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Sheletta Brundidge honored with BOLD Award for building community partnerships

A group of outstanding local businesses that demonstrate imagination, innovation and extraordinary efforts to grow Minnesota were honored in the 12th annual BOLD Awards, presented by the Minnesota Association for Corporate Growth chapter (ACG).


The awards, designed to recognize innovation, inspirational moves, bold visions and bold leaders, were presented in a ceremony held at The Metropolitan on February 27.


Three finalists were named for their BOLD moves in the categories of Small and Growing, Middle Market and Large and Established businesses. Finalists were also named in the categories of BOLDest Leader of the Year and BOLDest Transaction of the Year.


“We interviewed over 40 businesses, narrowed it down to three finalists in each category,” said ACG executive director Shelley Fischer. “Each and every one had a fascinating, inspiring and motivating story to tell.”


For the first time this year, ACG gave the BOLD Inspiration Award: Community Partnership. It recognizes businesses and not-for-profit organizations that  partner to make “significant contributions to better the state of Minnesota and/or the communities within the state,” through volunteering, organizing community events, providing support to community members, or leading initiatives that improve quality of life.

 

Sheletta Brundidge, owner of podcasting platform, production company and marketing agency ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com was named a finalist in the BOLD Inspiration Award: Community Partnership category.


Brundidge was recognized for her multiple, ongoing initiatives to champion Minnesota’s Black small business owners.


“I know how hard it is out here for Black-owned businesses. We want to not just survive, but thrive,” Brundidge said. “Black entrepreneurs have always struggled to access capital and that’s one reason for the persistent wealth gap. We need to stand together to demand equity to strengthen businesses, create jobs in our community and build generational wealth.”

 

Brundidge has twice presented Black Entrepreneurs Day at the Capitol, inviting hundreds of Black small business owners to the seat of state government to meet with elected leaders, policy makers and to learn to lobby for themselves. Sheletta set up a system where individual entrepreneurs were paired with their state legislators; most met face-to-face for the first time. These introductions created powerful relationships; lawmakers now have a face and person to reflect upon when they think about votes that will impact Black constituents and citizens.

Sheletta has also set up several group and many one-on-one marketing events to share with Black business owners what she has learned about media relations, strategic planning and building partnerships.

 

“What she is doing to bridge that gap through her leadership, partnership vision and voice is important. What she has accomplished with Black Entrepreneurs Day at the Capitol in only the second year of organizing is amazing,” Fischer said. “She is the epitome of fearless, smart, and BOLD!”

 

The winner of the inaugural BOLD Inspiration Award: Community Partnership was TurnSignl, a Minnesota-based, Black-owned business that provides on-demand legal guidance from an attorney for drivers who are pulled over by a law enforcement officer. The other finalist in the category was Matter, a St Louis Park nonprofit.

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