Skip to Main Content

Success Story

Empowering diverse contractors with business development support, mentorship

Since 2022, Energy Trust’s Contractor Development Pathway offer has provided education, support and resources for contractor businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and people of color, women and people in rural areas to help them grow their business and complete energy efficiency projects.

In 2023, a second cohort of contractors completed the pathway—with access to even more services.

“To ensure the pathway is providing meaningful benefit, Energy Trust has been making improvements based on participants’ feedback about what type of support and training their business really needs,” said Cameron Starr, Energy Trust senior customer experience operations manager.

For example, some participants shared that in addition to technical training, they also needed support to integrate energy efficiency into their existing business structure. As a result, Energy Trust launched a Small Business Trade Ally Resource Network that connects pathway participants to no-cost business resources like marketing and brand consulting, website design and business planning.

Starting in 2023, Energy Trust also added a mentorship component where contractors in the program get paired with experienced peer businesses that can share their perspective and help them grow.

One participant reported, “It was nice to know that there was an experienced professional there to bounce my ideas off of or ask questions. My mentor connected me with another helpful professional when he was less familiar with a subject area.”

“Participants from the most recent cohort reported feeling more confident in their understanding of business operations and their ability to bid on project proposals, and many shared that their professional network and connections grew during the program,” said Starr.

In 2024, the Contractor Development Pathway continues to expand—it will be available for more types of contractors and will have more slots available for more participants.