Latest Articles

How Coco Gauff Is Maintaining Her Growing Net Worth While Enjoying The Fruits Of Her Labor Thanks To Financial Advice From Her Father

Black Girl Magic is real, and Coco Gauff is evidence of this phenomenon. Born in 2004, Cori Dionne “Coco” Gauff is an American tennis player who comes from an athletic family. According to PEOPLE, her parents, Corey and Candi, were on the road to becoming professional athletes as well. Gauff’s dad, Corey, played college basketball at Georgia State University, while Candi was an accomplished track and field star at Florida State University. Though the two don’t take full credit for Gauff’s athletic prowess, they acknowledge that their own experiences as athletes provided a solid foundation for understanding the dedication and discipline required to perform at a high level. Their support and guidance have been instrumental in creating the atmosphere for her to succeed. “I think it helps parents when they have played as high as college or even pro,” Gauff’s father told The New York Times in 2019. “You better understand the process and so you don’t get too jittery about it. You don’t...

Jul 11, 2024

Small Business Owners Can Now Apply To This Program That’s Offering $20K Grants

Hello Alice is continuing its commitment to serving underserved entrepreneurs. In partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Hello Alice has officially launched the next round of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company’s (BGE) Energizing Small Business grant program. The initiative offers $20,000 grants to central Maryland businesses to help them succeed and thrive, according to the Hello Alice website. No stranger to empowering local small businesses, the BGE Energizing Small Business grant deployed more than $2.5 million in grants to 129 small businesses in central Maryland in 2023. “When small businesses thrive, they become powerful economic engines, creating even more opportunities in their communities and we are so pleased to celebrate today’s grant recipients,” said BGE President and CEO Carim Khouzami in the 2023 grant announcement. “Since 2019, BGE has granted over $13 million to small businesses throughout Central Maryland. This is in addition to other small...

Jul 11, 2024

After Investing In Over 85 Companies, Serena Williams Continues To Bet On Herself By Founding Vegan Makeup Brand WYN BEAUTY

When Serena Williams sets her mind on a vision, it transforms into greatness. Before the tennis champion’s retirement in 2022, she launched Serena Ventures in 2014. As previously reported by AFROTECH™, Williams founded her VC firm after learning of the alarmingly low amount of venture capital that goes to women founders, with Black and brown founders receiving even less funds. “I learned that less than 2% of all VC money went to women,” Williams shared via TikTok. “And when I first heard that, I actually thought it was a misquote. I thought, ‘Well, they can’t be real.’ Like, we’re talking about trillions of dollars, and what do you mean less than 2% of that goes to women?…I learned that when I first started investing, I learned that actually was true and that was something that was happening. And so I knew right then and there that one day I wanted to raise a fund or raise money and invest in women.” Under Williams’ mission, the breakdown of Serena Ventures’ investments is 79%...

Jul 11, 2024

Hipgnosis, Holder Of Select Tracks From Artists Like 50 Cent And Eric Bellinger, Has Been Sold To Blackstone For $1.6B

The music catalog company holding the hits of artists like 50 Cent, Eric Bellinger, John Coltrane, and a host of others has officially been sold. Hipgnosis, which is described as having “a collection of proven hit Songs of cultural importance by some of the most talented and important Songwriters globally,” per its website, has sold its assets to Blackstone for $1.6 billion. Additionally, its leader, Merck Mercuriadis, who was once responsible for managing Beyoncé, has also stepped down from the company, The New York Times reports. The Hipgnosis Songs Fund is an “investment trust” currently listed on the London Stock Exchange in the U.K. and owns the rights of “tens of thousands of songs,” per the outlet. During a meeting on Monday, July 8, 2024, a board for the company voted to accept an offer from Blackstone, worth $1.6 billion, to purchase its assets. Already, Blackstone had taken majority control of the company’s “investment adviser” side of the business through a $1 billion...

Jul 10, 2024

Mike Will Made-It Started Out Making Beats With His Dad, A Former IBM Computer Engineer — Now, In The Last 2 Years, He Says Music Has Earned Him About $40M Alone

Mike Will Made-It has revealed that he did not understand how to make money from music when he first entered the industry. The producer, born Michael Len Williams II, behind some of this generation’s top hits, fell into music by playing on a keyboard owned by his sister, Chonte. He created beats with his father, former IBM computer engineer Michael Len Williams Sr., Forbes reported. He later learned to play the saxophone, and by his early teens, his father bought him a $600 Korg Electribe drum machine. “Inquisitive kid,” Michael Sr. said of his son, per Forbes. “He wanted to know everything.” After one semester at Georgia State, he convinced his father he could put school on the back burner to pursue a career in the music business as a producer. Mike Will Made-It recalls having no footing in his early days in Atlanta’s underground. He also had no management at the time, even during a breakout time for him thanks to producing singles including “Bandz a Make Her Dance” by Juicy J, “No...

