Genesis Block Foundations is a 501c3, not for profit, advancing entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities.  Our Mission is to reduce barriers to access in support of equity in entrepreneurship, promoting prosperity and empowerment through advancing entrepreneurship in underserved communities.  Click To Donate Today!!!

Created by potrace 1.12, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2015

Mentoring Opportunities

Our Three Focus Areas

Genesis Block Foundations is a 501c3, not for profit, advancing entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities.  Our Mission is to reduce barriers to access in support of equity in entrepreneurship, promoting prosperity and empowerment through advancing entrepreneurship in underserved communities.  Click To Donate Today!!!

Our Three Focus Areas

Genesis Block Foundations is a 501c3, not for profit, advancing entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities.  Our Mission is to reduce barriers to access in support of equity in entrepreneurship, promoting prosperity and empowerment through advancing entrepreneurship in underserved communities.  Click To Donate Today!!!

Created by potrace 1.12, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2015

Mentoring Opportunities

Our Three Focus Areas

WELCOME TO
GENESIS BLOCK
FOUNDATION
ADVANCING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN
UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES
Click Here
WELCOME TO
GENESIS BLOCK
FOUNDATION
ADVANCING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN
UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES
Click Here
WELCOME TO
GENESIS BLOCK
FOUNDATION
ADVANCING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN
UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES
Click Here
WELCOME TO
GENESIS BLOCK
FOUNDATION
ADVANCING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN
UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES
Click Here
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Genesis Block Foundations is a 501c3, not for profit, advancing entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities.  Our Mission is to reduce barriers to access in support of equity in entrepreneurship, promoting prosperity and empowerment through advancing entrepreneurship in underserved communities.  Click To Donate Today!!!

Created by potrace 1.12, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2015

Mentoring Opportunities

Our Three Focus Areas

Entrepreneurship Training and Support

Ensure resources and programs available for entrepreneurs in underrepresented communities that provide business development service for early stage businesses, entrepreneurs and small business owners

Youth Entrepreneurship

Ensure resources and programs available to support early exposure and access to entrepreneurship for youth in underrepresented communities

Innovation Corridors

Will serve as a catalyst for innovation and bring state of the art resources to traditionally underserved neighborhoods

Genesis Block Foundations is a 501c3, not for profit, advancing entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities.  Our Mission is to reduce barriers to access in support of equity in entrepreneurship, promoting prosperity and empowerment through advancing entrepreneurship in underserved communities.  Click To Donate Today!!!

OUR IMMEDIATE NEED
We are excited to move our Program Offerings forward into 2023!
As you can see we have big plans.
Our immediate need is to secure a Program
Director to lead these efforts.
Your support will help!

Meet Our Boad Members

Tracey Newkirk, Executive Director

Tracey founded the African American Business Council for the Chamber of Commerce and acted as chairwoman for 2 years.  She serves as a board member for the  Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Alliance, Novant Coastal Region Board, WARM (Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry) Board and Truist Advisory Board

Ned Marable, Chair

Ned has worked in the banking industry for over forty-two years, and currently is a Business Banker with First National Bank in Wilmington.  He has served on several foundation boards including the Catherine Kennedy Home Foundation and the K H Simpson Foundation.  He has served as a volunteer/fundraiser for Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity and the Cape Fear Council Boy Scouts of America.  He is an active member/volunteer at Christ Community Church, where he also serves as the Treasurer.

Khalilah Olokunola, Vice Chair

Khalilah is the former Chair of the New Hanover County Commission for Women, Reviving the once defunct board on behalf of both the county and city. She currently serves as the DEI Chair for Sustainable Brands, a global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. She also sits on the Bob Barker Foundation Advisory where she helps shape programs and allocate funding to organizations across the US focused on reducing recidivism and she is on the development committee for the Stakeholders Score Card, an open source tool to help organizations measure critical areas.

Girard Newkirk

Girard Newkirk is a social impact entrepreneur serving as Cofounder and CEO of Genesis Block.  Girard is a native of Pender County and moved back to the Wilmington area by way of San Jose, California in November of 2018 with a mission to develop technology, entrepreneurship and the small business ecosystem in the Cape Fear Region. He was awarded the 2018 Regional Startup World Cup Champion in Nairobi, Kenya for his work in providing renewable energy access for off grid communities. In 2019, KWHCoin also founded by Newkirk, won the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards Emerging Company for the company’s work on combining renewable energy and technology. In 2020, he was named to the Top 100 Business Leaders in Wilmington by the Greater Wilmington Business for his work with Genesis Bock and Building the Entrepreneur Class.  He serves on the boards of the Cape Fear Museum, Cape Fear Collective, Cape Fear Community College Information Technology Committee and the City of Wilmington Clean Energy Task Force.

Sharm Brantley, Treasure

Tufanna Bradley, Secretary

Tufanna serves on multiple boards in New Hanover County: Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County Board of Directors, Cape Fear Continuum of Care Board of Directors, Delta Foundation of the Cape Fear Board of Directors, NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher Advisory Board and the Wilmington Downtown Inc. Board of Directors.

Lisa Weeks

Lisa is a native to Wilmington and recently retired from the pharmaceutical industry. She served two terms on the Wrightsville Beach Board of Alderman, started the WB Farmers Market and help create and served on the board of the WB Foundation. She currently serves on the Weekend Meals on Wheels Council and started the Taste of Wrightsville Beach fundraiser for the organization. She is also involved in the Cape Fear Womens’ Club volunteer organization, chaired the Lower Cape Fear Lifecare Center fundraiser and has volunteered for numerous non-profit fundraisers in the area.

