How one Dayton entrepreneur is reinvesting in the Black community
Category: Black Business,Community,Entrepreneur Author: BCDAlliance Date: 7 months ago Comments: 0

DAYTON, OHIO (Dayton Business Journal) — Nate Dillard has a simple explanation for his entrepreneurship journey: He followed in his father’s footsteps.

“When my dad left the military, he started his own IT business,” Dillard said. “That’s why I followed that legacy. My dad did it. I saw it happen. So, I did what I saw — and I’ve done it in my own way.”

As a young man growing up in Detroit, Dillard witnessed firsthand the powers of generational wealth and community reinvestment. But for many minority business owners, securing enough capital to turn growth-stage ventures into self-sustaining enterprises remains a challenge, he said.

That’s why after serving eight years active duty for the U.S. Air Force, Dillard joined the reserves and launched the National Black Business Directory (NBBD) — a business development platform designed to empower Black entrepreneurs.

Its primary goal is to help minority business owners leverage the best available resources to maximize access to capital.

Late last year, NBBD teamed up with two other Black-owned consulting companies — AgencyX and Intensify Design — to launch a new venture: LunarX Agency, a full-service design and development consulting firm featuring a team of more than 20 independent contractors and strategic outsourcing partnerships.


Accenture Launches Black Founders Development Program to Support Black Entrepreneurs
Category: Black Business,Entrepreneur,Minority Business Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has launched the Black Founders Development Program, a new initiative that will invest in and support Black technology startup founders and entrepreneurs. Led by Accenture Ventures, the program will seek to help Black business owners and leaders advance and grow their technology businesses through greater, more direct access to venture capital, corporate mentorship and strategic connections with Accenture business partners and clients.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200910005220/en/

Accenture launches Black Founders Development Program

As part of the new program, Accenture Ventures is establishing the Black Founders Development Fund. The fund will make strategic investments in early-stage, Black-founded and -run software startups and other market development initiatives, applying Accenture’s vast technology, innovation and investment expertise, and powerful network of technology ecosystem partners. To help Black entrepreneurs achieve their goals and make a meaningful impact, the commitment of investment funds and a strong mentoring effort will be commensurate with Accenture Ventures’ approach with its most strategic funds. The fund will have an initial focus on North America, with plans to expand globally at a later date.

“Our Black Founders Development Program will help drive economic inclusion and create new advancement opportunities for Black business owners and leaders by bringing to bear the full power of our global technology business and extensive relationships with clients, partners and the venture capital community,” said Kathryn Ross, global Open Innovation lead and the Black Founders Development Program lead for Accenture Ventures. “Leadership, resources, technology and investment knowledge are all areas where Accenture can deliver significant support to Black entrepreneurs, helping them to accelerate innovation and further grow their businesses.”

According to a study by RateMyInvestor and VC Diversity, Black founders of companies receive less than 1% of all venture capital funding, which in the U.S. alone, totaled approximately $130 billion. Similarly, a Kauffman Foundation analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that 28% of Black entrepreneurs’ profits were limited by lack of access to capital, compared to just 10% of white entrepreneurs.

“Black entrepreneurs continue to innovate, but face bias and lack access to capital and opportunity in the venture capital community, receiving a disproportionately small amount of funding,” said Paul Daugherty, group chief executive – Technology and chief technology officer at Accenture. “Big change is clearly needed, and Accenture Ventures will help lead that change.”

To help guide its future investment strategy, Accenture Ventures has established a Black Founders Development Advisory Council made up of diverse, established business leaders and partners to help guide and mentor Black founders and CEOs. The first two council members appointed are Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks and the current chairman and co-founder of Springboard Enterprises, a community of nearly 800 women founders and leaders of emerging growth companies spanning the globe and across all industries; and Corey E. Thomas, chairman and CEO of Rapid7, Inc. (Nasdaq: RPD), a leading provider of security analytics and automation, who previously served on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors.

“We intend to play a meaningful role in creating the next generation of Black technology startups, and the demonstrated business leaders on our Black Founders Development Advisory Council are equally committed to sharing their experiences, insights and connections to help Black founders achieve their business objectives,” explains Ross. Accenture Ventures plans to announce additional advisory council members and its first participating founders in the coming months.

