Meet the 2023 class of TALI’s Emerging Leaders Program

Launched in 2021, the professional development program is designed to give “high potential” Black professionals in Pittsburgh a chance to advance their careers and receive mentorship, all while developing a sense of community with one another. The goal: Keep them in Pittsburgh for the long haul. During their time in the program cohort, members will hone their negotiation strategy skills, learn about managerial effectiveness, and develop other tools to sharpen their leadership skills.

Artists, budding entrepreneurs gain a guide at new ErieMade Business Academy at ECAT building

"Financial support for the program is coming from the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Bridgeway Capital. It opened an Erie office in 2012 and since then has loaned $26 million for small-business ventures in Erie County and northwestern Pennsylvania that cannot access mainstream sources of finance.

Bridgeway operates its Creative Business Accelerator to help artists, entrepreneurs and other creators to grow their businesses. The accelerator is providing program support to the ErieMade Business Academy."

Women have long held key roles in Erie, but there’s getting to be a lot more of them

"Cathryn Easterling, director of Bridgeway Capital’s Erie office, took on her role as the director just as COVID emerged. She attributes female success to the ability to adapt and thrive.

“It was March 30, 2020, and I started my job as director with three kids learning from home and a baby,” she said with a laugh. “Women have a tendency to break silos and engage corporate staff. We manage remote spaces, business transitions and parenting.”"

Black-owned businesses surge back after early pandemic losses

Burnt out after a 22-year career in health care, Tina Daniels turned her side-hustle of renovating homes into a full-time enterprise in 2019.

Her North Shore-based business, Concrete Rose Construction, was just a year old when the pandemic upended the economy. But instead of buckling, her residential building and renovation firm bloomed over the past two years. In 2021, it surpassed $1.2 million in revenue.

Jeannette Entrepreneurial Association

Bridgeway Capital increases small business assistance to emerging minority and women entrepreneurs in Westmoreland County. Introducing Kim Louis as Bridgeway’s Community Entrepreneur Liaison for Westmoreland County to connect emerging entrepreneurs to resources that build their capacity to access capital and grow. As a partner for business growth, Bridgeway offers business assistance that builds the capacity of entrepreneurs and prepares them to access capital. The Community Entrepreneur Liaison model is a new effort by Bridgeway to increase its support of small business ecosystems in the communities of New Kensington and Jeannette in Westmoreland County.

ErieMade Business Academy Now Enrolling

"Backed by Bridgeway Capital's Creative Business Accelerator (CBA) and Western Pennsylvania Entrepreneur Diversification Fund with additional financial and administrative support from Erie Arts and Culture, the ErieMade Business Academy will provide a platform for anyone with ambition and a worthwhile concept. The six-month program will offer aspiring entrepreneurs one-on-one guidance and peer support while instilling business fundamentals, with the freshly renovated Erie Center for Arts and Technology (ECAT) at the former Wayne School playing host. Working closely with registrants will be project consultant and business assistance specialist (and 40 Under 40 honoree) Kristen Santiago of Ivy + Atlas and Gone Local Erie."

ErieMade Business Academy to provide hands-on support to emerging and established makers growing in Erie

Erie Center for Arts and Technology, Bridgeway Capital, and Erie Arts and Culture team up to help creative entrepreneurs and businesses pursue opportunities for growth and impact in Erie County. With support from Bridgeway Capital and its Creative Business Accelerator (CBA), the Erie Center for Arts and Technology (ECAT) recently launched the ErieMade Business Academy. Entrepreneurial artists, designers, makers, craftspeople, and micro manufacturers are invited to apply to the six-month program, which will provide one-on-one and peer group support for a wide range of business fundamentals. With access to a new state-funded grant program by Erie Arts and Culture, the three partners bring capacity building and capital to Erie’s creative economy.

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