Good Work Network is Now Go.Be., Launches Elevate Fund
NEW ORLEANS (press release) —Good Work Network announced it is changing its name to Go.Be. to better reflect the organization’s work supporting entrepreneurial minority small business owners gain access to the resources they need to succeed and prosper. The name change kicks off the not-for-profit’s celebration of 20 years as a vital resource in the New Orleans business development ecosystem, working with clients to grow their businesses and build intergenerational wealth—with a longer-lens focus on building a more diverse, inclusive and equitable economy for all.
“As we honor the past and continue to strategically position ourselves for the future we believe Go.Be is more representative of our own journey and the empowering, forward- facing work we’re doing today,” said Hermione Malone, Go.Be. executive director. “Go.Be. captures and celebrates our clients’ dynamism, commitment, entrepreneurial spirit and desire to go beyond barriers that so often limit the growth of minority businesses.”
Sherri Charleston, Go.Be. board member and Harvard University chief diversity officer, added, “The landscape for small businesses has shifted shape. Even before the global pandemic, Go.Be.’s clients, their needs, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New Orleans and the wider world was evolving in myriad big and small ways. We’ve done so, too… pivoting to interpret, learn, grow, thrive and lead,” she said.
In 2018, Go.Be. recognized resources and support for established minority-owned businesses between $150,000 and $1 million in revenue was scarce. Yet, businesses of this size are at a particularly critical stage in growth. Go.Be helps narrow the gap by ensuring these business owners have equal access to the skills development, business networks and capital that can make the difference between earning enough money to stay afloat and creating long-term intergenerational wealth.
“Small business owners are the backbone of society. Go.Be.’s commitment to the weight of their mission and clients is unmatched,” said Dr. Sherif A. Ebrahim, chairman and CEO of Strategic Management Group and professor of Strategy & Innovation at Tulane University. “During the pandemic they went to work when almost everyone else went home, they rose when people needed them most… and their nurturing relationship developed a deep level of trust in the community.”
Go.Be also announced the launch of its Elevate Fund to further help entrepreneurial minority and women small business owners gain access to additional resources to grow. The launch, part of the not-for-profit’s celebration of 20 years of service, is designed to help business owners increase their capacity through targeted small grants.
“We are committed to ensuring small businesses don’t just start up, but that they stay up,” said Malone. “The Elevate Fund helps to address barriers of both funding and access to expertise so that business owners can focus on the key operational drivers of long-term success.”
Available to any Go.Be. client, the Elevate Fund grants up to $4,000 toward projects designed to help stabilize and grow small businesses led by women and entrepreneurs of color. Grant awards will be made on a rolling monthly basis and Go.Be. will connect grantees to qualified subject matter experts for projects, if needed.
Funding support for the Elevate Fund comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.