"I have begun everything with the idea that I could succeed, and I never had much patience with the multitudes of people who are always ready to explain why one cannot succeed." – Booker T. Washington
Entrepreneurs are leaders by definition and the ability to articulate a vision is critical to building prosperity in communities. Genesis Block is the anchor organization for minority and women owned business services and economic development in southeastern North Carolina. Our mission is to build the entrepreneur class in communities block by block.
Our Cape Fear Build the Block Plan focuses on existing small business growth. We partnered with NC IDEA and New Hanover County government to launch the Genesis Block Back on the Block Minority Accelerator in January. The minority business accelerator is tied to Genesis Block’s Cape Fear Build A Block Plan, which is a three-year plan to produce 40 companies through the accelerator each year creating 120 minority and women-owned businesses, and generating 400 jobs and $13 to $15 million in revenue from the businesses created.
A great example of the range of our small business services model is evident in our partnership with MeMa’s Chick’n Ribs. Owners Myra and James McDuffie, reached out to Genesis Block in September 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic with serious challenges. They were initially approved for funding to begin a multimillion-dollar project in Burgaw, North Carolina. However, a significant portion of the funds were rescinded due to the challenging business environment. The owners reached out to Genesis Block for support and we are now in the process of leveraging community capital to launch the Creek Shopping Center development that will bring 30 jobs to Pender County.
New business formation is also one of the key components of the Genesis Block mission. Specifically for the Cape Fear region, we have a vision to build existing minority businesses and generate new business formation in high growth industries including information technology and software development, distribution & logistics, construction management, and life sciences. Thanks to the support and partnership with CastleBranch, we are building a technology platform that will connect minority and women owned businesses with prime contractors, municipalities, and anchor institutions. The goal is to build the capacity of minority businesses through the Genesis Block ecosystem preparing them to become viable business partners to increase minority participation in the procurement of contracts.
Building the entrepreneur class is our mission at Genesis Block and we are proud to serve small business owners, entrepreneurs, and early stage startups in the Cape Fear region.
Girard Newkirk is the Co-founder and CEO of Genesis Block. He is also the Founder of KWHCoin and is a native of Pender County. He moved back to the Wilmington area by way of San Jose, California in November of 2018. In 2019, his company KWHCoin won the Coastal Entrepreneur Award for Emerging Company which focused on the company’s work with combining renewable energy and blockchain technology to provide off-grid energy solutions. In 2020, he was named to the Top 100 Business Leaders in Wilmington by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal for his work with Genesis Bock and Building the Entrepreneur Class. Genesis Block, in partnership with NC IDEA and New Hanover County, has developed the Genesis Block Back on the Block Minority Accelerator to advance entrepreneurship in minority communities.
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