The Vivian’s Door Initiative

is a desktop/smartphone platform that connects minority business owners to an entrepreneurial ecosystem of opportunities and resources.

Inspired by the legacy of Vivian Malone Jones, the first African-American to graduate from the University of Alabama in 1965, the app serves as a gateway for entrepreneurs to cultivate relationships with their local community, government, and diversity officials, source mentors and investors, and achieve greater levels of success.

"The path to diversity begins with supporting, mentoring, and sponsoring diverse women and men to become leaders and entrepreneurs."

- Denise Morrison

First Female CEO, Campbell's Soup

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A History Of Fearlessness

On June 11, 1963, Vivian Malone Jones defied Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s attempts to deny her an education, and with state troopers at her side, marched through the doors of the University of Alabama's School of Commerce and Business Administration. Two years later, she became the first black person to graduate from the University of Alabama, and in 1996, the former governor presented Mrs. Vivian Malone Jones with the Lurleen B. Wallace Award for Courage, named for his late wife, and asked her forgiveness.

African Americans have a long and tiring history of adversity, but also of triumph in the face of it. When Vivian attended her first day of class, she was not alone – she had an entire community of family, friends, and supporters, who saw the importance of her actions, and knew that she was paving the way to something great for future generations. Our power is in standing behind each other, and this is the guiding principle behind Vivian’s Door.

Strength Through Community

Small businesses are the bedrock of any economy – creating jobs and spurring economic development in their communities – but creating and maintaining them is no easy task. Being a minority entrepreneur is especially lonely, and with a lack of guidance and adequate support system, minority businesses often remain underdeveloped, and in turn under-serve their economically struggling communities.

The Vivian’s Door Initiative, through partners, will connect minority business owners with every resource available to them within the community and at the government level, and provide scholarships for minority businesses to attend training programs to get them contract ready. The online community is managed through the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) Diversity and Inclusion App – the flagship platform of the Vivian’s Door initiative.

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What Is The MACC Diversity & Inclusion App?

It is an easy-to-use smartphone/mobile app, supported by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, which forms the basis for an online community that connects minority business owners with:

  • Federal contractors, community resources, and corporate supplier diversity officials.
  • Community members seeking their products and services.
  • A rich entrepreneurial ecosystem that better prepares minorities for business success in the Mobile Bay Region.

Why Now?

With the recent election of Doug Jones as the first senator of his type in Alabama within a generation, we witnessed, once again, what we can achieve with a common purpose. We are prepared to seize the moment, and while African Americans in Alabama are feeling empowered and are ready to reinvent themselves, create a new chapter in our lives that addresses economic self-sufficiency.

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