Jul 10, 2024

Photographer Alleges Nike Deceived Him Out Of The Iconic Michael Jordan Logo Without Issuing Proper Credit Or Compensation

What was supposed to be a big moment in one photographer’s life has turned into a tale of survivor’s remorse after he claims that Nike tricked him out of credit for a photo he captured of Michael Jordan that would go on to become the logo for the company’s Jordan Brand. In a new short documentary, “Jumpman,” Jacobus “Co” Rentmeester accuses the leading athletic company of copying his work to create the Jordan Brand logo that has graced a plethora of sneakers and clothing products for decades. Originally shot during a photo shoot commissioned by Life magazine for the 1984 U.S. Olympic team, Jordan was instructed to perform a grand jeté, which is “a classical ballet move where a dancer jumps and spreads their legs wide,” Fortune magazine reports. Today, the Jordan Brand is worth $6 billion. However, Rentmeester’s disdain comes from what he believes was negligence on Nike’s part to properly credit and compensate him for the role his photo may have played in inspiring the logo.   View...

Jul 9, 2024

Donae Burston Helped Launch The First Champagne Bar In The American Airlines Arena For Moët Hennessy, Then He Made History With His Own Company

Donae Burston is behind a history-making wine company. Before becoming founder and CEO of La Fête Wine Co., “a fresh, modern, and inclusive wine brand,” in 2019, Burston entered the spirits industry as a brand ambassador. It wasn’t long before he had scaled to promotions manager at Heineken then allocated eight years at Moët Hennessy, launching the first and only champagne bar in the Miami Heat American Airlines arena, Uncorked and Cultured reports. He also dedicated three years with Jay-Z’s champagne brand, Champagne Armand de Brignac. Burston would pivot to entreprenuership following a visit to Saint-Tropez, France, during his 30th birthday celebration, his website mentions. Many locals were drinking what he believed to be White Zinfandel, but he discovered it was a Côtes de Provence Rosé and was immediately drawn to its taste. Another catalyst would be meeting the owner of a local winery. “Being in a chance encounter in the south of France and meeting the owner of a winery, I was...

Jul 9, 2024

Mike Will Made-It Says He's Made About $40M Over The Last Two Years From Producing And Publishing Fees — Now, He's Using It To Invest

Manifested in his nickname, Michael Williams quite literally made it. The producer, known professionally as Mike Will Made-It, started his career in Atlanta’s underground. His journey led him to work on hits like Rihanna’s “Pour It Up,” Beyoncé’s “Formation,” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble.” In 2013, he took greater control by launching Ear Drummer Records and signed the label to Interscope Records. The label birthed the Hip-Hop duo Rae Sremmurd, and he helped produce their singles “No Flex Zone” and “Black Beatles.” Today, Mike Will Made-It can see how he “made it” from his earnings. He estimates he’s made $40 million within the last two years thanks to his music production catalog and publishing fees, notes Forbes. “I’m great,” Mike Will Made-It told Forbes. “I’m in a position I never imagined.” With his multi-million-dollar fortune, he has invested in Atlanta, Georgia, real estate. In 2017, he opened The Wxllxm Culture Center after purchasing a warehouse located on Joseph Lowery NW...

Jul 9, 2024

Jordan Brand Becomes Nike's Best-Performing Division With $7B In Revenue

Jordan Brand is Nike’s best-performing division. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the Jordan Brand continues to rise, tracking $4.7 billion in fiscal year 2021. At the time, this equated to a 31% increase and marked its highest yet, with growth in every region, including double digits in North America, according to WWD. The following fiscal year, Jordan Brand earned $5 billion. “We’re empowered to grow this brand and make the most of it in geographies around the world,” explained Craig Williams, the president of Jordan Brand at the time, per WWD. “And that’s where the distinctiveness and the independence — if you want to call it that — come into play. But we are turbocharged by being a part of a great global company called Nike Inc. It helps us to efficiently get things done in a way that if we were an independent company, we wouldn’t have that luxury. So it’s important for me, when I think about it with the team, to be both collaborative to take advantage of the wealth of...

Jul 9, 2024

Black-Owned Bird Pizzeria In Charlotte, NC, Makes New York Times List Of Best Pizzas In The US As It Gears Up For Dine-In Expansion

A love for pizza has leveled up the lives of these Black business owners. Black-owned Bird Pizzeria was featured in the New York Times’ list of best pizza shops nationwide. The roundup, which included 22 restaurants, highlighted businesses across the U.S. The pizzeria, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been in business since December 2021, Black Enterprise reports. Husband-and-wife duo Kerrel and Nkem Thompson launched Bird Pizzeria as a pop-up restaurant before entering the takeout space. The pizzeria combines the couple’s love for pizza, which they recalled was the meal they enjoyed on their first date.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by BIRD (@birdpizzeria) Bird Pizzeria has plans to expand its space to allow dine-in seating for customers to enjoy their cuisine after the tattoo shop next door closed and the space became available. “We prayed about this space,” Nkem said, per The Charlotte Observer. “We’re just like, ‘Man, this would be amazing to be able to...

