Gov. Edwards Honors Louisiana’s Business Mentors and Their Proteges

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Photo courtesy of Louisiana Economic Development

BATON ROUGE, La. (press release) – Gov. John Bel Edwards recognized businesses participating in Louisiana’s Mentor-Protégé recognition program, which pairs up-and-coming small businesses with established, well-established employers in the state, at a ceremony Thursday at the state capitol. .

Established in 2018, the program provides protected businesses with valuable technical assistance and tools to build capacity and avoid common pitfalls that hinder small business growth. Mentor members deepen their relationships with potential suppliers and contractors while committing to the sustainability of small businesses in Louisiana.

“When established, successful mentor companies reach out and help build our budding small businesses, they provide an invaluable gift to our protégés and our state,” said Governor Edwards. “We could not be successful in Louisiana without the willingness of our largest employers and economic drivers to partner and support our Louisiana small businesses, like the mentor companies being recognized today.”

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LED has more than 6,700 companies certified in its Small and Emerging Business Development Program and more than 2,200 companies certified in the Hudson Initiative. The Mentor-Protégé program creates an additional growth opportunity for Louisiana’s small business community.

“By creating this mentor-advocate connection, we are increasing the ability of our key economic drivers to further diversify their supply chain and connect with promising, young small businesses in Louisiana,” said LED Secretary Don Pearson. “At the same time, we are increasing the ability of our protected companies to develop bandwidth in their services and capabilities. It’s a win-win, creating more economic opportunities for our large and small businesses and their employees.

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Mentors are selected from referrals from regional economic development groups and other stakeholders; protégés are selected by candidates certified in the LED Small and Emerging Business Development Program or the Hudson Initiative. Over the course of a year, mentors help their protégés gain key business development skills in financial management, inventory control, access to capital, risk management and marketing.

The following companies make up the Mentor-Protégé Recognition Program Class of 2022, with Mentor listed first and Protégé listed second:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana | Print source
  • Cheniere Energy | Technician rental service
  • Cheniere Energy | Raita management solutions
  • Cleco Corporate Holdings | Urban resource management
  • Jacob | Sustainable design solutions

Six other companies were recognized for their commitment to participate as future mentors and will select protégés in the near future:

  • Amaresco
  • Center point energy
  • Elmer’s Chocolate
  • NATCO Catering Service
  • New Orleans Pelicans/New Orleans Saints
  • Schoolmistress
  • Verizon
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Participating companies commit to working together for six to twelve months, with the option to renew the partnership for up to two additional years. As part of the application process, protégés identify their business development challenges to help mentor companies select partners that can best leverage their specific experience and expertise.

To apply for the program, visit For more information, contact Tatiana Bruce of LED at [email protected] or 225.342.5663. To learn more about LED’s Small and Emerging Business Development Program, visit


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