PRESS RELEASE: Browning the Green Space Opens Applications for Year 3 of ACCESS, a Business Boot Camp for BIPOC Contractors and Entrepreneurs

The 10-week business training program provides entrepreneurs of color with the tools and resources to build businesses in the clean energy industry

Boston, MA, April 30, 2024 – Today, Browning the Green Space (BGS), a Northeast-based nonprofit dedicated to making clean energy and other climate-related fields more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, announced the opening of its application process for new and aspiring clean energy business owners to participate in Year 3 of Accelerating Contractors of Color in Energy for Sustainable Success (ACCESS).

ACCESS, first launched by BGS in 2022, is a 10-week paid contractor boot camp that provides entrepreneurs of color with curated business coaching, access to capital, and connections to customers, clients, and potential partners that can support in the launch and growth of a successful contracting business in the region’s high-demand clean energy industry. By developing a stronger on-ramp for Black and Brown entrepreneurs to build businesses in the clean energy sector, that will in turn boost the local adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy, ACCESS aims to build wealth and resilience within Black and Brown communities throughout New England.

The first two years of the program supported 27 graduates that have gone on to explore, start and grow businesses in EV charging, offshore wind, rooftop solar, geothermal, energy consulting, and clean energy workforce development. Graduates have received $260,000 in regranted funding secured by BGS to support business startup costs and been awarded 22 contracts totaling $1.5 million through open Request for Proposals and state-level grants.

This program is made possible through support from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a state economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the growth of the clean energy sector across the Commonwealth.

“Tens of thousands of residents across Massachusetts have found fulfilling careers in the clean energy industry, and we’re committed to diversifying this growing workforce by supporting partners like Browning the Green Space,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Dr. Emily Reichert. “The ACCESS program provides Black and Brown entrepreneurs with the resources they need to turn their trade skills into profitable clean energy businesses. MassCEC is proud to support Year 3 of ACCESS!”

ACCESS is also funded by the SouthCoast Wind Fund, managed by the SouthCoast Community Foundation.

“As the offshore wind industry continues to ramp up, so does the need for workers and suppliers who will help the industry grow,” said Michael Brown, CEO of SouthCoast Wind. “SouthCoast Wind is honored to support the ACCESS program and its work to increase representation from Black and Brown communities in the offshore wind industry. We’re thrilled with its success and are looking forward to meeting the next group of Boot Camp participants.”

“ACCESS fills an important gap in the training ecosystem in Massachusetts by supporting experienced tradespeople and aspiring entrepreneurs with customized climate-focused business training,” said Kerry Bowie, Executive Director and President of Browning the Green Space. “As we seek to expand the program to 24 participants in year three, we are invested in continuing to grow our impact on diversifying clean energy contracting and building wealth for BIPOC business owners.”

“The New England Regional Innovation Node at MIT is pleased to support the ACCESS program with regional and national I-Corps training materials and instructor coaching,” said Beth Kahn, Associate Director of NE I-Corps at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Our partnership with BGS is a part of our commitment to supporting skill development of underrepresented entrepreneurs by coaching them through the important early stages of the customer discovery process to identify and validate customer needs for their businesses.”

“The ACCESS Program empowers participants to turn their clean energy business ideas into reality. It not only equips them with the knowledge and skills needed for success but also connects them to a supportive community of like-minded individuals,” said Latane Brackett, Innovation Program Manager at Jackson State University and ACCESS ‘23 Lead Instructor. “Through this program, participants gain the confidence and tools necessary to thrive as clean energy entrepreneurs.”

“ACCESS has truly given me the tools, strategies, support, and mentorship that my company needs to successfully scale,” said Beth Griffith, Founder of Renewable Renegades and ACCESS ‘22 Graduate. “If you have ever considered starting a green business or are a woman or BIPOC business owner; this program is an essential resource for you in getting started.”

“ACCESS has been an invaluable resource on my entrepreneurial journey, providing the structure and guidance I have been seeking,” said Shii-Anna Mudie, ACCESS ‘23 Graduate. “The program challenged me to thoroughly examine the problem I aim to solve and to consider how I can build a sustainable business around it.”

Applications for ACCESS are due by August 31, 2024. Interested applicants can learn more about the program by visiting the website or contacting Applicants must be based in Massachusetts. The program is designed for people with at least a few years of technical/trade experience who are interested in starting their own contracting business in clean energy or energy efficiency.


About Browning the Green Space
Browning the Green Space (BGS) is a nonprofit coalition of leaders and organizations, primarily
in the New England region, that share the passion to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in
clean energy and climatetech. BGS seeks to facilitate a just energy transition by putting Black
and Brown communities first, and enabling systems change at the intersection of social,
environmental, and economic justice. BGS is powering a just energy transition by creating jobs,
building wealth, and reducing the energy burden in Black and Brown communities. By removing
barriers and expanding access, BGS seeks to close the racial wealth gap while combating
climate change. BGS is focused on a comprehensive approach to addressing DEI across key
clean energy and climate tech areas through five connected but distinct focus areas: Careers,
Companies, Capital, Contracts, and Communities.

Media Contact
Megan Aki
617-221-3715 ext. 0