Jul 9, 2024

How Lewis Hamilton Went From Racing In A Used Go-Kart To Amassing An Estimated $300M Net Worth

Household names in American sports are more commonly associated with athletes from the NBA, NFL, and MLB. However, some athletes outside these organizations have broken past the ubiquitous fandom of American basketball, football, and baseball — one being Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton. The British native’s journey into racing began at the tender age of 8 when he was gifted a used go-kart, coming in at a price point equal to his family’s monthly income, according to Formula 1. Hamilton’s story is a testament to the power of family support, as he participated in local racing events, won championships, and honed his skills with their backing. His dedication to his craft led to him winning his first F1 race, the Canadian Grand Prix, at the age of 22. This win was especially noteworthy as Hamilton was the first Black driver in the sport. In July 2024, the 39-year-old won his 104th race at the British Grand Prix, while already holding the honor of winning the most Grand Prix titles of...

Jul 8, 2024

Armando Bacot Says People Criticize The Amount Of Time He Played For UNC But He Credits The School For Helping Him Make Millions In NIL Deals

Former University of North Carolina (UNC) basketball player Armando Bacot is investing his earnings from name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. During an interview on the “Run Your Race” podcast, Bacot said he earned “life-changing” money — more than $2 million — during his time at the university. He even opted to stay for a fifth season to reap the full benefits. Per On3, his deals have included Wingstop, Intuit TurboTax, and Topps. “That speaks on the brand of Carolina. If I didn’t go to Carolina, doing deals with TurboTax, all those people, they wouldn’t do it with me… If you go to Carolina, you handle business, you go out there and play, somewhat be marketable… it pays,” he explained. “I could never say a bad word about Carolina and everything ’cause I got life-changing money. I’m from Richmond. I got life-changing money in college just off playing basketball.” Bacot emphasized his gratitude to UNC, crediting his success to the college. He believes he would not have landed...

Jul 8, 2024

After Selling BIG3 Pro Basketball League Teams In Miami And Houston For $10M Each, Ice Cube’s League Expands To Detroit

Ice Cube’s BIG3 is rapidly expanding! As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the 3-on-3 basketball league recently sold teams in Los Angeles, CA; Houston, TX; and Miami, FL, in deals reportedly worth $10 million each as they seek to venture away from a touring league to a city-based model, which will go into effect for the 2025 season. “We need to plant our roots in cities so we can be more than a rolling all-star game coming through,” BIG3 CEO and Co-Founder Ice Cube told Bloomberg at the time. “It’s really about growing the sport and the league.” In recent news, Detroit, MI, has been announced as the next city to house a BIG3 franchise thanks to the interest of ownership group GameAbove Sports, which includes Founder and Chairman Keith J. Stone and Detroit pro sports figures George Gervin and T.J. Lang, MLive reports. Former NBA point guard Earl Boykins is working closely with GameAbove Sports as well. “The entire team at GameAbove and I are thrilled to bring a BIG3 franchise to the...

Jul 8, 2024

Angela Rye Is Doing The Work As Principal And CEO Of IMPACT Strategies, A Political Advocacy, Social Impact, And Racial Equity Firm

Angela Rye is one of today’s leading voices in political advocacy and social justice. Recognized for her politics and culture commentary on networks like CNN and ESPN as well as her own podcast “Native Land Pod” with co-hosts Tiffany Cross and Andrew Gillum, the award-winning host, commentator, and lawyer transformed her passion into IMPACT Strategies. Launched in 2013, the political advocacy firm creates strategic partnerships and coalitions to birth societal change. In an interview with AFROTECH™ before her fireside chat, “Bridging the Gap for an Equitable Community,” at AFROTECH™ Executive Newark, Rye shared the backstory of one of IMPACT Strategies’ most impactful partnerships to date. Moreover, it came following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. “A lot of companies were coming asking for Black support, Black help, Black input, Black advice, and strategy,” Rye recalled to AFROTECH™. “A t the time, I represented PayPal and worked really diligently with them on their [$535...

Jul 8, 2024

Serena Williams Recalls Attempting To Retrieve Her First $1M In Earnings Through A Drive-Thru ATM

Serena Williams was playing to win. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, Williams was purely satisfied by the game, and money was an afterthought. So much so that she would often forget to pick up her prize money after tournaments. “When I started tennis, first of all, I’m from Compton, CA, and I remember playing on these courts, and my life was great. I never felt like I needed anything. So for me, money was never a motivation,” Williams explained on Bloomberg Originals’ “The Deal” podcast hosted by Alex Rodriguez and Jason Kelly. “I remember when I first started, back in the day, they used to write out checks after you won your tournament. And I would always forget to get the checks. And so at the end of the year they would always have to say, ‘Serena, we have all these checks for you.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ And at the time, I had an accountant who would be like, ‘Serena, they sent me all these checks that you would forget to get from the tournaments.’” While she reveals she was...

Jul 8, 2024