Small Business Growth Hack
(They, Their, She, Her) is 31
During the time Ciara Lilly was embracing her true identity, she yearned to find LGBTQ leaders that looked like her; but despite her best efforts, she could not find any. Ciara, like many LGBTQ people of color, had to navigate through life without an example of what life could become for her.
While that was a difficult journey, it sparked a fire within Ciara that could never be extinguished. She made it a part of her life’s mission to set the example she sought growing up. She wanted her life to reflect what is possible when you dare to live authentically. Furthermore, she wanted to show LGBTQ people of color that their sexual orientation or gender identity does not have to limit their success. Ciara believes LGBTQ people of color are not told this enough, but she says, “it’s incredibly true, the only limitations that exist in our lives are the limitations that we accept.” Ciara’s life is a testament to that.
Ciara is a value creator, problem solver, strategic thinker, results-driven executive and a sponge for knowledge. She holds an Executive MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In 2015, Ciara was selected and sponsored by Dominion Energy to attend the Minority Business Enterprise Executive Management Program at the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business.
Equipped with a passion for helping businesses, specifically certified diverse and small businesses, maximize their growth potential and a successful track record of growing an existing diverse business by over $13 million dollars, Ciara launched Higher Ground Consulting Group, an LGBTBE and minority certified business. Higher Ground Consulting allows Ciara to expand her reach and impact in the business community. With her background and passion, Ciara provides her clients with a well-rounded perspective that lends itself to solving a broad range of operational and business growth challenges.
An active member of the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Ciara is also a member of the chamber’s board and chairs the LGBTBE Certification and Supplier Diversity committee.