"Microbusiness for Inclusion and Collaboration" Building Economic Success for Diverse Enterprises and Communities

Jan 13, 2014

"Microbusiness for Inclusion and Collaboration" Building Economic Success for Diverse Enterprises and Communities

Certified diverse businesses, The Springfield Affiliated Chambers of Commerce, the Greater New England Supplier Diversity, UnityFirst.com and the MassMutual Center unite to support diverse, micro-business enterprise success.

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Microbusiness for Inclusion and Collaborative Success (MIC), a business leadership initiative driven by UnityFirst.com’s Janine and Tom Fondon and a group of diverse business owners has been launched with the collaborative support of the MassMutual Center, Springfield Affiliated Chamber of Commerce and the Greater New England Minority Supplier Diversity Council. This initiative was developed to collectively advance the experiences and sustainability of diverse, micro-business enterprises in Springfield, MA as well as across the Western Massachusetts region and Commonwealth.

Microbusinesses, once only considered home-based mom and pop shops, are now center stage as “main street entrepreneurs, such as consultants, contractors and business groups (1-4 employees). These firms are driving the economic recovery of families, cities, regions and the U.S.  Research from the Small Business Administration supports the fact that microbusinesses contribute trillions to the economy and create millions of jobs. Also,  microbusiness owners are known to do business in their local community.

MIC -- an inaugural, growing  working group of corporations, organizations and certified minority vendors was launched to create a ‘success community’ that is inclusive, connected and supportive of diverse, micro-business enterprises – thus driving a new paradigm and protocol for success.  Janine and Tom Fondon, conveners of the group,  noted, “We will identify opportunities, insights and resources for meeting and exceeding the goals of working with and supporting certified, diverse micro-business enterprises as well as encouraging micro-businesses to not only survive, but thrive. We invite you to learn more about MIC and create the future by encouraging certified diverse business, such as Underwood Photo, Academic and Behavioral Clinic, Creative Futures, LLC, Unity First Direct Inc. and other microenterprises to stay in our communities, grow successfully and contribute to our local economy.

Stacey Church, Assistant General Manager, MassMutual Center, who hosted the inaugural meeting and will host quarterly events said, “We believe that micro-businesses, and especially certified diverse micro-businesses, can fuel new success in our changing economy. We support businesses of all levels and hope that even diverse, micro-enterprises will find greater success in the economic mainstream with our collective support.”

In agreement, Janine Fondon, President of Unityfirst.com adds, “As a certified minority vendor and microbusiness enterprise, we are excited to be part of this inclusive initiative that will build on the collective success of corporations and micro-enterprises working together. It is time to connect the dots and create a new vision success in collaboration with other organizations.

Attorney Ellen Freyman of the firm Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin, P.C. and Chair of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield’s Board of Directors, stated: "On behalf of the Chamber, we appreciate being invited to participate in this important venture.  We believe that collaborating with the Chamber will offer expanded opportunities to these vital businesses including networking, technical support and mentorships.  And the Chamber will benefit from the new energy, talent and perspective of these enterprising companies."


Representing the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, Jennifer Little-Greer added, “This supportive relationship by corporations and organizations can drive business success for micro-businesses and corporations of all levels.  Certified minority suppliers, including diverse, micro-businesses, represent a significant opportunity to change the economic landscape of communities and industry.”

Companies (corporate suppliers and minority vendors), professional organizations and business owners  who would like to learn about upcoming conversations, minority suppliers or micro-business, send an email to jfondon@unityfirst.com or call (413) 221-7931.

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