The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the LGBT community, is proud to announce an exciting new program for LGBT entrepreneurs, as well a $500,000 investment in expanding highly successful programming established during the pandemic through a new grant from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund.

The new NGLCC iLead: Grow, Scale & Contract Program will serve as a program to enhance the technical skills and capacity of LGBT firms. The program will be facilitated as small group workshops over a series of months and will include detailed instruction on critical elements such as: capabilities statements and decks; how to appropriately respond to request for proposals (RFP); and perfecting your pitch.

“As we begin a new year of growth and recovery, both the NGLCC iLead and XLR8 programs are the kind of innovations and support that the 1.4 million LGBT business owners — and the $1.7 trillion they add to the US economy each year – have come to expect from their champions at the NGLCC. We are proud to expand our collaboration with one of our longest-standing, most trusted partners in LGBT economic opportunity, Wells Fargo. Together we will ensure every LGBT entrepreneur has every resource they need to scale and thrive in this difficult marketplace,” said NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson.

Building upon the success of NGLCC’s highly sought-after NGLCC Sip & Pitch Fridays program, the NGLCC iLead Program will include targeted sessions for NGLCC Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (LGBTBE) companies to pitch before corporate buyers and receive overall feedback and critique to hone in on their pitches and decks. Each participant in the program will also receive executive coaching for a six-month period, allowing the LGBT business owner participants to build relationships with and get tailored firsthand support from an expert and providing them with the resources to take their companies to the next level.

The NGLCC XLR8 Program will continue to focus on businesses ranging from $100,000 to $750 million in annual revenues and will help them create sustainable and meaningful growth for their companies. Key areas of NGLCC XLR8’s focus include: economic and business recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, management and leadership innovation, access to capital and financial literacy, pre- and post-event mentorship, team development, digital transformation, as well as marketing, communications and branding.

“We’re so inspired by the resilience of today’s business owners in the face of so many economic challenges,” said Jenny Flores, head of small business growth philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “By tapping into NGLCC’s leadership and network, our goal is to greatly expand access to trusted experts who can offer LGBT entrepreneurs valuable insights and skills to navigate these times and accelerate business growth.“

Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund is a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort created to help entrepreneurs stay open, maintain jobs and grow. Through this initiative, Wells Fargo has deployed grants to nonprofits and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to provide small business owners with greater access to capital, technical expertise and recovery resources, with an emphasis on supporting small businesses most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Small business owners looking for support can visit for tips and ideas.

Applications for NGLCC’s XLR8 program are now open at: