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CEED, the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development, is a nonprofit organization that has been removing barriers for women and minority-owned small businesses since 1984.

This mission is displayed through the thousands of women who receive counseling through the Women’s Business Center, the hundreds of people who attend entrepreneur workshops in Detroit and the businesses that benefit from the $5.5 million in small business loans distributed.

As a women’s business center and regional partner for the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, CEED represents thousands of women-owned businesses throughout Michigan and Indiana.

Cheryl Bowlson, president and CEO, Cheryl Bowlson Consulting LLC, is a shining example of the work that CEED does. As board president, Bowlson demonstrates commitment to the CEED mission – empowering women and minorities economically through training, certification and capital assistance. Not only is Cheryl an advocate; she is a beneficiary.

Bowlson started her relationship with CEED as a corporate member for Barton Malow where she assisted the company in the development of their business and workforce diversity program. This included the development of special procurement programs and labor compliance processes for public and private construction projects.

She then started her company, Cheryl Bowlson Consulting LLC, with Barton Malow being her first customer. Her company works to audit hiring, contracting and vendor processes, providing strategies to increase workforce diversity as well as design training programs to foster an inclusive environment and to engage employees.

A CEED program, the Women’s Business Enterprise Council – Great Lakes, was a perfect match for Bowlson.

“I knew that this certification would increase my opportunity to do business with companies that see the value in working with certified women-owned companies,” she said.

Bowlson takes advantage of the opportunities to connect with supplier diversity professionals, business development trainings and signature events that CEED offers to foster growth.

“As a result of these opportunities my revenues have increased over 200 percent since I started my business,” she said.

“Being a WBE and providing diversity consulting services is a double blessing. It allows me to grow my business and at the same time help other WBEs grow their businesses by introducing them to my clients.”

To learn more about how CEED can help your business, visit miceed.org or call 734-677-1400.

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