Interview with Tracey Grace, MBA, ITIL, President & CEO of IBEX IT Business Experts
Click the play button below to listen to the full interview with Tracey Grace.
Georgia ranks among the top states in the United States for Fortune 500 companies. In the most recent reporting, Georgia was listed as being home to 19 of the country’s top 500 companies, and a total of 34 of the country's top 1000. This is excellent news for Georgia's minority business owners as it opens the door for more contract opportunities for their businesses. Governments and corporations across the state are in search of minority business partners that are certified as Minority Business Enterprises.
To better understand the opportunity to partner, we spoke with Tracey Grace, President & CEO for IBEX IT Experts.
IBEX is an 8(a) and Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), certified through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), respectively. In 2020, IBEX obtained ISO 9001:2015 certification for its Quality Management System. In 2021, the Inc. 5000 list identified IBEX as one of the fastest-growing small businesses in America for four straight years.
Tracey shared her experience building IBEX along with advice for other companies seeking to partner with corporate and government agencies.
For many entrepreneurs, beginning the process of working with federal or corporate contracts can be daunting. For Tracey Grace, pursuing contracts started unexpectedly but propelled her business to new heights, "I landed in the perfect area, and I know it was the best strategy."
While working as a Vice President for an international consulting firm, Tracey was tasked with identifying new business during an economic downturn. During that process, she uncovered opportunities in healthcare technology that did not align with her current organization's core business. With one customer secured, Tracey took a risk on herself and began IBEX.
Since then, IBEX has grown to an award-winning professional services firm specializing in training, certification, learning & development, consulting, support services, and IT solutions. Tracey attributes part of her growth to learning about federal and corporate contracts.
"In order to be successful, I had to start going to events and working with businesses that were familiar with government contracting. I found a couple of really good, strong mentors that helped me through that process".
During our interview with Tracey, we learned that she never settles and continues to grow her business capabilities, including a new division to support diverse business growth called Certifiably Diverse. Certifiably Diverse is a supplier-diversity management system to help organizations and diverse businesses partner more effectively.
Certifiably Diverse strives to support both the diverse business as well as corporate and government agencies because she believes in the larger benefits these partnerships can have. "Part of the challenge for diverse businesses is just having the opportunity to compete. When you have a fair opportunity to compete, great things happen, and a lot of that leaks onto our community," she said.
Is your small business ready to grow? Browse statewide resources focused on minority-owned and small business success.