OneSpartanburg, Inc. unveils three new small & minority business development programs

March 27, 2024

Available Through Power Up Spartanburg

OneSpartanburg, Inc. publicly announced three new programs available through Power Up Spartanburg, the county’s small and minority business development initiative.

The new programs, launched on the one-year anniversary of Power Up Spartanburg, are: Power Up Securing Contracts, Power Up Experts, and Power Up University.

“Power Up Spartanburg has had an incredible first year, engaging with more than 1,600 small businesses and entrepreneurs since March 21, 2023. That’s 1,600 small and minority businesses that have started down a path of growth and success thanks to opportunities developed and created by the work of this initiative,” said Jay Jenkins, OneSpartanburg, Inc. Director of Small & Minority Business Development.

Programs currently available through Power Up Spartanburg include Power Up Funding, which has made loan and grant money available to qualifying small and minority businesses, and Power Up Mentoring, which connects businesses with trained leaders, based on the renowned MIT Venture Mentoring Service. Additionally, Power Up Spartanburg offers a host of events designed to educate and empower small and minority business-owners.

Power Up Securing Contracts is a supplier-readiness program designed to equip small and minority businesses with the knowledge and resources they need to do business with large companies and corporations.

This program is being guided by Louise Connell, Supplier Readiness/Securing Contracts Director. Louise was formerly the Supplier Diversity Manager with BMW Manufacturing Co.

Participating businesses must meet a series of six prerequisites to get started. From there, the Power Up Spartanburg team will help in getting the certifications needed to increase the business’ chances of winning contracts and providing connections to large businesses seeking diverse suppliers.

“These types of contracts can be life-changing for small and minority business owners,” said OneSpartanburg, Inc. Chief Business Affairs Officer John Kimbrell. “The structure of our organization provides a strategic advantage in that we are able to connect small businesses with bigger businesses looking for that diverse supplier base.”

More information can be found at

Power Up Experts provides small and minority businesses access to vetted, committed subject matter experts in four categories:  accounting and finance, human resources, legal, and marketing,

Participating experts will be paired with Power Up participants based on the specific information they need.

Power Up Spartanburg will pay for consultation sessions, and can provide an allowance for approved project work.

“Many Power Up Spartanburg participants indicated the importance of learning from experts in various fields. These sessions can go a long way to setting up the infrastructure a small business needs to start operations, grow, or hire new employees,” said OneSpartanburg, Inc. Business Engagement Manager Gabbi Pruitt.

Participating businesses are able to submit an application to be reviewed by the Power Up Spartanburg team before a connection is made with a participating Subject Matter Expert.

More information can be found at

Power Up University is a partnership aiming to provide hands-on courses allowing small and minority business-owners to gain the knowledge the need to start or expand a business.

So far, courses and curriculum have been developed and implemented at Spartanburg Community College and USC Upstate.

Along with these three new programs, Power Up Spartanburg will celebrate its first year with an event at FR8yard on April 29, the kick-off of U.S. Small Business Week. Participating and prospective businesses are invited to attend.

Anyone looking to get involved with Power Up Spartanburg is encouraged to fill out an intake form at

About OneSpartanburg, Inc

Our mission is to build a vibrant Spartanburg through business, economic and tourism development. Whether you’re looking for business resources, economic expertise, community leadership or tourism information, OneSpartanburg, Inc. is where you’ll find it.

About Power Up Spartanburg

Power Up Spartanburg, led by OneSpartanburg, Inc. and funded by Spartanburg County, is a movement to transform Spartanburg County into the #1 place in the U.S. to start, run, and grow a small or minority business.