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Business Growth Program

Business Growth Program (Wayne County-based Businesses)

 The Business Growth Program (BGP) is a 10-week program offered by the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council to assist Wayne County-based businesses in leveraging their certification through education and business growth strategies.

Through this program, the small business owner will receive hands-on consulting to address key business challenges and determine strategies for business growth. Individuals will go through an educational process to prepare for viable opportunities. Through engagement, individuals will strengthen their business presentation skills, and engage with corporate members.

Program Structure

  • Highly Engaging Instruction: 10 – weekly sessions consisting of business development and procurement in a small cohort
  • Subject Matter Experts: Dynamic instruction provided by experienced and knowledgeable business and industry practitioners
  • 1:1 Business Assistance: Business Consultant to help you craft your success journey
  • Access to Opportunity: Introduction to Key Decision Makers (special matchmaker meetings)
  • Business Financing: A pathway to apply for business capital following completion of the program


BGP is designed for owners/founders of businesses who meet the following criteria:

  • Have been in operation for at least two years
  • Generate a minimum of $250,000 in annual revenues
  • 2 – 10 employees
  • Possess at least one certification: WBE, MBE, or DBE

Interested candidates must apply to the program and may be subject to an interview.

2024 Cohort 5 Business Growth Program (BGP)

The Great Lakes WBC’s Award-winning Women’s Business Center is proud to present the Spring 2024 graduates of The Business Growth Program!! These business leaders represent eight diverse companies from Health Law to Content Creation and Construction services to a smart, signature BBQ Sauce, and a globally sourced STEAM Learning product. From an Ultimate Solution for keeping your workspace safe, a woman-owned Elevator Services provider and specialized Business Solutions provider, they have successfully completed the program’s requirements!

Spring24 BGP Graduates
Row 1: Judith EllisJDE CONSULTING LTD; Ambirr Momon – The Homegirl Headquarters; Michael Henderson – ULTIMATE SOLUTIONS GROUP LLC
Row 2: Lora Nortley1 Little Elevator Company, Inc. (WBE, WOSB); Dr. Alecia Gabriel and Deirdre RobersonThe Lab Drawer
zRow 3: Larry Crockett CEO – Lorraine’s Premium BBQ Sauce; Deborah WilliamsonWilliamson Health Law;
Tonie BellReFocus Business Solutions

Special thanks to our esteemed judges:
WBE Gwen Hale President and CEO of REAGAN MECHANICAL LLC
Frederick Paul II Associate Director Business Support Network, NEI
Ayesha M. Program Manager, Entrepreneurship Programming, ACCESS

2023 Cohort 4 Business Growth Program (BGP)

2023 Cohort 3 Business Growth Program (BGP)

Great Lakes WBC Business Growth Program Cohort 2
BGP Winter Cohort 3
Great Lakes WBC Business Growth Program Cohort 3
For the final session, the candidates pitched to a panel of judges: Courtney Steward of DTE, Lola Arѐ of Strategic Think Tank, and Yada Phillips of Phillips Private Investigations and Consulting Firm (BGP cohort 1 alum). Joyce Dowridge of JLD Cards & Such received the grand prize award.

Congratulations to the Cohort 3 graduates

2023 Cohort 2 Business Growth Program (BGP)

BGP Winter Cohort 2
Tamika Mayes of Reyz; Lola Are of Strategic ThinkTank; Tonia Williams of Universal Special Events; Katie Chambers of Pure Data Services (BGP cohort 1 alum) and Tammi Hart of Tenneco.

Congratulations to the Cohort 2 graduates

2022 Cohort 1 Business Growth Program (BGP)

BGP Fall 2022 Cohort
BGP Fall 2022 Cohort
BGP Fall 2022 Cohort Pitch Winners (From left to right): Lawrence Jackson, BGP;  and Lori Wesby (Pitch Timer);  Judge Tiffany Klingensmith (3) Pitch Winners:  Carol Kirkland AVE Solutions (4) and Kayla Crawford of Knotless Kay (5) Judges Lola Arѐ (6) and Lynn Garrison (7).
BGP Fall 2022 Cohort Pitch Winners (From left to right): Lawrence Jackson, BGP;  and Lori Wesby (Pitch Timer);  Judge Tiffany Klingensmith (3) Pitch Winners:  Carol Kirkland AVE Solutions (4) and Kayla Crawford of Knotless Kay (5) Judges Lola Arѐ (6) and Lynn Garrison (7).

Congratulations to the Cohort 1 graduates