Metropolitan Business League finds new home

Free Press staff report | 11/23/2022, 6 p.m.
The Metropolitan Business League has a new home in the Capital One 1717 Innovation Center at 1717 E. Cary St., …

The Metropolitan Business League has a new home in the Capital One 1717 Innovation Center at 1717 E. Cary St., it has been announced.

The new location allows MBL to have “a renewed focus on innovation and technology and in increase in staff, finding a place with adequate capacity was critical,” according to a news release.

The building, a collaborative workspace for community organizations and entrepreneurs is owned by Capital One and also is home to nonprofits Startup Virginia, and Bridging Virginia.

“Our membership-based nonprofit has provided an array of services and support for small, women-owned, and minority-owned businesses throughout Central Virginia for

the past 53 years. This move allows us to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem with partners like Startup VA, Lighthouse Labs, and other business agencies” said MBL president and CEO Floyd E. Miller II.

“At the Capital One 1717 Innovation Center, we believe in the power of connections and have witnessed the innovations that spark when people come together. Having MBL join 1717 provides an exciting opportunity for new connections and the ability to work together to build a more vibrant community in Richmond”, Capital One’s Toria Edmonds-Howell added.

As MBL continues to transition during these unprecedented times, it is important to have a work environment and culture for staff that accommodates flexible work schedules, creativity, and fosters collaborations, the organization noted.

“We have had a long-standing collaboration with Metropolitan Business League and are incredibly excited to have them join our 1717 community. We look forward to strengthening our relationship, being neighbors and we believe the future of MBL is looking bright,” Startup Virginia Executive Director Richard Wintsch said.

MBL relocated its headquarters in early November and will host an official open house at the start of the new year. Founded in 1968 by a handful of influential, middle-aged Richmond business owners, the MBL was created to increase opportunities and profits for African-American businesses.

Today, the membership-based nonprofit has 950 members, according to a news release. The organization previously was based in Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood and later moved to 707 E. Main St.