PLACE Builders Fellow Erica Williams

May 6, 2024 | By

Nutishia Lee

This spotlight is part of the “PLACE Builders fellows” series. More information about the PLACE (Pava LaPere Award for Cultivating Ecosystems) Builders fellowship can be found here.


Erica Williams headshot

Erica Williams

Plains Region

Plains fellow, Erica Williams, understands the negative effects of community disinvestment and systemic barriers on entrepreneurs and has worked to purchase buildings and equipment, developed relationships with experts, and used her voice to raise awareness of the issues that underserved entrepreneurs face.

"I work to create spaces and opportunities for entrepreneurs to work in and support their families within their communities."

Erica Williams

Erica is the founder of A Red Circle, a nonprofit that develops and executes life-enriching programming in employment, education, holistic living, policy, and arts.  She believes her community needs and deserves the opportunity to create wealth for themselves and is looking to license a shared commercial kitchen and small-scale manufacturing space to give food entrepreneurs and value-added producers a place to create and market their products. She envisions that the kitchen will also include a small-scale manufacturing facility to allow entrepreneurs to bottle their sauces and seasonings, wrap their packages, and place them in retail outlets throughout the region.

As a PLACE Builders fellow, Erica is excited about the opportunity to forge connections and share knowledge.

PLACE Builders logo

Inspired by the legacy of Pava LaPere, forever Chief Ecosystem Officer and Co-Founder of EcoMap Technologies, as a tribute to her legacy of fighting for equal access to opportunity, the PLACE (Pava LaPere Award for Cultivating Ecosystems) Builders fellowship aims to catalyze more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystems by providing intensive training, peer support, and community pilots to eight selected fellows.

We invite you to support the inaugural PLACE Builders fellowship fund.