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Minority Business Initiative

Meet the 2023 MBI Cohort

BSmart Coaching

BSMART Coaching works with small to mid-size companies providing assessments, coaching, intercultural competency development, training, thought leadership, and change management solutions. 

Calhoun Custom Creations LLC

Calhoun Custom Creations is a Bakery and Event Boutique specializing in custom cakes, cookies, desserts, and event planningTheir goal is to create an immersive space that acts not only as a bakery and event boutique but a community “hub” for local cultural creatives looking for a collaborative space. 

Denine Jackson Interiors

Denine Jackson Interiors looks to change the home renovation game and empower its clients to make confident decisions and execute their vision with precision. Mixing modern elements with the mid-century modern color palette, Denine’s background in engineering and eye for detail ensures that the look comes together for a timeless and fresh space. 

E-scent-ials Body Care LLC

Locally owned and operated, E-Scent-ials Body Care offers body butters, soaps, hair care, and men’s skincare products that are all-natural and made with essential oils.

Executive Sweeps LLC

Executive Sweeps LLC Commercial Cleaning is a locally owned and operated commercial cleaning company servicing Buffalo and many other areas in the state of New York. They provide customized janitorial services for facilities including schools, medical buildings, and property management holdings. 

Golden Cup Coffee

Golden Cup Coffee is a roaster and distributor of high-quality coffee & teas. They provide fresh roasted coffee & high-quality beverages to consumers, restaurants, offices, churches and more. 

GROW Services LLC

GROW Services LLC focuses on organization-wide diversity initiatives along with creating, implementing, and evaluating IDEA strategy for the organization. Focusing on integrating IDEA components into all aspects of the organization, ensuring that an IDEA lens is used when making decisions, building teams, and creating the organizational culture. 

Hair Empire

Hair Empire provides superior quality hair services and offers a wide range of hair products for women of all races. Committed to innovation and new product development, they provide 100% Natural human hair without any synthetic fibers or chemical processing. 

Herne Law, PLLC

An enrolled member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, Owen Herne is experienced in both Indian law and corporate law. He has provided counsel on the most complex issues facing Indian nations today. 

The Mahogany Events LLC

The Mahogany is a family-owned and renovated event venue that features two floors of event space, and a professional photography business on the third level. Bringing people together, with a modern-day twist, the Mahogany serves the Buffalo area and all of WNY.

Is a Digital Marketing Agency using Sprints for Fast Results. We help businesses accelerate their growth by demystifying digital marketing.

That Brown Bag

That Brown Bag (also referred to as ‘The Bag’) is a minority business directory founded in 2018 to create a resource providing consumers with a one-stop shop to locate black owned businesses in Buffalo, NY, and the surrounding area.  The publication has since expanded to add a Brown Bag Business Association which is a membership-based group centered around providing information and support to the businesses listed within the publication. 


Thyme-N-Honey is a Food Consultant company specializing in teaching demonstrations of Classical and Modern cooking techniques. Their specialized classes are designed to improve culinary independence. Thyme-N-Honey also provides Pop-Up Dinner events offered in the comfort of your home! 


WhittCare's mission is to change the world one person at a time, by enabling under-resourced youth in WNY to obtain economic mobility through well-crafted coaching and mentoring. They provide adulting workshops that focus on transitioning to college, career preparedness, and personal development for youth and young adults in underserved communities. 

Whose Your Landlord?

Whose Your Landlord (WYL) is an online platform where users can read and write reviews of home providers (owner/operators, apartment buildings, property managers). WYL amplifies the voices of residents by enabling them to share their honest, authentic rental experiences. 


ZoomRide is a local non-emergency medical transportation company in Erie and Niagara counties with a heart for the people and the team. 


Unlock Your Minority-Owned Business's Potential with the Minority Business Initiative

BNP's Minority Business Initiative (MBI) strives to eliminate the obstacles that have long hindered minority business ownership. Our program provides minority-owned businesses access to BNP's extensive resources and networks to build their business. The MBI program is intentional about removing the financial barriers to BNP membership and providing greater opportunities for your businessThe MBI Program is funded through generous underwriting of Bank of America, National Grid, and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. 


  • Expansion of your company’s market reach through inclusion as a member.  
  • Brand Placement on the most influential chamber of commerce web properties in the WNY region. 
  • Increase Website SEO: As an MBI participant, your business will be included in BNP's member directory, which can help your website's search engine optimization. 
  • Access to industry-leading experts on leadership and business development within the membership network. 
  • Social Media Promotion on all BNP social media engagement properties. 


  • Full Benefits of Membership: As an MBI participant your business will have full access to the benefits of membership in the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, including inclusion in the member directory, access to industry-leading resources, and a financial tools program from Bank of America.  
  • Exclusive Events: As an MBI participant your business will have access to member-only events, offering unique networking and learning opportunities. 
  • $400 credit to attend BNP's ticketed events OR a seat in the BNP Executive Exchange Program, based on business size.  

Thank you for your interest in BNP's Minority-Owned Business Initiative (MBI).  Applications are now closed for the current cohort.

Interested in applying for the 2024 cohort?

Join our mailing list to be informed when the application period opens later this year.

Contact Us:

If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please don't hesitate to contact Kenya Hobbs, at 

Thank You to Our Sponsors

From the Blog

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership announces second cohort of Minority-Owned Business Initiative Program Expanded to Respond to Applicant Needs

By | June 1, 2023

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s (BNP’s) Minority Business Initiative (MBI) strives to eliminate the obstacles that have long hindered minority business ownership by providing minority-owned businesses access to BNP’s extensive resources and networks to build their business. The 2023 cohort was announced at today’s DEI Symposium and includes two tracks to better serve participant needs. The MBI Program is funded through generous underwriting of Bank of America, National Grid, and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

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BNP’s Minority Business Initiative: Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities –

By | September 15, 2022

The Minority Owned Business Initiative (MBI) is entering its second year in 2023.  This initiative seeks to help break through the barriers that have historically challenged minority business ownership and create a pathway to board membership for participants.

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Introducing Minority-Owned Business Initiative Participant: Strickly Business Safety Solutions, LLC

By | March 3, 2022

Darrin Strickland is the founder and CEO of Strickly Business Safety Solutions, LLC, a Buffalo-based company providing health and safety preparedness programs and services to clients across New York State. From authorized and certified CPR/AED training and workplace emergency preparedness, to defensive driving courses and babysitter certification, Strickland and his staff help businesses, schools, and individuals be safe and be ready in critical situations.

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Introducing Minority-Owned Business Initiative Participant: Right Fit Recruiting, LLC

By | March 3, 2022

For more than two decades, Thaddeus Dunn has recruited and placed executive-level professionals in positions across the country, in industries from medical and financial to non-profit and education. Now, he has established Right Fit Recruiting, LLC here in Buffalo Niagara, bringing his expertise to the local business community with added measures of personalized service and a commitment to diversity and inclusion in executive roles.

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