A group of New Orleans business and community leaders are heading to Cleveland this month as part of a two-year effort with three other cities to identify and share ideas and resources for helping minority and female entrepreneurs prosper in disadvantaged communities.
The initiative is part of Forward Cities, a national project where leaders from cities undergoing a rapid transformation can collaborate on best practices to ensure that more residents are benefiting from local growing economies.
Local leaders plan to work with officials from Cleveland, Detroit and Durham, North Carolina, during the four-day event in Cleveland, which starts June 14. New Orleans officials plan to target ways of improving opportunities for residents in the 7th and 8th Wards. The groups have met in the other cities since late 2014.
Over four days, participants are slated to hear from entrepreneurs, business incubators, social innovators and neighborhood and government leaders. They also will tour the communities being targeted by Cleveland’s efforts.
“We are learning how we can work together so that everyone in our city can prosper from the entrepreneurial and innovation boom taking place now,” said Aaron Miscenich, president of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center and a member of New Orleans’ Forward Cities team.