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December 12, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Courtney Jones part of a new start-up

The new venture is named BE Labs and offers a comprehensive certificate program designed to empower participants through 10 carefully curated modules.

A Knoxville entrepreneur whose start-up was acquired nearly two years ago is back in the game with a team of co-founders from Atlanta and Denver.

Courtney Jones founded MomSource Network in 2013 and served as its Chief Executive Officer for the next nine years until announcing an asset purchase transaction in January 2022 where the team, client, and membership base will be incorporated under the Boulo Solutions brand. The Knoxville-based MomSource Network was started to help women who left their careers to start families reenter the workforce.

Courtney Jones

On Tuesday, Jones joined with three other individuals to announce the launch of BE Labs, an experiential learning program focused on equipping members of its Inclusion Council, employee resource group leaders, culture champions, and organizational change-makers with the tools they need to deliver on their commitments to be a more diverse, inclusive and engaged workforce. BE Labs offers a comprehensive training and certificate program that prepares participants with an expanded skillset, a toolbox of frameworks and resources, peer advisor community, and a strategic roadmap to drive meaningful changes within their organizations.

“I’m thrilled to be back in the Tennessee start-up world!  It’s exciting to have an opportunity to share the entrepreneurial experience with my new business partners, one of which I was introduced to through the JumpFund during my MomSource Network tenure,” Jones said. “Our Tennessee ecosystem continues to grow and thrive, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to engage again as a Founder.”

In addition to Jones, who is a Managing Partner, the team also includes Pam Jeffords of Denver, an accomplished Managing Partner at DiversityWorksGroup; Patrice Palmer, also of Denver, a Ph.D. candidate specializing in employee resource groups; and Blake Mitchell, based in Atlanta and a Google and YouTube human resources alum.

On its website, BE Labs explains the name. “Much like a bee that tirelessly works to pollinate and strengthen an ecosystem, belonging has the power to disseminate and solidify an organization’s culture and values. In the intricate hive of today’s business landscape, every individual has a role, much like in a bee colony, where unity and community are paramount.”

BE Labs offers a 20-hour comprehensive certificate program designed to empower participants through 10 carefully curated modules. These modules, called “BE Learning Labs,” cover critical areas such as: (1) understanding the role of an executive sponsor, council member, or business resource group leader; (2) aligning on nomenclature around how to talk about diversity, equity, inclusion, and emerging societal issues; (3) leveraging workforce data and analytics to determine areas of focus; (4) developing realistic and inspiring goals that align to business and talent strategies; and (5) honing communication skills for impact and engagement of all employees.

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