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The Office of Minority and Women Business Development gathered at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week to talk about ways to involve minorities, women, veterans, and disabled-owned businesses in public-private partnerships.

One of the biggest opportunities lies in the construction sector.

President of the Darden Group, an Executive Construction Management company, Akilah Darden, says during the month of May people are enthusiastic so why not bring them to the track to talk about being intentional with equitable opportunities for diverse vendors?

They brought developers and contractors who control the contract as well as diverse contractors to meet and formulate relationships. Then they learn their capacity and build a team around them to get the job done.

It doesn’t just include getting diverse vendors but also getting the workforce into the trades to help build it. It is important to find people that do things well and to get them to stay in the state of Indiana and give them equitable opportunities.

Another construction company, Nubian Construction, wants to not only build buildings but build people’s lives by giving them an opportunity to get engaged on projects and grow their company.

Having these big events allows an opportunity for everyone to get engaged in working with minority and women ran small businesses to come together and work on projects.

Governor Holcomb declared a proclamation naming it small business week throughout the state.

The IUC and the Indiana Small Business Development Center are going all over the state, recognizing outstanding entrepreneurs and small businesses that make Indiana communities places where people want to live.

We visited Butler University to hand out the woman-owned award to Indie Power Products.

Nancy Rider and the team have done an outstanding job getting the business off the ground and growing, and they’re excited to recognize the hard work.

The recognition is humbling and they’re honored given the fact that there are so many small businesses in the state of Indiana.

Being a woman-owned small business takes a lot of hard work and the recognition is gratifying.

In this week’s episode of Business Equity and Opportunities, Glen Kwok, the Executive Director of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, talks about the competition’s history and its impact on the city’s arts and cultural scene.

He explains that the competition is renowned for launching the careers of young musicians and that its winners receive mentorship and opportunities to perform with orchestras around the world.

Kwok also speaks to the universality of music and its ability to transcend language barriers, and how the competition brings together musicians from different cultures and backgrounds.

For more information about the competition, please enjoy the full interview above!

Ivy Tech Community College and Circle City Broadcasting have teamed up to create a new program for those interested in becoming news and media producers.

The Multicultural Media Producing Program, or MMPP, is a one-year degree program open to all students and based in Indianapolis.

The program is made possible by the DuJuan and Tina McCoy Foundation, Ivy Tech Community College Indianapolis, Circle City Broadcasting, and JP Morgan Chase.

The program is the first of its kind and aims to promote diversity in the workforce.

Students will complete nine courses over 32 weeks, with a 16-week internship at Circle City Broadcasting.

At the end of the program, the students will earn an Ivy Tech certificate in professional and community communications.

This initiative aims to give opportunities to underserved populations to move into leadership ranks and media production. Please enjoy the full interview above to learn additional information and details.

Recycle Force is a social enterprise in Indianapolis that offers end-of-life services for electronics and technology.

They securely destroy corporate data and provide opportunities for individuals who were formerly incarcerated to re-enter society by working in their recycling facility.

Recycle Force is unique in that they not only provide data destruction but also make a social impact.

They handle all electronic items, from large appliances to small devices, and they recycle precious metals, plastics, and other valuable components. They send metals to a smelter and recycle plastics into fuel and wax.

The bailing department compacts sorted items like cardboard and plastic for cheaper transportation. Steel recycling stays in Indiana and plastic is converted into diesel and wax by a company called Breit Mark Energy.

Recycle Force has recycled over two million pounds of e-waste since it started and helped over 2,000 individuals reintegrate into society.

Corporations interested in partnering with them can visit their website, Recycling electronics makes sense as it uses less energy and repurposes valuable materials that would otherwise go to waste.

Recycle Force is not just a recycling center, but an organization with a social mission to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter society.

Indiana has a reputation for being home to race cars, basketball, and farms. The state’s agricultural industry remains strong, with small business owners and family farmers at its core.

The director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Don Lamb, comes from a family of farmers who have worked the same land for generations. He believes that farming should be at the heart of economic development in the state.

The Indiana Department of Agriculture is responsible for soil and water conservation, agricultural education, economic development, and tracking legislation that affects agriculture. The state’s Indiana Grown program helps smaller farmers and entrepreneurs build a business.

Lamb believes that there are many opportunities in agriculture, from small to large businesses. Purdue University’s agricultural college is one of the best in the country and a valuable resource for the state.

Technology has played a significant role in improving efficiency and reducing costs. For example, GPS is used to soil samples and apply fertilizers, and planners use maps of soil types to plant different seeding rates in different areas of a field. The amount of variables that go into planning is huge, and technology continues to improve, making agriculture a very exciting industry.

As the world becomes more digital, Lamb believes that young people who are good with computers and technology and who have a love for agriculture will be vital for the future of the industry.

Agriculture is not just about farming but also about conservation, education, and economic development. Lamb believes that agriculture is an excellent opportunity for young people to build strong, successful businesses that benefit the environment and the economy.

Since the start of the pandemic, the business of golf has been booming, and that could be important to you because it means business on the course may boom too. 

A recent study examined the economic impact of the game in Indiana. 

We spoke with Mike David, Executive Director of Indiana Golf Recorded at Broadmoor Golf Course, about how they’re staying industry-focused during the game.

“Indiana Golf is the administrative office for five different golf-related, not-for-profits, so our vision statement is to be the vital hub for golf in Indiana, and we try to be one-stop shopping for everything golf,” David said.

“I think the biggest number that came from our economic impact study was the fact that golf is a $2 billion industry for the state of Indiana, which is certainly significant,” David explained.

WISH-TV’s Sports Director, Anthony Calhoun, has a great track record of raising money through his annual golf outing.

You can learn more information about the Gr8 Gold Club by visiting the following link:

Spring is one of the biggest seasons for the trade industry.  From plumbers to roofers, siding to HVAC systems, and anything that might have to do with your home, this is their season.  

Kenneth Hale is the owner of Complete Comfort Heating, Air, and Plumbing in Greenwood. He joined us to talk about their focus on providing their clients with the best service this spring.

“Complete Comfort has been around. This year will be our 20-year anniversary. If you need your air conditioner repaired, replaced, or serviced, or plumbing checked out, you would call a company like ours. We would come out and take a look at it and let you know how reliable it is or efficient it is, or even safety things as well,” Hale explained.

The company is focused on preparing for spring and summer as allergy season approaches.

“Our goal is to take care of as many clients as we can without it becoming a transaction. We want relationships with our clients,” he said.

To learn more, watch the full interview above and visit the Complete Comfort website.

Elaine Bedel is the CEO of the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. Her mission is to promote Indiana as a great place to live, work, and visit.

She discussed how tourism impacts Indiana’s economy, and how the organization strives to bring businesses, talent, students, and visitors to experience Indiana.

For more information on the Indiana Destination Development Corporation, visit their website.

Dr. Kyle Ratliff started Transformative Family Dentistry in 2022 with a focus on patient convenience. In this week’s “Industry Focus” segment, Ratliff shares insights about the dental industry and how his small business makes a big difference.

Ratliff took out a Small Business Loan to purchase the practice, and he shared that having a team to help him navigate that process was very helpful. One of the highlights of owning his own private practice is getting to take the time to create treatment plans based on what patients really need.

For more information about Transformative Family Dentistry, visit their website.