UBIZ Venture Capital honors four successful black entrepreneurs by launching the Business Growth Institute with $500,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase


CLEVELAND, November 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — UBIZ Venture Capital, in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Clevelandhosted the Business Legacy Award reception and launched the Business Growth Institute (BGI), at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

  • Lonnie Colemanchairman and CEO of Coleman Spohn Corp., whose construction projects include Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Ahuja University Hospitals Medical Center.
  • Mel PyePresident and CEO of Fairfax Place, which provides state-of-the-art healthcare services in partnership with local hospitals to residents of a 100-bed facility.
  • Anthony E. Smith (posthumously) and his wife vanessa merlanCEO of AES Management Corp., and owner and operator of 15 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen locations in Northeast Ohio.
  • Tilmon Brownthe president of Norwalk, Ohiobased at New Horizons Baking Co. is a McDonald’s supplier that produces soft sandwich rolls and English muffins to more than 5,000 quick service restaurants, grocery stores and food service providers nationwide. Tilmon was also inducted into the Bakers Hall of Fame, the first African American to be selected by the American Society of Baking.

The Business Growth Institute is an initiative to support legacy black businesses in our community. The Institute will also develop more Black-owned businesses in high-growth sectors, such as renewable energy, software development and advanced manufacturing with the potential to generate $1 million revenue or more each year.

“Black-owned businesses are critical to the American economy, especially here in Northeast Ohiobut they often don’t have access to the capital and resources they need to grow,” said David AllenMarket Team Leader for Northern Ohio at private bank JP Morgan. “JPMorgan Chase’s investment will help strengthen the region’s workforce, community and local economy.”

“Showcasing these businesses is a perfect way to celebrate their excellence and share ways to build more similar successful businesses through the Business Growth Institute,” said Michael Obi, Chairman of UBIZ Venture Capital. “We are very grateful for the funding from JPMorgan Chase totaling $500,000which speaks volumes about his commitment to closing the wealth gap in the black community. Obi added that Key Bank has also invested $100,000 to launch the Institute, in addition to supporting UBIZ’s economic development efforts since its inception.

Michael Obi, [email protected]; 440-212-2567

SOURCE Urban League of Greater Cleveland


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