At the core of Black Onyx Management, Inc. (BOM) is the belief that Black businesses are essential to the lifeblood of the Indianapolis community. BOM’s founder, Marshawn Wolley, has prioritized elevating and investing in Black businesses throughout his entire career. This is why Black Onyx Management is excited for Marshawn to join the IU Kelley School of Business as associate faculty starting May 2022. Marshawn joins Kelley as the second year of the Enterprise Corps program kicks-off. In his new role, Marshawn will work to advise students, faculty, and small businesses participating in the program.
Enterprise Corps is a combined effort of the IU Kelley School of Business and the Indy Chamber’s Business Opportunity Initiative to cultivate more resources for small businesses in the Central Indiana region. The goal of the program is to connect small businesses with Kelley faculty and MBA teams in order to support small business education and growth. Since the long-term goal for the Enterprise Corps program is to create a regional network of support for small businesses, Marshawn’s placement as faculty within the program will equip Enterprise Corps to serve Black-owned small businesses at a higher capacity.
“Not only is Marshawn an accomplished Kelley MBA alum who has extensive teaching experience, but he is an invaluable resource for helping our current faculty and students understand the unique challenges faced by Black business owners in Indianapolis,” states Kelley School Associate Dean Phil Powell. “His presence ensures that our consulting teams deliver even more value for their Enterprise Corps clients.”
For Marshawn and Black Onyx Management, this opportunity is a full circle moment. As a young professional just cutting his teeth in the Indianapolis business community, Marshawn worked as a team lead for the Indianapolis Convention Center build where he focused on recruiting minority and women owned businesses for the center’s development. When he realized that he would need more education to become more effective at his job, he applied to the IU Kelley MBA program and used what he learned in the program to exceed his minority participation quota for the convention center’s development. The most valuable lesson he learned in the program is that community problems can be solved with business principles.
In the time since its founding in 2013, Black Onyx Management, Inc. has worked to enhance business opportunity and resources for the Indianapolis Black-owned small business community. Working with the City of Indianapolis in addition to organizations such as the Indianapolis Urban League, IndyChamber, and countless other groups, Black Onyx Management has consistently prioritized the critical financial needs of the Indianapolis Black community. With a set of core values that prioritize the needs of the community while achieving results using social science research and data, Marshawn and Black Onyx Management are perfectly poised to enhance the impact of Enterprise Corps and increase access to knowledge, networks, and financial capital for Black-owned businesses.
Now, with almost two decades of experience supporting Black-owned and Black-led businesses, nonprofits, and community organizations, Marshawn will use his knowledge and expertise to enhance the lives of even more Black-owned businesses by building connections for sustainable growth in the Enterprise Corps program. Within the program, there will be a number of Black-owned businesses that are well-acquainted with Marshawn and Black Onyx Management. Suzette Sweatt of Sweatt Fitness and Darryl Williams-Dotson of Wdi Architecture, who will participate in the Enterprise Corps program, are members of Indy Black Businesses Matter, a free program of Black Onyx Management which helps Black businesses to grow by enhancing storytelling, networking, and marketing using a head, heart, and hands approach.
For Marshawn and Black Onyx Management, the goal has always been to equip Black-owned businesses with the tools they need to become exceptional, and to display that success so as to illustrate to the entire community how essential and capable Black businesses in Indianapolis are. Marshawn's placement at the IU Kelley School of Business and within the Enterprise Corps program will work to the benefit of the entire business community in Indianapolis. Marshawn’s reputation and accomplishments are a testament to his commitment to enhancing the Indianapolis business community, and this posting will continue that work.