HomeBlogUncategorizedProvident1898 Awarded NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM Grant to Launch Business Acquisition Program for Entrepreneurs from Underrepresented Groups

An innovative program in “acquisition entrepreneurship” has been awarded a seed grant to help build back minority and women business ownership at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a disproportionate loss of businesses owned by Black, Hispanic, and other marginalized groups.

Provident1898, a coworking and entrepreneur community, was named among the 17 partners throughout North Carolina who received a collective $1.5 million in grant funding from NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina.

With the NC IDEA grant funding, Provident1898 will pilot a self-paced and cohort-based program called ACQUIRE that will equip participants with the targeted skills and best practices to succeed in “acquisition entrepreneurship”: the process of buying and growing the value of an established, profitable businesses. ACQUIRE will also foster a collaborative environment with mentors and an advisory board that will both broaden the professional network of participants and assist the entrepreneurs when identifying acquisition targets, funding sources and negotiating a deal.

“Acquiring profitable small- to middle-market companies provides both immediate income and builds wealth for owners and management,” said Lebone Moses, a business strategist, angel investor and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience, who will serve as managing director of the ACQUIRE program. “However, the process from opportunity identification to deal negotiation is vague and requires specific exposure, preparation, and access to capital. Our program is critical to opening the ‘acquisition entrepreneurship’ pathway to professionals from underrepresented groups who otherwise would not have the opportunity to reach their potential as a business owner.”

True to Provident1898’s origin story as a placemaking and community-building venture to carry on Durham’s legacy of Black entrepreneurship and business success, the ACQUIRE program will specifically target aspiring entrepreneurs who are members of marginalized communities.

“We are elated to be selected among other organizations to receive funding from the NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM grant,” said Carl Webb, co-founder of Provident1898. “Provident1898 has honored and built upon the entrepreneurial legacy of Durham’s Black Wall Street. ACQUIRE was birthed from our vision of a marketplace where more businesses are owned by women and people of color who are building wealth and stewarding resources that create a more equitable economy and legacy of successful entrepreneurship that inspires future generations.”

Provident1898 will also collaborate with statewide partners to extend the reach of ACQUIRE, beginning with the Flywheel Foundation and the Wake Forest University Center for Private Business.

“There hasn’t been a more vital time in recent history to support the organizations that are helping people build high-growth companies,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and president of NC IDEA. “Adding Provident1898 and the ACQUIRE program to the efforts of our ECOSYSTEM partner network will improve our ability to support business value retention and creation, which will be paramount to our state’s economic recovery.”

The ACQUIRE pilot program will launch its recruitment efforts in the first quarter of 2021. For more information on how to get involved as a program participant or funding partner, email Provident1898 at [email protected].

For more information on Provident1898, or to schedule a tour, visit www.Provident1898.com or call 919-925-3340. Please note that Provident1898 strictly follows the COVID-19 safety guidelines as set by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.


About Provident1898

Provident1898 is a 15,000-SF coworking community of diverse entrepreneurs, innovators, and artists who are passionate about building a progressive and equitable workplace on a shared history and local ownership. Located on the historic grounds of the NC Mutual Life Insurance Company, in the Tower at Mutual Plaza, Provident1898 is inspired by Durham’s legacy of Black entrepreneurship and business success. The flexible, multi-industry workspace offers a range of customizable membership options for organizations at various stages of development with the ability to scale. Learn more at provident1898.com.