Helping minority-owned construction companies

LOUISVILLE, Ky – A Kentucky nonprofit wants to help minority-owned construction companies grow and prosper in West Louisville and across the state. They do this by connecting people to free and useful resources to help foster growth and opportunity.

What would you like to know

  • Dennis Lawrence is the owner of Tilly Community Development
  • The Plan Room is a business development program of OneWest, Inc.
  • Lawrence said he wanted to revitalize communities in need
  • Plan Room services and resources are free

Dennis Lawrence always wanted to work in construction, but he says he never thought he would be able to do it.

He said it was not easy to find resources to help him. But, this passion in him burns hotly.

“We are creating affordable housing for everyone. We just want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to live in something that is beautiful and that looks good, ”Lawrence said.

So in January of this year, he created his company, Tilly Community Development. It is a restoration, home improvement, landscaping and construction company in Louisville. He named it after his mother who died of cancer about 4 years ago. Lawrence said she always wanted to help people.

“One thing I can say she taught me is to be kind to others, to love others and always respect others,” Lawrence told Spectrum News 1.

Lawrence said he wants to revitalize communities that are in need. He is still learning and wants not only to grow but also to help others.

So he prepared to go to a special place. It was a place dedicated to helping small minority-owned businesses succeed and grow.

“It’s very exciting! Words can’t explain,” Lawrence explained. “It means it’s about time. It means more things are going to happen now, for the community overseas.”

He went to the Portland Library in West Louisville for a useful meeting. The meeting is organized by a program called The plans room. In partnership with the nonprofit One West, it is a free business accelerator for minority-owned construction companies. It is designed to help existing business owners who need help achieving even greater success. Participants learn a lot, such as networking, mentoring, and business development.

“A lot of our courses focus on capacity building. Ensure that our companies have a very good core of administrative strength and maintain and support their activities. A lot of our entrepreneurs are looking for quote and estimate opportunities and really help them bid and estimate new opportunities for new businesses and land new projects, ”said Donovan Taylor, The Plan Room Manager.

There are multiple objectives, including increasing diversity and participation in local and regional construction.

“It is so important for our business community to help them grow. There has been, certainly in the construction industry, a history of discrimination and obstacles for our black and minority entrepreneurs. And starting to work strategically to remove those barriers and open up opportunities for our black and minority entrepreneurs is very essential. Taylor said.

Lawrence said he learned a lot from the meeting and was glad he went. He wants to one day pass this business on to his children and show them that you can succeed if you stick to it. He wants to inspire people.

“I want to pass a plan on to anyone who thinks they can’t do this and show them that the opportunity is there for them to do it. Laurent explained.

Lawrence said if people have the leadership to do it then the sky is the limit and they can do whatever they want too.

To find out more about The Plan Room and the resources available, you can call 502.384.0490 or visit their website.