Natalie Madeira Cofield

Natalie Madeira Cofield

President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Natalie Madeira Cofield is an award-winning entrepreneur, philanthropist, economic development executive, and nationally regarded expert for small business and has been named one of the most powerful women in business by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Natalie Madeira Cofield is a former presidentially appointed Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration where she advised on the deployment of $1.2 trillion in funding, and was the co-architect of the SBA’s Community Navigator Pilot Program, which provided $200M in funding to ecosystems and entrepreneurs throughout the country during the greatest economic crisis in modern history. As the head of the Office of Women’s Business Ownership at SBA she was responsible for managing a grant-making budget of $70 million and funding the largest expansion of the Women’s Business Center network in the history of SBA at 146 Centers in expanding the network to every state in the US.

From Google to the National League of Cities, Natalie’s speeches, courses, and advisory services have helped to shape programs and efforts of some of the most regarded global brands, and educational and government institutions. She is co-founder of the $14M Coalition to Back Black Business which was responsible for funding nearly 1,000 Black-owned businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A sought-after expert, Natalie’s work has been featured on and by Inc, Time, CNN, NYTimes, Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Black Enterprise, Essence, and EBONY, among others.

Once inspired by reading the business plans of her mother when she was 11, Natalie is the founder and former CEO of Walker’s Legacy, a digital platform to empower women through entrepreneurship, and its adjoined nonprofit arm, the Walker’s Legacy Foundation, which was established to empower income limited women through financial literacy and economic security. In this role, Cofield established a $25,000 funded scholarship for enterprising women at her alma mater, Howard University.

In 2019, Cofield was named the inaugural Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the District of Columbia leading Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 202Creates Program providing entrepreneurship advice to creative economy businesses within the District of Columbia.

An honors tech graduate from Howard University (where she was mentored by CIOs of two of America’s leading Fortune 500 companies) Natalie leveraged her coding experience to build a career centered on empowering businesses, entrepreneurs, women, and underrepresented communities.

In 2023, Cofield received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the Board of Trustees of Shaw University and served as the 2023 commencement speaker for the institution. She serves on the corporate board of directors for Harbor Bankshares Corporation.

An avid traveler, Cofield has visited more than 47 countries and counting.