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Morgan Stanley Introduces the Small Business Academy to Promote Equity and Empower Diverse-Owned Small-Business Leaders

  • The Academy enables small businesses to differentiate themselves in the procurement process by leveraging their competitive advantages, strengthening their business acumen and expanding their professional networks.
  • The Academy consists of a 12-week virtual, instructor-facilitated learning experience, followed by a yearlong mentorship program.

Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Inclusion (IFI) and the Morgan Stanley Supplier Diversity Program are announcing the inaugural class of the Morgan Stanley Small Business Academy (the Academy). Established to promote equity and empower diverse-owned small-business leaders, this educational initiative enables small businesses to differentiate themselves in the procurement process, strengthen their business acumen and expand their professional networks. Each class consists of a 12-week virtual, instructor-facilitated learning experience, followed by a yearlong mentorship program.

“We are proud to welcome the Academy’s inaugural class of 2022 and to see their businesses grow and develop through the program,” said Susan Reid, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Morgan Stanley, and Director of the Morgan Stanley Institute for Inclusion. “The Academy is yet another step Morgan Stanley is taking to promote equity in society at large and expand business opportunities for diverse-owned businesses.”

“For small businesses to get their foot in the door, it is critical that they have a clear understanding of the procurement process for large corporations,” said Shendora Pridgen, Global Head of Supplier Diversity, Morgan Stanley. “The Academy complements our Supplier Diversity Program and helps extend opportunities for diverse-owned small businesses to pursue contracts with leading corporations.”

The inaugural cohort kicked off the virtual Academy on April 25, 2022 with the following companies:

  • Blu Fable: a creative content agency that helps brands give voice to their values.
  • Hootology: a modernized market research and insights company that fuses the art and science of information gathering for smarter business decisions.
  • Impact Consulting: a management consulting firm specializing in Talent and Organizational Development (OD) as well as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies and solutions.
  • InnovatorsBox: a consulting and education-focused organization focused on the science and strategy of workplace creativity. Their research-based and interactive programs empower corporations, professionals, educators, students, and entrepreneurs to unlock their creative mindsets and thrive in today’s complex workplaces.
  • IT Creative Labs: a full-service technology company, specializing in software development and support, digital marketing suite of services and IT staffing.
  • Runaway Train Productions: an award-winning, female-founded video production company committed to empowering women and historically underrepresented groups both in front of and behind the camera.
  • Sam's Word (dba 628 Digital Design): a full-service digital content design and marketing agency serving organizations globally, offering comprehensive and integrated copywriting, creative design, and marketing solutions.
  • Solvitur Systems: an IT consulting firm specializing in cybersecurity, systems modernization, IT risk management, privacy & data protection, program management and cloud computing services.
  • The Posture People: a client-focused injury prevention and workplace ergonomic solutions specialist for businesses across multiple industries. They empower a healthier workforce with onsite, in-person, and virtual solutions.
  • TLZ Architecture DPC (dba Bureau V Architecture): an award-winning interdisciplinary practice dedicated to culturally responsive and inclusive architecture and design.

To learn more about the Academy please visit:

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in 41 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

About the Morgan Stanley Institute for Inclusion

The Morgan Stanley Institute for Inclusion, together with our overall commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, brings our employees, communities and clients together in a shared commitment to creating a more equitable society. The Institute for Inclusion aims to catalyze and accelerate an integrated and transparent diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy to deliver the full potential of Morgan Stanley and drive meaningful change within the Firm and beyond. To learn more please visit,

CRC 4660150 04/2022


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