"TO BUILD STRONG RESOURCES FOR OUR COLLECTIVE, WE MUST COLLECTIVELY BUILD."
— MABEE Founder, ERIC U. II
WHO WE ARE
Founded in 2017, the Madison Alliance for Black Economic Empowerment (MABEE) is a community of professionals, entrepreneurs and service organizations focused on needs-based resource development to support opportunities for Black entrepreneurs. Partnered with the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce, MABEE connects Black entrepreneurs to resources, to each other and to revenue streams that strengthen our HIVE of collective resource and a thriving economy.
Recognized as one of The Most Influential Black Leaders in Wisconsin, Eric Steven Upchurch II is an entrepreneur, strategic development consultant, foreign economy technical analyst, community activist, educator and researcher. He teaches mindfulness and meditation in addition to stewarding entrepreneurial and economic empowerment initiatives. Prior to his current roles, Eric served as the Interim Executive Director for Madison's Black Chamber of Commerce, Director of Development and Marketing for the YWCA Madison, and 9 years as the CEO of ESUCEO Inc. Previous work included counseling and case management with Briarpatch and AmeriCorp as well as community engagement and grass roots organizing with Operation Welcome Home focusing on agency for people experiencing homelessness. Graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BS in Consumer Affairs/Business, Eric is learned in meditation, as a professional trader, orator, chief executive, strategist, development professional, mediator, organizer and counselor - delivering a variety of trainings from conflict resolution and business development to mindfulness and meditation.
Having an innate skill of innovation rooted in a spiritual perspective, labor and service, Eric’s advice has taken companies global and framed the seeds of developing success. Eric leans on lesson failures, accomplishments, embarrassments, knowledgeable advice, and a deep spiritual awareness in experience to move through the world with love as a global citizen.
Today, Eric is the Chief Visionary at Opportunity Inc. with a host of for-profit and non-profit community focused initiatives, one of the Lead Organizers for the Young Gifted and Black Coalition, founder of The Council Of Communities, Economic Empowerment WI, the Madison Alliance for Black Economic Empowerment, Practically Mindful, and father to Messiah Amun Grayson.
MABEE is a project from the strategic minds at Opportunity Inc. From his time as Executive Director of Madison's Black Chamber of Commerce, Opportunity Inc. Chief Visionary Eric S. Upchurch II saw a demand for needs-based resource development that could filled in partnership with the Black Chamber.
Opportunity Inc. supports fund development, administration and strategic partnerships with MABEE, while Madison's Black Chamber provides a platform to connect with hundreds of our businesses in the Black Business Directory.
Learn More about Opportunity Inc. at Opp-Inc.co
Learn More about Madison Black Chamber of Commerce.
While MABEE builds a solid non-profit base, Madison Regional Economic Partnership supports analysis of our our Business Needs Surveys.
Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) is the economic development agency for the eight-county Madison Region of southcentral Wisconsin.
Their Mission: Through a comprehensive regional approach to economic development, the strategic pursuit of job creation and business growth in target clusters, and the development of a coordinated talent pipeline, MadREP will lead the development of a dynamic economy where people and business thrive.
MadREP fills an important role in Wisconsin’s economic development landscape, serving as a partner and collaborator to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and other state agencies, as well as economic development initiatives within counties, municipalities, chambers of commerce, and the private sector.
Grayson Consulting, LLC takes a cutting edge approach to unpacking institutionalized racism with a systemic analysis. They're dedicated to supporting organizations in taking action towards equity. Their mission is to build analysis, awareness, solutions and leadership in project management and organizational development with a focus on leadership, communication, employee and community engagement, change and culture. They partner with clients to envision possibilities and activate their people, leading to transformative solutions, promoting organizational excellence, expansion, and sustainability.
MABEE Business Leaders are responsible for delivering Needs-Surveys, Finding Black Business Mentors, Building Partners and Memberships. Each Leadership member has agreed to deliver at least one needs-survey per month, and each quarter, find at least one mentor, one partner, and/or one new member. Slowly and surely, MABEE Leadership helps build the resources and capacity of the alliance, one step at a time. Find out more about joining the leadership here.