Propeller Entrepreneurs Talk Business: Advocating for equity

Business: The Collaborative Community Initiative (CCI)

Stanton, Jenkins, Hartmann

Entrepreneurs: Michelle Nixon Stanton, Jessica Jenkins, Shana Hartmann

Propeller program: Impact accelerator 2021 (Community economic development

What injustice (s) is your organization seeking to address?Numerous studies have shown that black companies hire black employees at a higher rate than white-owned companies. If we are to increase the number of jobs, stability and purchasing power of the black community, we must increase the number of black-owned businesses. If our global economy is to reach its maximum potential, our economic development policies must focus on excluded businesses – and local black businesses are excluded. Between 2012 and 2017, the city of New Orleans spent nearly $ 18 million of its economic development on programs. This is in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in federal community grants, federal workforce development grants, foundations and similar funds.

During the same period, data from the Federal Economic Census tell us that the number of white businesses with paid employees in New Orleans increased from 1,125 to 5,928, while the number of black businesses with paid employees. Paid employees rose from 15 to 530. These data indicate that while the region was teeming with incentives for reconstruction, the economic development policies and priorities of the city of New Orleans have failed black businesses. While this data tells us a story of the growing economic disparity in New Orleans, it does not describe the causes or point to solutions.

CCI will provide original data and analysis regarding the local black business community with the goal of encouraging effective and targeted economic development programs that positively impact the city.

Name the top three methods your organization uses to resolve these issues?1. Data research and analysis – collecting local data on black businesses (and ultimately all minorities) using community organizing and outreach techniques; provide analysis for multiple audiences.2. Community education – educate the general public and local advocates on issues of economic inequality.3. Small Business Engagement – Connect with minority small businesses through surveys, events and outreach.

Business: Turntables


Contractor: Toure Folkes

Propeller program: Impact accelerator 2021 (Education)

What injustice (s) is your organization seeking to address?Turning Tables seeks to address inequalities in access to education and upward mobile positions in the hospitality industry. Often, white-owned businesses have closer ties to brand relationships and activations. Turning Tables creates similar avenues to access black-owned businesses in New Orleans (through beverage pricing, staff training, profit training and financial success) while building community through education centered on hospitality, partnership opportunities and mutual aid.

Name the top three methods your organization uses to resolve these issues?1. Education – Internships and study program. Out of the 14-person class, four people moved on to management. Turning Table students are given senior level positions and career opportunities that go deeper than just the bar program and bar service – it’s community building through partnerships and giving back is a essential part of the philosophy of Turning Tables.2. Mentoring – Through internships and internships. Turning Tables Grows From Within – Over the past two years, those who have completed the program have joined restaurant staff or the staff of the Turning Tables organization to advance the mission.3. Access – Through internships and internships with restaurants. Turning Table mobilizes and organizes self-help events to support the local community. When Ida struck, Turning Tables was on the front lines supporting BIPOC hospitality workers who were out of work and displaced. This proactive approach served as a catalyst for other organizations in the city to follow suit.

Propeller is a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs grow their nonprofits and small businesses to address social and environmental disparities in New Orleans. To find out more, visit

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