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Swisher and CEI partner to help underrepresented entrepreneurs

CEI logo on a white background Swisher, a category leader in adult consumer lifestyle brands, in conjunction with the University of North Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI), today announced the establishment of a new program that supports underrepresented entrepreneurs in pursuing their business goals. The program is named The Swisher Startup for Underrepresented Entrepreneurs and reinforces Swisher’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, as well as the CEI’s commitment to supporting early-stage companies and entrepreneurs in Northeast Florida and the surrounding area.

“Swisher has joined corporate America in addressing racial inequality not just within our own organization, but throughout our community,” said John Miller, President of Swisher. “Our partnership with UNF underscores our commitment to civic participation, and our firm belief in encouraging entrepreneurship opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs from all walks of life.” 

Swisher’s financial commitment will help nurture the goal of entrepreneurship among aspiring entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities by providing financial support for facilitators, program materials, marketing, professional services and other resources for UNF’s Center of Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

“We are very appreciative of this commitment by Swisher that will allow more underrepresented members of our community the opportunity to pursue goals of being their own entrepreneur and business owner,” said Dr. Richard Buttimer, Dean of the UNF Coggin College of Business. 

Swisher’s pledge to UNF is part of its ongoing Inclusion, Diversity & Transformation strategy, which partners with multicultural groups, creates opportunities for Black-owned businesses, and works with historically Black Colleges and Universities to create a talent pipeline.

“Our commitment to this exciting entrepreneurship opportunity with our partners at UNF is just one part of our strategy of helping create change within our business and in our community,” said Alexandria Deal, Swisher’s Manager of Diversity, Inclusion and Transformation. “Together with UNF, we are pleased to be able to address and create meaningful and lasting social change.” 

UNF’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation facilitates the development of early-stage companies by offering a variety of programs to support and nurture selected startup businesses with services including business plan development, co-working space, help from student interns, professional support and networking opportunities. More information can be found at