Former Coca-Cola exec Terrez Thompson starts nonprofit to help emerging diverse entrepreneurs

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Terrez Thompson, a 35-year veteran of The Coca-Cola Co., has launched a nonprofit venture focused on empowering women of color entrepreneurs through mentoring, networking, and other resources including financial.

Thompson, who retired in December 2020 from the beverage giant as vice president of global supplier diversity, said she started Powered By Zerret Inc. (PBZ) because she believes that women are critical to the growth of all of civilization and, as such, must be empowered to set their own destiny in support of their communities.

"True empowerment comes from economic self-sufficiency,” said Thompson, who is also chairman of Powered by Zerret (Terrez spelled backward).

Although its focus is on Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) women, PBZ, at times, will also work with other aspiring and existing entrepreneurs that are considered underserved/disadvantaged.

The ideal entrepreneur, she said, has an informal business or "side hustle" and is ready to take the business to the next level. He or she is right at the edge of success to a formal 'legitimate' business. They need 'seed' funding, mentoring and access to get there.

Each entrepreneur PBZ works with must make a commitment to pay it forward by supporting other organizations or their communities. PBZ will provide support to entrepreneurs via grants and mentoring. ​

  • ​The PBZ Grant is awarded in amounts ranging from $500-$5,000 and is designed to help business owners offset the cost of operating expenses such as​:
  •   Business filings (license, incorporations, etc.)
  • ​Funds towards deposit of rent or other down payment
  • Subscriptions for service (Zoom, GoDaddy, Legal Zoom)
  •  Development of a website or app

In addition, the grant may be used to sponsor nonprofits that support these entrepreneurs, but the funds must go directly to entrepreneurs in the form of prizes for pitch contests, working capital, low interest loan, etc.

For the mentoring program, Thompson will identify as many as five entrepreneurs a year to mentor for a 12-month period.

To learn more about PBZ, visit

To apply for PBZ grant, visit


Terrez Thompson Powered By Zerret PBZ Coca-Cola WBEs

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