Women of Color as Inventors, Innovators,
Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

African-Canadian Entrepreneur
Winner of Harry Jerome Young
Entrepreneur Award 2008

The 26th annual BBPA Harry Jerome Awards was held on April 26th, 2008 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Rayonne D. Caesar-Chavannes is Founder and Research Director of ReSolve Research Solutions, Inc., a research consulting and site management organization in Ontario CA.

Rayonne manages both quantitative and qualitative research projects and clinical trials, and is involved in the collection, management and analysis of relevant data, budget and contract preparation and negotiation, and regulatory requirements.

Latina Chief Engineer

Grace Lieblein is Global Vehicle Chief Engineer Front Wheel Drive Trucks - Global Product Development, an engineering team that is responsible for a global line of crossover vehicles, with nearly 350,000 sold annually on two continents.

The highest-ranking Hispanic woman at General Motors and the company's first Latina vehicle chief engineer, she started her career in the auto industry as an 18-year-old co-op student in the assembly division at General Motors. As GM™'s highest ranking Latina executive, Grace works to develop the talent of existing team members through her work as a founding board member of GM™'s Hispanic Initiative Team.

Pioneering African American Inventor

According to EnchantedLearning.com, Sarah E. Goode was the first African American woman to have received a patent in 1885 (patent #322,177, approved on July 14, 1885). She invented the folding cabinet bed, a space-saver that folded up against the wall into a cabinet. When folded up, it could be used as a desk, complete with compartments for stationery and writing supplies. Goode owned a furniture store in Chicago, Illinois, and invented the bed for people living in small apartments. As one of the first documented minority entrepreneurs, Ms. Goode had created what we now know as the "hide away" bed.


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SBA 8(a)
The 8(a) program is our country's effort to promote equal access for socially and economically disadvantaged companies to participate in the mainstream of our nation's economy. While the main purpose of the 8(a) program is to develop 8(a) companies, the rules and regulations of the program recognize that a small business may not always possess the entire breadth of skills required by the program manager.