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May 1, 2024

Climatetech coalition expands training program for entrepreneurs of color

A man with glasses in a black suit jacket and light blue shirt speaks into a microphone. Photo I Courtesy of Marilyn Humphries Kerry Bowie, executive director and president of Browning the Green Space, speaks at the 2022 Accelerating Contractors of Color in Energy for Sustainable Success program.

Browning the Green Space, a coalition aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the clean energy industry, is seeking entrepreneurs of color throughout the Northeast, looking to launch and grow clean energy contracting businesses, for its Accelerating Contractors of Color in Energy for Sustainable Success program.

Referred to as a business bootcamp, the 10-week ACCESS training program includes workshops, lectures, and business coaching. 

In its first two years of operation, ACCESS saw 27 graduates explore, start, and grow businesses in clean energy spaces. Graduates have received $260,000 in regranted funding secured by BGS for their businesses and have been awarded $1.5 million through 22 contracts, according to a BGS press release Tuesday.  

“ACCESS fills an important gap in the training ecosystem in Massachusetts by supporting experienced tradespeople and aspiring entrepreneurs with customized climate-focused business training,” Kerry Bowie, executive director and president of BGS, said in the release. “As we seek to expand the program to 24 participants in year three, we are invested in continuing to grow our impact on diversifying clean energy contracting and building wealth for BIPOC business owners.”

Based in Boston, BGS looks to cultivate opportunities to increase Black and brown representation in the Northeast’s clean energy and climatetch sectors and support structural change within the industry by centering social, environmental, and economic justice. 

Funding for ACCESS is provided by the state’s economic development agency, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and the SouthCoast Wind Fund managed by New Bedford-based public charity, SouthCoast Community Foundation.

“Tens of thousands of residents across Massachusetts have found fulfilling careers in the clean energy industry, and we’re committed to diversifying this growing workforce by supporting partners like Browning the Green Space,” MassCEC CEO Emily Reichert said in the release. “The ACCESS program provides Black and brown entrepreneurs with the resources they need to turn their trade skills into profitable clean energy businesses.”

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