Center for Economic Inclusion

Center for Economic Inclusion

The Grand Rapids Chamber’s Center for Economic Inclusion (CEI) delivers technical and tactical support to the small business community. CEI programming works to foster economic inclusion and help small businesses thrive with an intentional focus on diverse-owned businesses. 

Our approach starts with a detailed consultation process, where our subject matter experts identify barriers to growth. We guide businesses through the Entrepreneurial Support Organization ecosystem, offering warm introductions to ESOs. Our team will continue to support the entrepreneurial journey with growth-focused outcomes.

CEI offers key programs tailored to various needs, including Business Growth Workshops to support scaling businesses, the West Michigan Minority Contractors program for minority-owned construction businesses, and ELEVATE Minority Business for second-stage minority-owned businesses.

Diverse Business Enterprise Certifications are provided to increase transparency and create opportunities for procurement with supplier diversity programs with the area’s largest companies.

Looking to get engaged in this work? Support CEI businesses by recognizing our Diverse Business Enterprise certifications.

CEI Programs & Events

Business Growth Workshops

Business Growth Workshops support scaling businesses and share best practices by providing hands-on time with subject matter experts. Topics and speakers are curated to give business leaders access to experts and create a support system of businesses in similar stages. 


ELEVATE increases capacity for minority-owned businesses by removing obstacles through entrepreneurial mentorship and business education, creating a solid foundation for success. The program includes mentorship, capacity building, and relationship building. 

We provide opportunities minorities to connect

West Michigan Minority Contractors

West Michigan Minority Contractors events provide attendees the opportunity to connect with peers and gain potential business referrals. These social hour events provide a platform for buyers to connect with local minority-owned business construction professionals, as well as remove barriers for smaller construction companies to enter the market.