Your community needs you to create that business, tackle the big problems, and inspire people to action. We can show you how.


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  • This is a new approach to community and economic development that maximizes our best assets: the combined talents and resources of the people

  • We work with inspiring people – like you – to catalyze innovative ideas to help end economic inequality in the South


SOUL'lutions Business Accelerator minimizes the barriers facing local African-American start-up businesses. The program is a six-week course that provides coaching around such topics as business planning, marketing, development, and customer retention. Upon successful completion of the program, active and operational vendors will be eligible for a 0% loan program.

SOUL’utions Business Accelerator 19 Aug SOULutions-Accelerator-_cover-page-0011

2015 Business Accelerator Application – Selma 2015 Business Accelerator Application – Birmingham Business Accelerator A business accelerator provides business development and/or support services for use by the participants. These services shall include,but are not limited to, financial consulting assistance, management and marketing development, business education, customer relations, legal assistance and investor pitch preparation as a […]


Community is a powerful concept when deployed strategically, passionately and with purpose. Explore how to embrace the power of community to affect real, transformative change - economically and beyond.

Selma Summit 2015 27 May Selma-Logo-_2015

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the trailblazing march from Selma to Montgomery, AL for civil and voting rights – and coinciding with President Barack Obama’s address to mark the occasion – on March 7, 2015, the Emerging ChangeMakers Network hosted a panel discussion sponsored by its program offshoot, SOUL’UTIONS. The panel, entitled MY […]

Southern Jam 13 Feb southern

SOUTHERN JAM REPORTS EVENT NARRATIVE The 2nd Annual Southern Jam took place from May 27 – June 1, 2014 at the Prama Institute, a non-profit, holistic retreat center located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia, in Marshall, NC. The Southern Jam’s goals were to: 1) End fragmentation of efforts by bringing organizers together […]


To address the need for impact capital focused on food systems in rural Alabama, Emerging ChangeMakers Network has launched the “SOUL’utions Business Accelerator” and the “SOUL’utions Investment Club.” These programs are designed to employ an economic strategy for harnessing the assets of community residents and connecting investors to viable markets.

SOUL’utions Community Investing 27 Feb soul

Harnessing the Power Recognizing a need to facilitate a turnkey and accessible platform for seamlessly converting individual empowerment into community advancement, social entrepreneur Jessica Norwood sought to establish a grassroots extension of her influential Emerging ChangeMakers Network.  The charity pinpoints marginalized communities within the Deep South, and, through the strategic deployment of capital, policy and leadership […]


Research. Demonstration projects. Success stories. Press.

Research & Reports 19 Aug

Healthy food access Southern jam report

Demonstrations & Pilot Programs 19 Aug

The impact of the SOUL’UTIONS initiative has been striking – and our efforts are burgeoning and becoming more ambitious with each project.  Examples of some successfully executed collaborations include: Tuskegee University – SOUL’UTIONS facilitated a small farmers Wal-Mart initiative, providing consulting on strategies for bringing more capital to the project. North Mobile County Food Park and Market– worked with Mobile county and city of Prichard, AL to create more opportunity […]

Success Stories 19 Aug

Rose and Tamera Hill Used Seed-Capacity Grant to Launch Dream Retail Shop. Rose and Tamera Hill are participants in the SOUL’utions Business Accelerator program – a 60-hour intensive curriculum designed to accelerate a socially conscious business and get it investment-ready.  After navigating through a competitive application process and pitching their business idea, the budding entrepreneurs […]

Press 19 Aug

8 Main Street Job Creators Who Are Rebooting the Economy—Starting with Those Who Need It Most – See more >

about us


The Emerging ChangeMakers Network brings innovative ideas and inspiring leaders together to address issues of economic injustice within the Deep South. Our “change-making” activities are focused in three (3) key areas: leadership, capital, and policy. The combined strategic application of these business elements effectively work to dramatically alter the status or conditions in historically marginalized communities.


Every person possesses capabilities and gifts – often untapped – that should be allowed to flourish and be expressed, unfettered. The creation of a healthy, inclusive community depends on creating an environment that acknowledges the full realization of everyone’s abilities, no matter the capacity. When people are denied the opportunity to share the wholeness of who they are and the gifts they have to offer, our communities suffer. We believe the importance of establishing a platform for connection – between those with generosity to offer and those who are in need – is the solution to the fragmented system that keeps us from exploring and tendering our fullest potential.

Since 2007, the Emerging ChangeMakers Network has evolved as a lifestyle organization that helps civic-minded individuals tap into their full promise – through the philanthropic and entrepreneurial spirit – by connecting them to strategies that can lead to building resilient communities in the U.S. South.


EntrepreneurshipEducationMutual ResponsibilitySelf-CriticismAccountabilityTransparencyReciprocityInnovationCreative ExpressionConstructive CriticismSharingCo-creationLife ExperienceSelf-AwarenessJusticeGreat EffortCommunityRecyclingInterconnectednessStrategic PlanningCelebrationCooperative OwnershipQualityFaithHopeProcess and Product Learning and Unlearning.


This is who we are - the Change Agents behind ECMN.

Download Press Kit for Jessica Norwood

Jessica Norwood Executive Director & founder
Charity Reed Abrams Program and Administrative Coordinator
Anitra Henderson Special Projects and Communications
Latanya Millhouse SOUL’utions Investor Development and Business Accelerator
William Scott SOUL’utions Business Accelerator and Sustainable Business Network

Advisory Board

Teumbay “Tee” Barnes, Chairperson of the Board

Cora Cade Lemmon, Elder Advisor

Deborah Scott, Fiscal and Program Management Advisor

Bob Dickerson, Small Business Lending Advisor

LaTosha Brown, Philanthropic Advisor

Jesse Norwood, Strategic Advisor

Marjorie Kelly, Community Investing Advisor

Shilpa Jain, Visionary Young Leadership Advisor

Malika Fortier, Esq. Community Engagement Advisor

Ricardo Woods, Esq. Legal Advisor




Who will carry out the vision? Are they ready?

Invest in change

How will these ideas get off the ground? How will this vision be sustained?

See the Change

What is the impact? What are the results and stories of success?



Contact us

Post Office Box 816, Mobile, AL 36601, United States


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