Dr. Temika Simmons Joins Higher Purpose Co. Board of Directors

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CLARKSDALE, Mississippi – April, 29 2019 – Dr. Temika M. Simmons, native of Jackson, Mississippi, has joined Higher Purpose Co. board of directors.

Simmons is a resident of the Mississippi Delta. She is a proud graduate of Jackson State University and Howard University where she received her undergraduate and graduate degree. In 2009, Simmons joined Delta State University faculty and currently serves as the Director of the Local Government Leadership Institute. While at DSU, she has been an active advocate of race, diversity, and student development.

In addition to Simmons newly elected role as a board member, she has membership on the American Association of University Women, DSU Diversity Committee, faculty advisor for the DSU African American Student Council, and co-chair for DSU Winning the Race Conference.

“It was my pleasure to learn more about Higher Purpose and it’s programming through our Winning the Race Conference at Delta State University,” said Simmons.

Simmons continued, “We supported previous programs that Mr. Lampkin facilitated in the community to educate women and men of color in business and entrepreneurship. This support was extended due to the conference efforts to partner with community advocates pushing issues of social and economic equity in communities of color.”

Simmons and Lampkin have remained in touch regarding future opportunities for collaboration and working together across the Mississippi Delta. “I’m truly grateful Dr. Simmons accepted the invitation to join our board. She has a depth of knowledge and we look forward to working with her to enhance our community wealth building programs across in Mississippi.” said Tim Lampkin, Chief Executive Officer of Higher Purpose Co.

Simmons is excited about joining Higher Purpose’s Board of Directors. “It is my hope to support the extension of the Higher Purpose’s work across the Delta, particularly in Washington County,” Simmons said. “I love the organization’s work around women and minorities and hope my contributions in those areas may be valuable.”

Simmons is a member of numerous professional and community organizations. She has made numerous presentations at state, national, and international conferences. She is also a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

“My personal aspirations for serving on the board just include giving back to the community and doing my part to make the Mississippi Delta a better place for all of us to live, work, and play,” said Simmons.

Higher Purpose Co. Launches Delta Creative Business Challenge

Clarksdale, MS -  Higher Purpose Co. announces the Delta Creative Business Challenge for local residents of Coahoma County to launch or expand their creative ventures. Enterprise Community Partners is funding this initiative with a $5,000 National Collaborative Action Grant. Higher Purpose Co. was selected from a competitive application process as one of the nonprofits across the country to receive funding in April 2018. 

The business categories for the challenge include Art, Film/Media, Graphic Design, Music, and Photography. Fifteen participants will be selected and receive free entrepreneurship training utilizing the Work of Art curriculum developed by nationally recognized arts/culture nonprofit  Springboard for the Arts. "We are thrilled to partner with Higher Purpose Co. to support their innovative, vital work to support creative entrepreneurs. The Delta Creative Business Challenge will be an important part of building a stronger creative community locally, regionally, and nationally" said Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts.

Participants will also learn about community wealth, economic justice, and racial equity. One entrepreneur will win the grand prize package valued at $1,000 * to support their business. Participants will meet twice a week from 6:00pm-8:00pm during the month of August which will lead to a community pitch competition and pop-up shop on September 1st. Residents must be 18 years old and currently live in Coahoma County to apply. Businesses owned by women and people of color will be prioritized during the application review process. Transportation & childcare will be provided as needed to selected participants. 

"The Mississippi Delta is the birthplace for several creatives, artists, and entrepreneurs who have built thriving businesses. We are continuing this tradition by supporting our local economy and assisting residents who have creative businesses. This pilot program will be the first of many new initiatives focused on business ownership. Our team and board of directors are grateful to received funding from Enterprise Community Partners to launch this program. We are also thankful for our partnership with the Center for Rural Strategies who continues to help us expand our impact in the Mississippi Delta" said Tim Lampkin, Chief Executive Officer, Higher Purpose Co. 

Learn more about the Delta Creative Business Challenge and apply online here to participate. 

About Higher Purpose Co. 

Higher Purpose Co. (HPC) is a nonprofit social impact agency based in Clarksdale, MS disrupting the racial wealth gap across in Northwest Mississippi by accelerating the ownership of businesses, land, and culture for people of color. For more information about Higher Purpose Co. contact Tim Lampkin at tim@higherpurposeco.org

Higher Purpose Co. expands Capital Access Program with Communities Unlimited

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(Ryne S. Gipson, Sr. COO of Higher Purpose Co., Deborah Temple, Director of Lending, Communities Unlimited, and Tim Lampkin, CEO of Higher Purpose Co.)

Higher Purpose Co. (HPC) recently partnered with Communities Unlimited (CU) to provide capital to underserved entrepreneurs in the Mississippi Delta area. The partnership with CU expands HPC's capital access program which was launched last May with the micro-lender Kiva. HPC has helped several entrepreneurs receive affordable capital to launch or expand their business in the region. "We are excited to partner with Communities Unlimited to provide an additional option for entrepreneurs to receive the financing they need for their business. CU is a nonprofit CDFI which gives them more flexibility to work with entrepreneurs at various stages. The interest rates are affordable and CU will consider various kinds of collateral in order to help entrepreneurs have their own business. We believe ownership is critical to building community wealth throughout our region" said Ryne S. Gipson Sr, Cheif Operating Officer of Higher Purpose Co. Entrepreneurs in the following counties Coahoma, Bolivar, Sunflower, Tunica, Washington, Tallahatchie, Quitman, and Leflore are eligible to receive assistance with their loan application and required documents required to apply for funding. HPC will work directly with entrepreneurs during the entire process and provide additional business support services as needed. Borrowers can request up to $100,000 to support their business. Credit will be considered but will not be the only factor determining approval. Some clients will be referred to free credit counseling prior to applying for a loan. Interested entrepreneurs should complete the client intake form here and select access to capital for their business need. For more information please email team@higherpurpose.co or call 662-592-5273.