Print
Entrepreneurs

Genesis Block Targets Jobs, Investment For Minority Businesses

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Nov 3, 2020
Genesis Block, co-founded by Tracey and Girard Newkirk, will open its doors to companies starting Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of Genesis Block)
Genesis Block will officially open its doors later this month with a jobs and investment strategy to help grow the minority-owned and women-owned business community in the Cape Fear region.

The community collaborative is focusing on a three-year goal to help spur companies that will create 400 jobs and add $13 million in investment in the area, said Tracey and Girard Newkirk, co-founders of Genesis Block located at 20 Wrights Alley in Wilmington.

The Newkirks, through the firm, are taking an economic development role for the advancement and enrichment of the local minority business community, launching Genesis Block as a business development company.

"We have three very clear strategies as far as our three-year goals, and that is to graduate 120 minority and women-owned businesses, through them create 400 jobs, and drive $13 million in revenue for the community through those businesses. So we want everyone to understand this so that they can understand that they're not just supporting Genesis Block exclusively; that it's about supporting minority and women-owned business development in the community," Girard Newkirk said.

The Newkirks aim to take a three-vertical approach to the impact of Genesis Block through its new co-working space, entrepreneur academy and minority accelerator and ANZA Technology platform, which is a still-developing mobile application and website that will be built to promote minority businesses in the Wilmington area.

The business is hosting an invitation-only ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 19, with an open house from 1 to 4 p.m., which will include tours of the new co-working space. The firm will be maintaining social distancing and other practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tracey Newkirk said. 

The firm hosted a soft launch (right) in October during the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s annual Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week

"We ultimately will have some of our companies with products here to demonstrate some of the things they have going on. And we plan to have information about our ANZA application, which is our Black business listing," she said. 

Girard Newkirk said there will be an unveiling of the new ANZA platform. tekMountain incubator, part of Wilmington-based Castle Branch, is working on this application as well, joining in on a partnership with Genesis Block for this technology and local initiative. 

"We're going to be showing ANZA for the first time," Girard Newkirk said. "ANZA is our technology platform that consists of a website and a mobile application. It's going to be a searchable database for Black-owned businesses in the Cape Fear region and it's also going to serve to pair Black-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses with contractors and anchor institutions in the area to help address the disparities with minority participation in government contracting."

Genesis Block is in phase three -- out of four phases -- of its ANZA platform, he said, adding that there will be enough of that platform built digitally that attendees on Nov. 19 will be able to browse through the application and click on some of its functions. 

The organization hopes to launch the application in early 2021, and is in talks with the city of Wilmington to do a pilot program to help reach the city's minority participation goal in its contracting jobs, Girard Newkirk said.

On top of the technology platform to generate more business for the minority companies in the community, Genesis Block also offers various levels of memberships, including community and corporate memberships, to utilize its co-working and office space. 

In addition, the Genesis Block Entrepreneur Academy will help provide resources and education for businesses and ideas to grow, Tracey Newkirk said.

The Newkirks are also calling for participation from those interested in providing sponsorships for the organization's work.

"We're still looking for community support," Girard Newkirk said. "We have very ambitious goals over the next three years, so that will require more community investment and support."
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Danielhughes liveoakprivatewealth october 2

Trustee Tips: Estate Planning Basics

Daniel Hughes - Live Oak Private Wealth
Mikeharrington carolinaretreats 2

Vacation Rental Maintenance: What To Expect

Mike Harrington - Carolina Retreats
Mike stonestreet 300x300

Three Primary Responsibilities Of Your HOA’s Board Of Directors

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)

Trending News

End Of Days Distillery Gains New Accolades, Releases New Spirits

Jessica Maurer - Nov 25, 2020

Homebuilder Transforming Former Church Structure Into Office

Cece Nunn - Nov 25, 2020

By Air, By Car And By The Sea: A Look At Thanksgiving Travel Plans

Christina Haley O'Neal - Nov 25, 2020

In The Current Issue

Making The Area Sweeter

Carolina Candy Co. is family-owned and operated maker of gourmet toffees and chocolate confections....


Survey: Visitors Come Back For More

Ninety-five percent of surveyed visitors to Wilmington and area beaches reported being satisfied with their experience. Feedback provided in...


2020: A Year Of Health Care Heroes

Because of the pandemic, the Business Journal downsized its an­nual Health Care Heroes Awards to honor the 35 finalists at an outdoor event...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`