The Black Founders Development Program is part of Accenture’s broader effort to fight racism. On September 1, 2020, Accenture CEO Julie Sweet announced that by 2025 the company would increase the representation of African American and Black people in the organization from 9% to 12%; and increase the number of African American and Black managing directors from 2.8% to 4.4%. Other recent company actions include Ms. Sweet’s role as co-chair of the new 27-member New York Jobs CEO Council, a non-profit coalition of CEOs from leading companies that have pledged to hire 100,000 low-income New Yorkers from under-served communities over the next decade.

Launched in 2015, Accenture Ventures makes targeted equity investments in emerging technology startups, matching their capabilities with the business needs and priorities of Accenture’s clients. Its Open Innovation arm acts as a bridge to the global innovation ecosystem by bringing Accenture’s clients together with best-in-class, enterprise-relevant startups to unlock their growth potential and accelerate digital transformation.


As nation celebrates Black Business Month, entrepreneurs launch 100-percent Black-owned equity crowdfunding platform
Category: Black-Owned Businesses,Entrepreneur Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0

As the nation celebrates Black Business Month, a group of entrepreneurs has launched a 100-percent black-owned equity crowdfunding platform, The 10K Project that is setting out to fund black businesses and bridge the black wealth gap.

As part of a national movement, the 10K Project allows micro investors to join for $100 and have the opportunity to invest in black-owned small businesses. If 10,000 people to invest as little as $100, then there would be $1 million to support these businesses.

In addition to accessing opportunities to invest, members will have access to financial literacy webinars, wealth-building educational resources, community forums, and the ability to network and learn from each other.

Cheree Warrick, a co-founder and the project’s CEO, said that despite the recession, we’ve got to invest and build black businesses.

“Some of the nation’s largest businesses have been created during recessions,” Warrick said. “I also believe black entrepreneurs need a platform where they can find investors since many are not likely to get loans from banks or family members.”

Warrick, who has been writing business plans for more than a decade, said The 10K Project is responding to a growing need to support black entrepreneurs, especially during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has created such economic uncertainty. She and her co-founders believe that the project has a chance to create a new generation of black investors.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey, Blacks owned 124,004 firms in 2017 with 32 percent (39,714) of these firms in the healthcare and social services industry.

Additionally, a Groupon and National Black Chamber of Commerce survey reports that 80 percent of black business owners say they encounter greater challenges starting their business because of their race; 76 percent say COVID-19 has negatively impacted their business and 74 percent has fewer chances to create a “successful business and less time to make it successful due to a lack of capital investment and resources.”

Over the past month, the project’s Building Black Wealth Podcast has featured interviews with A’Leilia Bundles, the great-great-granddaughter of the legendary female entrepreneurs, Madame C.J. Walker; George Fraser, the Cleveland based author, entrepreneur, speaker and founder of the 15-year-old PowerNetworking Conference; Lamar Wilson is the Founder of Sunjoined, a company that was created to provide an all-natural CBD from a network of connected growers.

For more information, go to The 10K Project website to download its free e-book and join.


Oakland Black Business Fund Launches Investment Platform for Black-Owned Businesses Across the U.S.
Category: Black Business,Black-Owned Businesses,Entrepreneur,Investment Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0

Oakland Black Business Fund (OBBF) has launched a new Black-led investment platform to provide capital and technical assistance to Black-owned businesses.

The platform includes a $10M relief fund focused on helping local Bay Area businesses impacted by COVID-19 and a $1B investment fund to support Black entrepreneurs across the country.

Founded in June 2020 by Oakland community leaders Elisse Douglass and Trevor Parham, the OBBF has raised over $150,000 of seed funding from individuals and corporations to pilot their model.

OBBF is working to deploy $10M in relief funds and technical assistance grants to stabilize 500 Black businesses in Oakland. The relief fund also prepares Black entrepreneurs for more substantial capital investments to scale their businesses and acquire real estate. 

In addition to the $10M in relief funds, the OBBF aims to raise $1B by the end of 2022 to invest in Black-owned businesses and real estate. These funds will be invested in Black businesses and entrepreneurs across the U.S. to address systemic bias from traditional financial organizations that perpetuate the funding gap for Black businesses.

Current capital partners and technical assistance providers include Alliance for Community Development, The Clorox Company, and Okta.

OBBF supports a broad array of businesses and nonprofits with a focus on scaling its city-specific model to other municipalities across the country. The fund is seeking investors and corporate partners to bridge the gap to their next milestone of $1M by the end of 2020.

Businesses interested in receiving capital or technical support can apply directly at www.oaklandblackbusinessfund.org/apply. Investors or organizations interested in contributing to OBBF can contact info@oaklandbbf.org for more information on partnership opportunities.

