The board members for the Black Channel Partner Alliance (BCPA) are excited to share details of our successes during our inaugural year. It’s remarkable to think that slightly more than a year ago we came together to increase the number of Black and African American owned businesses within the Microsoft ecosystem.
Over the past year, partners have found new markets, doubled in size, become distributors, and found clients all over the world. With all that excitement, we would like to specifically call out a few important successes.
We kicked off the year invigorated with purpose during our inaugural RISE event. This event showcased not only our goals, aspirations, and partners, but was also our opportunity to reveal ourselves to the world. We were energized by the keynote address delivered by Randall Pinkett and inspired by the intention and enthusiasm set by our board members including: Frank Valdivieso, Nyasha Tunduwani, Danny Brown, and Lauren Anderson.
As a board we have engaged in over 20 individual speaking engagements where each of our founding board members shared our message of inclusion, economic growth, and partnership. – We’ve been humbled by the overwhelming response and empowered by the impact has even caught us by surprise.
Our mission to create change has been spearheaded by our first BCPA Cloud Accelerator. When we started the BCPA we knew that one of the challenges for businesses partnering with Microsoft was how to do effectively and successfully within that ecosystem. That is changing. Next year, we will unveil our second accelerator cohort. In addition to helping business owners deepen their understanding of the Microsoft business models for success, we are helping business owners develop the subtle art of leadership presence.
Our accelerator doesn’t stop there. We are pleased to announce that all graduates of our accelerator program will be eligible to apply for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program [Small business opportunities | Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10ksbapply.com)]. This program has helped organizations understand financials, marketing efforts, operations, and company forecasting. Together, we believe we have created a unique program designed to help every facet of an organization.
The next mountain we climbed in 2021 was the assembly of a new directory of partners. Let’s face it, knowing your business is only a start but you can’t do it alone. In just over a year we have created a directory featuring over 100 Black-owned companies. This backbone of BCPA will help companies reach out to each other for assistance, partnerships, and in the new year, find prime and subcontracting opportunities. It’s our belief this direction will be yet another game changer for organizations.
Before we discuss 2022, attention must be drawn to several smaller successes:
• A new interactive website
• Additional resources in project management and marketing
• Multiple events with industry leaders and Microsoft Subject Matter Experts
In 2022, BCPA is going to reach new milestones. First, we plan to increase our speaking engagements to ensure we’re sharing our message broadly and loudly. Next, we’re looking forward to celebrating with the community during our annual RISE event. We’ll use the event and the month of February to discuss issues pertaining to the Black and African American business community.
The evolution of our directory will be seen in 2022. BCPA will be enhancing the directory experience– anchored by the launch our new opportunities page that provides the ability to receive real-time notifications related to opportunities that are posted. This will increase the number of P2P opportunities for all our sponsors and partners.
Speaking of partners, we are in talks with several companies like the Henson Group and others to help create BCPA partner programs. Through these programs organizations will have a direct line with the programs and people to create generational wealth.
Finally, in addition to growing all the initiatives we have described, you can expect to see a one-of-a-kind community forum. Again, in the spirit of togetherness, we will be creating a way for business leaders to meet to discuss shared issues and create mentorships. Being a business owner can be a rewarding but lonely endeavor. By working together, we will be the tide that lifts all boats. We will raise ourselves up by elevating each other.
Oh, and one last thing. None of this would be possible without the support of our sponsors, most notably Microsoft. During our first year, Microsoft has been an undeniably fantastic partner, enthusiastic supporter, and unbreakable advocate. In particular, we would like to say a special thank you to Karen Fassio, Regina Johnson, Lani Phillips, Alyssa Williams, Kyle Cramer, Darrell Booker, and Daniel Ikem. Our organization wouldn’t exist let alone thrive without their efforts. Taken together, they represent Microsoft’s commitment to supplier diversity and changing the lives of Black and African American businesses.
In closing, as the bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9 “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” We are all here to help each other and BCPA wants to be on the forefront of supporting Black and African American businesses. By working together, we will be able to change the direction of countless people and organizations. We are excited about working with you in 2022!
Black Channel Partner Alliance (BCPA) Board of Directors