The vision of M squared™ is to become a model signature multicultural entrepreneurship and small business program that celebrates and fosters a collaboration between alumni, current students, faculty, and community through programming, commerce, and fiscal investments.
M squared™ consist of three components:
- Professional Development: Talking Square Biz
Professional and business development panels, workshops, and presentations from industry thought leaders.
- Marketplace/Business Expo: The Square
A showcase for entrepreneurs and small businesses to display and sell their products and services.
- Fiscal Investment: Pitch Parlors
“Shark Tank” style. Minority owned businesses will have the opportunity to pitch their businesses for funding to investors.
The goal is to expand the program throughout the United States with key strategic partners, universities, community influencers, and industry experts during each stop.
The strategic partner for the UNC Chapel Hill tour stop is Shelley Willingham, founder and CEO of Vision & Passion International, LLC. Similar to TOFiTM, Vision and Passion International seeks to support the growth and development of small businesses through strategic programming and partnerships, so it was a no brainer when Tamla Oates-Forney, Founder & CEO of TOFiTM International, LLC, reached out to her fellow UNC Chapel Hill Alumni to launch such an impactful movement.
“Vision and Passion International is committed to helping entrepreneurs move their businesses beyond their wildest dreams. This partnership with TOFi is a perfect fit to our overall mission and commitment to entrepreneurs. M Squared will help level the playing field for entrepreneurs at all stages of development and I’m honored and excited to be a part of this game-changing event,” says Shelley Willingham, founder and CEO of Vision and Passion International.
Oates-Forney says “I am excited to create this comprehensive experience that offers an opportunity for the alumni, students, and community to partner together to bring awareness and support to small businesses that have traditionally been marginalized and underserved. Entrepreneurship is becoming the profession of choice and there are lots of alumni, students, and community residents that own their own businesses – M squared will expose and elevate them all in a very strategic and intentional way.”
TOFiTM has also engaged a powerful team, including Emmy award winning senior producer of Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, Sharlette Hambrick; Dr. Deborah Stroman – entrepreneur, leadership coach, and faculty member at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health; Posh Furniture Rentals – a nationally recognized trade show staging company; the Village Market Atl – an expert in creating memorable pop-up markets for vendors of color; the createHER Life – a global digital branding company; and Adventus Veritas – a financial services and wealth management conglomerate. All are minority-owned businesses that have a vested interest in supporting other businesses of color.
Portions of the event will be held on UNC’s campus at the Sonya Haynes Stone Center for Black History. Stay tuned for the exciting location reveal of The Square.
Sponsorship opportunities are available now: https://mymsquared.co/sponsor