Leah Ellis graduates from LEAP’s second One and All program

leahmonet llc. founder and owner Leah Ellis was part of the second graduating class of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s One and All program. The class, which began in January, included 23 entrepreneurs taking the next steps toward building or growing their businesses.

LEAP’s One and All program offers participants a unique combination of business and communication training, coaching and mentoring in a two-month program, while also connecting participants with a professional network and business resources — all of which are common obstacles to success for entrepreneurs and small-business owners from underserved populations. One and All was created in 2020 by LEAP and funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Consumers Energy Foundation. The inaugural program began Aug. 26, 2020 and graduated 17 participants Oct. 22, 2020. The second class began in January 2021 and graduated in March 2021. “LEAP is thrilled to welcome the next group of entrepreneurs to One and All, along with our generous financial partners, the MEDC and the Consumers Energy Foundation,” Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP, said in a January news release. “The commitment to helping create equitable opportunities for economic mobility among our most vulnerable populations continues to be of the utmost importance at LEAP.” The 23 entrepreneurs who graduated from the second One and All program gained access to immersive business and communication training, coaching and mentoring, an extended professional network, and a small seed investment. Lack of access to these critical resources is a common obstacle to success, especially for the underrepresented populations the One and All program supports. “The One and All initiative was designed to address the systemic barriers that stand between historically underserved populations and small-business ownership. The success of this initiative is only possible through collaboration with our incredible program partners,” said Anum Mughal, LEAP’s manager of new ventures and the One and All program leader. “The (Small Business Development Center) has further deepened their commitment to One and All by hiring a full-time consultant to specifically facilitate their role in each two-month program.” One and All is an inclusive entrepreneurship program for the Greater Lansing region designed to increase successful entrepreneurship and small-business ownership among underrepresented populations including people of color, women, persons with disabilities, immigrants, military veterans, racial or ethnic minority groups, and refugees and returning citizens across Clinton, Eaton, Ingham and Shiawassee counties who fall below the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed threshold, commonly known as the working poor. ALICE households earn more than the federal poverty level but less than the basic cost of living for the state.

A video featuring Ellis and the rest of the 2021 One and All graduating class can be seen here.