NOLABA Receives Grant to Enhance City’s Small Business Environment

lynnette white-colinNOLABA has received a three-year, $375,000 grant by the Surdna Foundation to focus business expansion and retention efforts on the city’s small businesses. NOLABA has hired Lynnette White-Colin to lead these efforts as NOLABA’s inaugural director of small business ecosystem development.

New Orleans, La.

In her new role and with resources supplied by the Surdna grant, White-Colin will enhance opportunities for small businesses, particularly relative to increasing procurement and contracting opportunities with the city’s anchor institutions. She will also convene and connect technical assistance providers, Chambers of Commerce, government, financial and legal services and larger corporations to ensure local small businesses have both the resources necessary to grow and thrive and are connected to critical business community stakeholders to take their businesses to the next level.

“The Surdna grant and Lynnette White-Colin’s hiring represent NOLABA’s continued implementation of PropserityNOLA, the city’s five-year strategic plan for economic growth,” said NOLABA President and CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. “Surdna’s consistent support, beginning with ProsperityNOLA and now in creating this focused workstream with a highly credible leader, challenges us to intensify our work on behalf of all New Orleanians.

“Lynnette comes to us with numerous years of successful small business economic development experience with the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and several local financial institutions. Her expertise and reputation in this arena will be invaluable in further strengthening the New Orleans economy via small businesses development. This in turn creates more on-ramps to opportunity and helps increase generational wealth for the benefit of our residents.”

White-Colin added, “I’m very excited about the impact this initiative will create for local small business owners. The connection to advanced resources will accelerate their capacity to fill lucrative economic opportunities that significantly increase revenue and ultimately create jobs for local residents.”

Formerly director of the Women’s Business Resource and Entrepreneurship Center at the Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Lynnette led economic development services and programming including fund development, business start-up and growth training, along with business owner coaching. As part of her portfolio, she provided strategic counsel to large public construction projects to facilitate inclusion of disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned construction entities. Her prior experience also includes community and commercial banking expertise related to small business and the construction industry.

About the New Orleans Business Alliance
The New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) is a partnership between the city’s business community and city government. NOLABA is dedicated to cultivating, developing and nurturing a thriving Orleans Parish business community and economy in which all of the city’s residents can participate. Visit for more information.

About the Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies and thriving cultures. Learn more at

economic development, lynnette white-colin, prosperity nola, quentin messer, small business


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