Genesis Block Foundation

Advancing Entrepreneurship in Underrepresented Communities

Genesis Block Foundation is a 501c3, not for profit, advancing entrepreneurship in underrepresented communities.  Our Mission is to reduce barriers to access in support of equity in entrepreneurship, promoting prosperity and empowerment through advancing entrepreneurship in underserved communities.  

Our 3 Focus Areas

Entrepreneurship Training and Support

Entrepreneurship Training and Support

Ensure resources and programs are available for entrepreneurs in underrepresented communities that provide business development service for early stage businesses, entrepreneurs and small business owners

Youth Entrepreneurship

Youth Entrepreneurship

Ensure resources and programs are available to support early exposure and access to entrepreneurship for youth in underrepresented communities

Innovation
Corridors

Innovation Corridors

Will serve as a catalyst for innovation and bring state of the art resources to traditionally underserved neighborhoods

About Jumpstart Academy

Fueling Business Ideas at Jumpstart Academy

In the spirit of advancing entrepreneurship block by block, we’re thrilled to share a peek at the 2024 Jumpstart Academy program. As a pivotal component of Genesis Block Foundation’s commitment to fostering inclusive and sustainable economic development, the Jumpstart Academy is an 8-week intensive course designed to validate business ideas and propel early-stage entrepreneurs toward success.

What is Jumpstart Academy?

Jumpstart Academy is more than just a program; it’s a dynamic incubator for budding entrepreneurs. Over eight weeks, founders embark on an immersive experience that provides comprehensive skills training, free webinars, and virtual seminars, imparts lean business development principles and offers invaluable mentoring developed through monthly consultations. At its core, Jumpstart Academy is the launchpad for idea validation, equipping entrepreneurs with the tools they need to turn their visions into thriving ventures.

We help Jumpstart Academy members:

  • Develop and apply business strategies
  • Monitor progress and build accountability for plan implementation
  • Align business strategies with comprehensive information
  • Measure progress and provide feedback on strategy
  • Access resources to strengthen business venture
  • Access a community that can help grow and sustain your business
  • Validate your business idea

Who the Academy Serves

Our commitment to inclusivity is reflected in Jumpstart Academy’s tailored approach. This curriculum (licensed from Genesis Block Labs and created in partnership with Granitt Training) is specifically crafted to support community entrepreneurs, minority-owned firms, and local businesses. We believe in the power of diverse perspectives and understand that every business idea, regardless of its origin, has the potential to drive economic growth and community prosperity.

Business Idea Validation at Demo Day

At the end of the program is Demo Day, a highly-anticipated event where graduates of the Jumpstart Academy will take the stage to showcase their validated business ideas. Each entrepreneur will have four minutes to present their validated business idea before the community.

Apply Now 

If you are interested or know of anyone who may be interested, click the link below to apply for the 2024 Jumpstart Academy program and/or share it with others. Follow our social media pages or tune into your inbox to stay up to date on the latest.

Genesis Block Foundation, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN #85-2618849. Donations are tax deductible.

Board of Directors

Tracey Newkirk, Executive Director

Tracey founded the African American Business Council for the Chamber of Commerce and acted as chairwoman for 2 years. She serves as a board member for the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Alliance, Novant Coastal Region Board, WARM (Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry) Board and Truist Advisory Board

Ned Marable, Chair

Ned has worked in the banking industry for over forty-two years, and currently is a Business Banker with First National Bank in Wilmington. He has served on several foundation boards including the Catherine Kennedy Home Foundation and the K H Simpson Foundation. He has served as a volunteer/fundraiser for Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity and the Cape Fear Council Boy Scouts of America. He is an active member/volunteer at Christ Community Church, where he also serves as the Treasurer.

Khalilah Olokunola, Vice Chair

Khalilah is the former Chair of the New Hanover County Commission for Women, reviving the once defunct board on behalf of both the county and city. She currently serves as the DEI Chair for Sustainable Brands, a global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. She also sits on the Bob Barker Foundation Advisory where she helps shape programs and allocate funding to organizations across the US focused on reducing recidivism and she is on the development committee for the Stakeholders Score Card, an open source tool to help organizations measure critical areas.

Girard Newkirk

Girard Newkirk is a social impact entrepreneur serving as Cofounder and CEO of Genesis Block. Girard is a native of Pender County and moved back to the Wilmington area by way of San Jose, California in November of 2018 with a mission to develop technology, entrepreneurship and the small business ecosystem in the Cape Fear Region. He was awarded the 2018 Regional Startup World Cup Champion in Nairobi, Kenya for his work in providing renewable energy access for off grid communities. In 2019, KWHCoin also founded by Newkirk, won the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards Emerging Company for the company’s work on combining renewable energy and technology. In 2020, he was named to the Top 100 Business Leaders in Wilmington by the Greater Wilmington Business for his work with Genesis Block and Building the Entrepreneur Class. He serves on the boards of the Cape Fear Museum, Cape Fear Collective, Cape Fear Community College Information Technology Committee and the City of Wilmington Clean Energy Task Force.

Tufanna Bradley, Secretary

Tufanna serves on multiple boards in New Hanover County: Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County Board of Directors, Cape Fear Continuum of Care Board of Directors, Delta Foundation of the Cape Fear Board of Directors, NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher Advisory Board and the Wilmington Downtown Inc. Board of Directors.

Lisa Weeks

Lisa is a native to Wilmington and recently retired from the pharmaceutical industry. She served two terms on the Wrightsville Beach Board of Alderman, started the WB Farmers Market and helped create and served on the board of the WB Foundation. She currently serves on the Weekend Meals on Wheels Council and started the Taste of Wrightsville Beach fundraiser for the organization. She is also involved in the Cape Fear Womens’ Club volunteer organization, chaired the Lower Cape Fear Lifecare Center fundraiser and has volunteered for numerous non-profit fundraisers in the area.

Sharm Brantley, Treasurer

Get In Touch with Genesis Block Foundation

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