Harker Named to Inaugural NC Black Entrepreneurship Council

Harker Named to Inaugural NC Black Entrepreneurship Council

Perry Harker, VP of Corporate and Community EducationMorehead City, N.C. (September 14, 2020) – Perry Harker, Vice President of Corporate and Community Education at Carteret Community College is among 25 individuals recently named as a member of the inaugural NC IDEA Foundation’s North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council (NC BEC). NC IDEA, a Durham-based private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced the formation of the NC BEC. Establishing the NC BEC to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of North Carolina’s Black community, further supports the Foundation’s previous commitment that no less than 50% of programmatic and funding resources be in service to underserved, under-resourced and underrepresented communities, notably minorities, women and rural constituencies.

“I am honored to be selected to serve on this statewide council. We have a strong and accomplished team of council members assembled from across the state, all focused on working together to improve entrepreneurship in our state for minorities and underserved members of our state,” said Harker. “Being involved in the council and representing our eastern area of the state, I am optimistic of the resources and support we can bring to our local community. This important work aligns with that of Carteret CC in training students for the workforce of tomorrow while promoting entrepreneurship as a viable career option”

“We are encouraged and humbled that our announcement of the Council drew an overwhelming response from accomplished individuals, affirming community support for this vital work,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “The Council will focus on economically empowering Black people with entrepreneurship, thereby combating economic inequality that perpetuates racial disparities,” Ruhe added.

The NC BEC will help guide the NC IDEA Foundation in its programmatic and grant making ambitions in furtherance of North Carolina’s Black community. Council members will work closely with NC IDEA Foundation to identify, recommend and support partners and programs with the expressed purpose of elevating Black Entrepreneurship in North Carolina. Service on the Council will also include input on NC IDEA Foundation’s funding decisions, specifically grants awarded to partner organizations through the NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM program. The formation of the Council coincides with a recent commitment by the NC IDEA Foundation’s board of directors that the Foundation will manage operating budgets for the next two fiscal years of at least 10% of net assets; namely, twice the minimum amount required by law. The resulting increase in programmatic spend will provide a minimum of $500,000 in funding under the auspice of the newly formed Council with the hope that other organizations, companies and individuals may wish to likewise add funding to these activities.

“I strongly believe that one path for economic empowerment is through entrepreneurship, whether that is starting a part-time business or pursuing the dream of full-time business ownership,” said Harker. “Although the purpose of the council is to Guide the Foundation on Serving the Economic Potential of North Carolina’s Black Community, I am confident it will benefit all people wanting to use entrepreneurship as a path to economic advancement.”


NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs, and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at www.ncidea.org.


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