Oakland Black Business Fund Launches Investment Platform for Black-Owned Businesses Across the U.S.

This Firm Rebrands Black Business Owners — One Web Site at a Time!
Category: Black Business,Black-Owned Businesses,Entrepreneur Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0

JoyRahat Branding has helped numerous Black entrepreneurs
and other minority-owned companies and organizations impacted by the pandemic
to create and enhance their online brands. To help her clients meet their
marketing needs, her team is able to build and launch a custom-built,
professional mobile-friendly website in as little as 7 days – and it’s done
100% remotely.


Not just another web site developer

In addition to designing clean and modern web sites, the firm creates matching sets of branded social media cover designs, digital signatures/ bios, and a collection of marketing designs. For clients located in the Washington DC area, they offer stunning branding portraits and headshots to compliment your marketing initiatives.

This is an ideal solution for startups and freelancers who have just started their own business. The firm provides core branding consultations about identifying and featuring marketable services, selecting business names, buying matching domain names, using business email addresses, installing online shopping features for instant transactions, and creating conversion-optimized landing pages.

The firm also teaches users how to control their website independently.

Joy Rahat, founder of the company, comments, “Post pandemic times dictate new ways of conducting business and how we interact with clients. This is challenging a lot of local businesses as they are losing an opportunity to reach and book online clients as a new way of doing contactless business. We are helping them to adopt new normals and transfer their outdated online presence into modern-clean and mobile-friendly websites with installed e-commerce options to sell their services or products online. For freelancers, this opens great opportunities to sell their services globally (online classes, consulting, legal, fitness, and health services).”

Happy clients

Joy has hundreds of satisfied customers. Sonja Hines, CEO and President of Akata Global, comments, “Joy is an extremely talented branding expert! I am still in awe of her ability to capture the essence of my personality, and more importantly, the image that I wanted to portray for my company website. Her knowledge of professional business etiquette, photography, marketing, and social media trends is top-notch! She was a pleasure to work with on my company rebranding project, and continues to be a valuable resource to me professionally.”

For more details about Joy Rahat Branding, visit JoyRahatBranding.com or contact info@joyrahat.com




Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z support and empower Black business owners with their new song and music video, “Entrepreneur”
Category: Black Business,Black-Owned Businesses,Entrepreneur Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0


Music mogul Pharell Williams released his song and music video “Entrepreneur,” featuring New York rapper Jay-Z, on Aug. 20

The new song, produced by The Neptunes, stresses the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses and encourages aspiring Black entrepreneurs to take risks. In their first collaboration in ten years, Pharrell and Jay-Z address racial inequity, systemic oppression and underrepresentation of Black people in the media. 

“The intention for a song was all about how tough it is to be an entrepreneur in our country to begin with,” Williams said in an interview with TIME magazine. “Especially as someone of color, there’s a lot of systemic disadvantages and purposeful blockages. How can you get a fire started, or even the hope of an ember to start a fire when you’re starting at disadvantages with regards to health care, education, and representation?”

Released with the song, the “Entrepreneur” music video showcases a long list of successful Black business owners and trailblazers. This list includes Grammy Award winner, Tyler the Creator and actress Issa Rae. Both artists appeared in the music video along with the Compton Cowboys and Nicholas Johnson, the first Black valedictorian of Princeton University.

A plethora of other Black proprietors from all parts of the world were given exposure through this music video, from Los Angeles to Dublin, Tokyo and more. The creators were presented on-screen with their popular products, along with captions that describe the business’s origin story and its impact on Black communities, both locally and globally. 

The empowering “Entrepreneur” music video tells the rags to riches story of Black businesses that are often lost in American media and history. In the song, Williams raps, “There will be no sunny days/If Black went away,” reminding Black entrepreneurs that their work is valuable and vital to generating Black wealth.  

In his verse, Jay-Z urges entrepreneurs to take chances and create their own opportunities in a world where Black visions are usually dismissed or unsupported by corporations. The Roc Nation founder raps, “Serial entrepreneur, we on our own/Stop sittin’ around waitin’ for folks to throw you a bone,” to inspire Black leaders to start their own business ventures.

Celebrating ambition and encouraging pioneering within the Black community through his latest song, Williams said in his TIME magazine interview that he wants to send the message “that when we stick together, treat each other better and welcome each other, there’s more money and more opportunity for everyone.”

Pharrell Williams and Jay-Z support and empower Black business owners with their new song and music video, “Entrepreneur”