SAVE THE DATE | WBDC 2024 Midwest Business Conference 9.12.24

Certified Access: Shawntera Hardy, Char Dobbs, and Camille Thomas
Co-Founders of Certified Access
Shawntera Hardy, Char Dobbs, and Camille Thomas; Co-Founders of Certified Access

Certified Access

What is the “Black-Owned Spotlight Series”? The Women’s Business Development Center is proud to celebrate the great business owners we work closely with. As part of our commitment to advocating for and amplifying diverse voices, we launched the WBDC Black-Owned Spotlight Series, where we will periodically highlight the experiences of our Black business owner community.

Meet Certified Access: Shawntera Hardy, Char Dobbs, and Camille Thomas are Co-Founders of Certified Access, an initiative of Fearless Commerce and The Activate Network. Certified Access was founded to create more equitable business practices and economic opportunities within the supplier diversity and procurement ecosystems. They serve Women of Color business owners, government, and corporate organizations. To learn more about Certified Access visit their website:

We asked: How do you support or serve your community?

Shawntera, Char, and Camille shared: We support our community and Women of Color by convening a supplier diversity and procurement ecosystem that is committed to equitable, accountable, and sustainable access, policies, expenditure, and outcomes. We do this through our Certified Academy & Alumni Program, consulting and our Annual CA 10x10x10 Summit. Our outcomes are being used to improve the systems and experiences in this ecosystem.

We asked: What is the best way others can support Black-owned businesses?

Shawntera, Char, and Camille shared: The support starts and ends with purchasing their goods and services, not just during Black History Month, Small Business Saturdays, or during an uprising but 365 days of the year. Supporting with purpose and true connection to the value Black businesses bring to the economy. Transactions can transform lives and communities.

We asked: What inspired you to start your business?

Shawntera, Char, and Camille shared: The limited access and glaring gaps in the stats for Women of Color receiving contract opportunities with government and corporations.

Thank you, Shawntera, Char, and Camille, for participating in the “Black-Owned Spotlight Series.” We are proud to have you in our WBE network.

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