financial literacy, financial planning, social media and marketing tools, time management, and self-care. The mentee is expected to gain career advice and tips, networking advice and contacts, constructive feedback, strong communication skills, improved goal setting skills, and exposure to new and different perspectives.
Wilkes-Barre Connect Expanded HONOR Veteran's Program
This enhanced Honor program initiative for veterans will give them access to our referral network of veteran resource organizations and receive expanded education on startup and business growth assistance.
Women’s Entrepreneurial Network
Inclusion in the Women’s Entrepreneurial Network, which aligns with the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber’s Elevate Women’s Network, to bring together female leaders who have launched or who currently run their own small business, to encourage mentorship, networking, and education.
Diversity LC Partnership Program
The Diversity LC Partnership Program aims at bringing together minority-owned business suppliers and Luzerne County’s largest buying organizations to create sustainable supply chain systems in our community. To help create more economic impact in the region, there will be an effort to connect businesses to each other for purchases of local goods and services. Both small and large businesses purchase a variety of raw materials and finished products for operations as well as services and other supplies for operational or administrative purchases.
Look for this program to launch in January 2023!