Andrea L. Harris

President and Co-Founder, North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development (NCIMED)

Andrea L. HarrisAndrea L. Harris is President of NCIMED, the non-profit business diversity experts. After leading a rural multi-county community action agency, and serving as a lobbyist representing the needs of poor and minority older adults throughout the southeastern states, Harris joined the N.C. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency. While working in the N.C. Department of Commerce, Harris and two colleagues founded NCIMED in response to the widening gap in wealth noted across lines of race/ethnicity, geography and gender. She has served with the Institute for 25 years. 

During this period, Harris has worked to change the culture within the private and public sectors to expand access to market opportunities, affordable capital and supportive assistance for minority and women business enterprises. From that time to now, North Carolina’s minority enterprises have grown from 30,000 to more than 132,000 firms, and 33 percent of the state’s self-employed workers are women. Today, NCIMED’s client assistance averages in access of $50 million per year in financial transactions and contract awards.

Harris serves on several boards and has received recognition for the work of NCIMED. She is quite loyal to the economic contributions and impact of minority and women owned businesses, as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities.