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Entrepreneurship and Education

How One Organization is Helping Black Americans Without a Bachelor's Degree Achieve Corporate Success

‘From a Standpoint of Equity and Inclusion, Skills First is Really Powerful’: CEO of Organization Dedicated to Assisting Black Americans Without a Bachelor’s Degree Achieve Corporate Success Outlines His Vision for Overcoming the Education Barrier The American Dream is simple: go to college, get a good job, get married, purchase a home and start your family. Yet, for the 76 percent of Black Americans who have not earned a college degree, the ability to achieve the American Dream does not always

One Black Family Business Needed Help Preparing for a Post-Pandemic Economy. An Entrepreneurial Program Stepped In.

When Karla Trotman was growing up, she watched her parents, Jim and Sheila Wallace, develop their business, Electro Soft Incorporated, from the family kitchen to become the largest Black American electronics contract manufacturing and engineering firm in the United States. And in 2020, after spearheading various marketing initiatives for Electro Soft, Trotman purchased the suburban Philadelphia-based business from her father. But one month later Trotman was faced with a challenge more significa

'Remember Your Why': How One Black Entrepreneur Fought for Funding for Her EdTech Startup

When Joanna Smith-Griffin was working as a student engagement director at Excel Academy Charter Schools in Boston, she discovered there needed to be a more streamlined process for curbing chronic absenteeism in her school. And soon she learned this was not an isolated issue — but one that allows the achievement gap to persist in K-12 schools. The solution: an app that would identify children at risk of chronic absenteeism. Today, Smith-Griffin is the founder of AllHere, an edtech company that u

Black Banks Offer 'Access to Capital to Address the Wealth Gap': 'Bank Black' Movement Re-Energized In New Climate of Racial Reckoning

Two years ago, Mmekom Udosen was so moved by the police murder of George Floyd and the idea of Black collective economics that she opened a bank account with OneUnited Bank. “It opened my desire to learn more about finance and business in relation to the Black community,” Udosen told Finurah. “We don’t talk about money the way we should. The people who make decisions don’t include us.” Udosen is an example of people participating in the “Bank Black” phenomenon, a movement of Black Americans co

Types of Grants for Black Business Owners

Many business owners need access to additional funding to continue to grow and develop their ventures. After all, lack of adequate financing is one of the primary reasons that businesses or startups fail within the first few years of operation. For Black-owned businesses, though, the need for additional funding may be even greater. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Annual Business Survey, there were an estimated 134,567 Black- or African American-owned businesses with 1.3 million emplo

Not Just for the Rich: Five Estate Planning Tools Everyone Needs

When hip-hop artist DMX died in 2021, he left no will in place and very few liquid assets. While DMX’s estimated 15 children are expecting a share of his $1 million estate, it has been tied up in probate court for months. In addition, an estate has to be established to manage any expected future earnings from his music. Yet with no appointed administrators and costly probate attorney fees, DMX’s estate will be dwindling until the proceedings are finalized. Although music superstar Prince died i

Can You Get an SBA Loan With Bad Credit?

Videographer and filmmaker George Williams was feeling a cash crunch. At the height of the pandemic, the owner of Digitoral Media faced canceled events and a dwindling cash flow. Williams applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), a source of funding backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides economic relief to entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations that experienced revenue loss during the pandemic. However, while Williams received a grant, his loan applica

SBA Community Advantage Loans: What You Need To Know

The Community Advantage (CA) loan program is a pilot initiative established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Its purpose is to meet the needs of businesses in underserved communities that might not qualify for a traditional loan. Unlike traditional SBA 7(a) loans, the CA loans program partners with mission-focused lenders that provide credit, technical, and management assistance to entrepreneurs. Learn if you may qualify for the CA loan, the process for applying, and how the funds ca

How To Start a Sole Proprietorship

Freelancers. Independent contractors. Solopreneurs. Self-employed workers. What do they all have in common? They are all sole proprietors—business owners who operate an unincorporated company. According to the IRS, more than 27 million businesses paid taxes as sole proprietors by filing Schedule C of Form 1040 for 2018. Just how do entrepreneurs become sole proprietors? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing this legal structure over a limited liability corporation (LLC) or a

How 10 Latinx Business Owners Persevered and Overcame Challenges

Latinx entrepreneurs are making incredible contributions to the world of small business. According to a recent study conducted by The Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), Latinx entrepreneurship has grown 34% in just the last ten years. Yet, that doesn’t mean that success comes easily. These ambitious Latinx entrepreneurs don’t just have to overcome self-doubt or know how to pivot quickly during moments of a business slowdown. They also face significantly less access to funding a

Yvonne Kopacz, LOMAR FARMS

Seven years ago Yvonna Kopacz - Wright packed up her family and said good-bye to urban living. Yvonna, her husband, Brett, and two daughters, Lola and Marley moved 19 miles north of New York City to the Hamlet of Palisades. The family settled on a six-acre farm that they affectionately named LoMar Farms. The space reminded Yvonna of growing up in rural California--a space filled with agriculture and land. Wanting the same access to nature and space for her daughters was what originally drew her

How to Rebrand Your Business

A business’s brand is often associated mainly with its colors, logo, and design aesthetic. However, its brand identity means so much more. It is the language a business consistently uses to deliver messages and build relationships with its target audience. It is also integral to a company’s culture as it helps shape and define the internal relationships between all employees. A study conducted by Accenture on brand affinity found that 66% of surveyed consumers are attracted to a brand that has

When Is the Right Time To Start a Small Business?

Starting a business is never easy. You’ll need to decide on your service or product offering, what your target audience will be—and when it’s a good time to launch. According to a study from Vistaprint, 62% of people in the U.S. want to become business owners. But how many actually know what it takes to start, run, and grow a business? And is it the right time in their life to begin one? “Not all ideas are unique, and they are not given to just one person,” said Toni Coleman Brown, founder of

10 Asian Entrepreneurs Celebrating Culture and Community

Throughout US history, Asian Americans have made massive contributions to society and advancements in virtually all industries. However, like other BIPOC, Asian entrepreneurs have also faced an enormous amount of racism and discrimination. In recent months, acts of violence against Asian Americans have highlighted the disturbing nature of social injustice. Beyond the violence, appropriation of Asian culture by businesses – from Mahjong to yoga – is commonplace. While many aspects of Asian cultu

Two Generations: One Love for Art

Both Bain and Minor are Harlem transplants who are navigating the world of art--from a business and artistic perspective--with experiences that are influencing their creative process. A former technology salesman from California, Bain, moved to New York City eight years ago to manage his business as an artist. Bain’s artwork is inspired by African masks that he believes always demand a response from the viewer. “I’m in love with what I do,” Bain says. “I was born with a gift to create and I mu

10 Black Entrepreneurs and Side Hustlers You Should Know About

Check out the work of these independent professionals and get inspired Throughout US history, African-Americans have used entrepreneurship as an outlet for creativity and as a way to uplift the community. From Booker T. Washington establishing the National Negro Business League during the Jim Crow Era to Earl G. Graves launching Black Enterprise magazine in 1970, entrepreneurship has played a crucial role in African-American culture. A recent study conducted by Guidant Financial and the Lendin

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