MEDA Members’ Corner: Destiny Allen Mitchell

Name, Title, Organization

Destiny Allen Mitchell, Program Officer – National Economic Development, LISC

Explain your background in economic development

As an Economic Development Program Officer, I am responsible for supporting a wide range of small business and business development organizations support initiatives; focusing on helping partners strengthen their services to support Black, Indigenous and People of Color, women, and veteran entrepreneurs and building inclusive small business ecosystems in communities across the country. Prior to joining LISC, I worked as an Economic Development Specialist in Southern Maryland supporting economic development, business engagement, community development and entrepreneurial ecosystem building initiatives. I’m passionate about relationship building and being a community convener and connector.

What are your key priorities within your current position?

Communicating the great tools and resources partners are using across the country in a meaningful way. I am currently working to build out the LISC Business Development Network a cohort of 150+ organizations across the country serving BIPOC-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and other entrepreneurs in disinvested communities.

In this capacity I manage several projects to include LISC’s SBA Community Navigator Program working across 7 markets with 30 BDOs (Spokes) across the country.

Does one particular project spark your excitement? If so, describe it below.

I get joy from every aspect of my position. I am excited about learning more about small business ecosystems across the country and visiting locations

What attributes are unique to your community?

I now get to see economic development initiatives on a national level, but with local implementation strategies. Our organization is national, however, we have 38 markets across the country doing powerful work on the ground.

What are your locality’s top three “selling points” for future growth?

Our top three selling points of our Business Development (BDO) Network include:
(1) Capacity Building Grants
(2) Access to affordable financial products
(3) Connecting partners to resources, tools, and peer learning opportunities.

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you want to work with MEDA on to move Maryland forward?

Amplify the ways our organization is connected to Maryland. We are connected to a few current initiatives in Prince George’s County through our DC Team.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with MEDA and your fellow members?

I would also encourage everyone to sign up for our monthly BDO newsletter. This newsletter is dedicated to Business Development Organizations serving minority entrepreneurs across the country. Each month the LISC Economic Development team shares key resources, upcoming training events and webinars, grant and funding opportunities, small business spotlights, new research, policy briefs and more. Sign up for the newsletter here:

Please include any personal background information that you’d like to share (Alma mater, Military Service, hobbies, etc)

Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Leadership Southern Maryland, Emerging Leaders Program (LEAP) – Class of 2020

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