Upcoming CONNECTIONS@Work Events

At The Chamber of Catawba County, we aim to provide a wealth of curated resources to assist entrepreneurs and business owners. We are committed to building an inclusive culture in our community through establishing outreach, providing business resources, education, and more.

This page will be updated with resources as they become available. If you have resource suggestions, please contact us.

Local Resource Guide

  • Centro Latino – Serving, advocating, and equipping the Latino community in Hickory, NC
  • Community Relations Council – Based in Hickory, this Council aims to promote positive relationships within our community through dialogue, education, programs, and resources.
  • Greater Hickory International Council (GHIC) –The GHIC promotes cross cultural dialogue and sharing through a broad range of community programs and events.
  • Lenoir Rhyne Equity & Diversity Institute – (LREDI) supports, inspires, and equips executives, non-profit leaders, educators, students, social activists and other community members who intend to spark change and cultivate better communities through their professional careers.
  • Women’s Leadership Conference – our very own annual conference that aims to provide an immersive leadership development experience. Designed to drive results with fresh, actionable strategies and inspiring leadership content. Keep an eye on our events calendar for more information.
  • The Diversity Movement – Based in Raleigh, NC. Search for inclusive employers here, read blogs, hear podcasts, and read publications surrounding all topics diversity. Link to upcoming FREE webinars to further engage.
  • Hickory Branch NAACP – This nonpartisan organization strives to increase political literacy, ensure equitable and quality education, and address issues of fair employment and housing.
  • National Institute of Economic Development (Women’s Business Center branches in CharlotteDurham, Richmond to help women owned businesses start and grow)
  • Western Women’s Business Center – located in Asheville, this program of the Small Business Development Fund serves over 24 counties in NC. They provide one on one business coaching, access to capital, and workshops to female entrepreneurs.
  • Brewing Up Business Women’s Networking in Catawba County-Join this networking group for access to a monthly meetup with female leaders in Catawba County.  
  • Catawba County’s minority and women-owned business certification information.

Grants, Funding, and Finances

  • Community Relations Council Grant Program – The goal of this initiative is to promote positive human relationships in our community by supporting projects and/or programs that promote equal opportunity, resolution of conflicts and improve relationships among culturally diverse groups in Hickory. Apply here.
  • Black Gems Investors (based in Charlotte) – Their mission is to fuel minority-owned small businesses by providing financial investments, serving as business advisors and connecting owners to resources to increase visibility.
  • Mountain Biz Works Multicultural Catalyst Fund – Helping to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color. The Multicultural Catalyst Fund makes it easier for people of color and immigrants to get their small businesses off the ground.
  • Mountain Biz Works Catalyst Cohort-A 12 month business and leadership skills-development program for entrepreneurs of color. Participants are embedded in a peer advisory group facilitated by an experienced growth coach. Each participant receives individualized coaching sessions as well as $2,000 towards tailored business services to help advance their growth goals. 
  • Mountain Biz Works (en Espanol) – Mountain BizWorks provides business loans and coaching to emerging and established small businesses in Western North Carolina. We have a particular focus on working with businesses unable to access financing from banks and other traditional sources, as well as low-income, minority, women, and immigrant entrepreneurs, and businesses that operate within the local food system.
  • IFundWomen – coaching and crowdfunding for women. Apply for their universal grant application database to get notified for something you may be eligible for in the future.

Additional Resources

  • Verizon Small Business Digital Ready – Digital inclusion resources for small businesses. Learning modules, expert coaching, peer networking and more. All resources are free.
    Read more about the program in this article, “How LISC + Verizon are Helping BIPOC and Women Entrepreneurs Prepare for a Digital Future-and Present.” 
  • Read the “What Does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Mean in the Workplace?” article – Catalina Colman, director of HR and inclusion at Built In, explains the meaning and important of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • “5 Powerful Ways to Take REAL Action on DEI” article – Read this article for a framework to help companies, communities, and schools understand the dynamics of DEI in the workplace. 
  • 16 Educational Podcasts for Minority Entrepreneurs-Podcasts are an excellent way for entrepreneurs to gain inspiration and actionable career advice. Hear from people with shared experiences.