Supporting Small Businesses


LED launches Diversity in Entrepreneurship Initiative

New program accelerates growth of minority- and women-owned businesses

LED launches Diversity in Entrepreneurship Initiative

Privately-owned small businesses play a major role in both the economy and the culture of Louisiana. And now the state is taking extra measures to help support the owners who are building their dream ventures locally.

In September, LED launched its new Diversity in Entrepreneurship Initiative to help Louisiana’s minority- and women-owned businesses continue their progress. More specifically, the program applies to second-stage businesses, those with 10 to 99 employees that are establishing sales in out-of-state markets.

Endara Enterprises is a recipient of the newly launched Diversity in Entrepreneurship Initiative, which helps Louisiana’s minority- and women-owned businesses succeed. (Credit: Endara Enterprises)

LED’s Small Business Services team has formed an ongoing partnership with the Edward Lowe Foundation to design and facilitate the initiative. The program’s inaugural class featured the following 10 businesses, all of which are minority-owned, with seven owned by women.

  • A & E Enterprise Management – Edgard
  • David Orsot Plumbing & Heating – Lake Charles
  • Endara Enterprises – Shreveport
  • Global Management Enterprise – Lake Charles
  • ILSI Engineering – New Orleans
  • In Loving Arms Pediatric Day Health Center – Baton Rouge
  • International Consulting Group – Baton Rouge
  • Nick’s Janitorial Services – Shreveport
  • Seedlinks Behavior Management – Shreveport
  • Turner & Turner Contracting – Alexandria

The initiative will focus on strategies such as building a management team, sustaining growth and identifying new opportunities. Retreat-style virtual meetings and monthly roundtables will utilize a unique blend of content, dialogue, strategic research and peer learning to help these owners learn from each other. Each company will also participate in the System for Integrated Growth, a one-on-one strategic research engagement that provides access to expert specialists who generate customized information for each company.

LED and the Edward Lowe Foundation hope to expand the initiative to more companies in future years. And the support doesn’t end with completion of the program: Graduates become members of the LED Growth Network, consisting of over 550 companies that employ nearly 20,000 people and generate more than $3.8 billion in annual sales.