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This Couple Is Fostering Black Tech Innovation And Wealth In Detroit — 'It's Detroit's Time To Shine'

The tech industry isn’t exempt from the phrase, “There’s enough room for everybody to win.” According to a Dice report, over 375,000 tech jobs were posted in October 2022 and were up by 25% from the previous year period (January 2021-October 2021). One of the U.S. cities creating an influx of opportunities in the tech sector is Detroit, MI. Last year, the “Motor City” ranked No. 1 on the list of top 100 emerging startup ecosystems in the world, per a report by Startup Genome.

Nov 2, 2023

A Black Chef Is Behind The Opening Of The First Inner City Food Hall In Detroit, MI

A new dining venture is looking to put Detroit, MI, on the map.

Sep 11, 2023

Couple Behind Social App Inpathy Selected For Techstars Detroit

Techstars has launched its latest accelerator program. What’s more, a trailblazing Black-owned company was marked as one of its finalists.

Apr 3, 2023

Meet The Footwear Designer Behind Your Favorite Yeezys Who Is Launching His Own Apparel Brand

For Randall Yarborough, being highly in tune with his surroundings as an adolescent was the foreshadowing of his future career. The footwear designer grew up on the west side of Detroit, MI — off of Joy Road to be exact — and was fascinated by the buildings in the downtown area. While he didn’t know exactly just what architecture was at the time, he knew he wanted to get his hands on it.

Mar 10, 2023

This Black Woman's Home Was Sold To A White Woman For Free Without Her Permission — 'It’s Almost Like A Death'

Tomeka Langford felt unseen, and rightfully so, as her home was swiftly taken away from her. Then, it was sold to a white woman for free. A writer who believed to be the homebuyer of what was Langford’s home detailed the story via The Guardian.

Oct 20, 2022

'You Gotta Applaud Them' — 'Shark Tank's' Mr. Wonderful Admits The Lip Bar Has Every Right To Rub Its Success In His Face After Once Rejecting It

Everyone has that one that got away, whether it’s been a job, a relationship — you name it. However, for “Shark Tank’s” Kevin O’Leary, also known as “Mr. Wonderful,” it was The Lip Bar, a cosmetics company — “founded and owned by women of color” — to bring more inclusivity to the beauty industry. “I’m determined to change the way people think about beauty and their experiences with beauty,” CEO Melissa Butler told AfroTech in a previous interview. “More than anything, I’m just determined to increase the self-esteem of women everywhere.” On her route to determination, Butler and her partner appeared on “Shark Tank” in 2015 and faced rejection.    

May 17, 2022

Kwame Kilpatrick, The Controversial Ex-Detroit Mayor, Opens A New Business

Kwame Kilpatrick has a new job — and Detroit may have a new infusion of capital. According to Deadline, the disgraced politician has now started a new business: virtual ministries. “It’s a virtual ministry,” Kilpatrick told Deadline , “so we’ll be everywhere.” While everyone needs a hustle — and good for him for finding his — that hustle is going to cost him quite dearly. As an end result of his crimes, Kwame Kilpatrick still owes more than $4.7 million to the city of Detroit, and to the IRS. He also only served seven years of a 28-year sentence thanks to former President Donald Trump commuting his sentence. Though Trump commuted Kilpatrick’s sentence, which got him out of prison early, he didn’t commute what he owed to the city and to the IRS. “I think the citizens of the city of Detroit, especially the water department and the taxes, the IRS, and anybody else that is owed money from Kwame Kilpatrick would love to see him start a business,” said legal analyst Charlie Langton to WWJ...

Bathroom Barber: After Facing Suspension For Running A Barbershop In School, Cameron Tucker Lands Career Opportunities

Although he got his first gig in a bathroom at Renaissance High School in Detroit, MI, it seems as though 16-year-old Cameron Tucker will go far. Tucker first picked up cutting hair over the summer after learning the basics from his Uncle Tuck, according to FOX 2. Later on, what started as cutting his younger cousins’ and friends’ hair, as well as posting his skills on social media transformed into a successful business of servicing his football teammates and fellow classmates. That successful business also made it into the school year as the outlet reports that Cameron was caught cutting his clientele of classmates’ hair in the bathroom during study hall. “I want to say wrong time, wrong place,” he told FOX 2. A phone call was made to Tucker’s mother, Cassandra, and unfortunately, Cameron was given a one-day suspension for his entrepreneurial moves as the “bathroom barber,” but those moves couldn’t keep him down for long. While Tucker will no longer be cutting hair at school, it...

Nov 15, 2021

The Pensole Lewis College Of Business And Design To Become The Nation's First-Ever HBCU To Re-Open

Our history when it comes to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is unmatched! The Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design (PLC) is the latest institution to make huge waves as it has officially drafted proposed legislation to become the nation’s first-ever re-opened HBCU. Originally known as The Lewis College of Business in 1928, it first operated as a secretarial school for Black women prior to relocating to Detroit in 1939 and became a critical economic source for the city’s Black community. Stemming from royalty, PLC is a dream school-made reality thanks to Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, the founder of the PENSOLE Design Academy in Portland, OR. He is also stockholder of the previously closed Detroit-based HBCU, Lewis College of Business. Now, through a partnership with the College for Creative Studies (CCS), PLC will reopen its doors in March 2022 with a mission to serve as a home for aspiring Black creatives, business leaders, designers and engineers. It will also...

Oct 21, 2021

Former NBA Star Chris Webber Set To Build A $50M Cannabis Facility In His Hometown Of Detroit

Today, NBA Hall of Famer Chris Webber has announced a step toward achieving not only his dreams but those of his community as well. In an effort to ensure minorities will not be left out of the cannabis industry, the entrepreneur has announced The launch of The Players Only Holdings — co-founded with entrepreneur Lavetta Willis — will bring a $50 million cannabis operational and training facility to Detroit, MI. “To be able to bring this to Detroit is the most special thing because I waited,” said Webber in a press statement to CBS Sports. “I waited till I really learned the industry; we’ve been in here a while. I waited to try and see what the right landscape was, and all of that studying and preparation and patience really makes me feel like I just can’t wait to hit this here, and the people are going to make it a home run.” This news follows just five months after Webber’s nonprofit WebberWild partnered with Cookies U to create cannabis-led initiatives to provide educational...

Sep 28, 2021

Black Teen Wrongly Identified Then Kicked Out Of A Skating Rink Thanks To Facial Recognition Technology

Technology doesn’t always work in our favor. After facial recognition software wrongly identified a Black teen at a local skating rink in Michigan, her parents want some answers. “To me, it’s basically racial profiling,” said the teen’s mother, Juliea Robinson. “You’re just saying every young Black, brown girl with glasses fits the profile and that’s not right.” According to Fox 2 Detroit, Riverside Arena skating rink’s facial recognition software misidentified Lamya Robinson which ultimately led to her being kicked out and denied access into the venue. “I was like, that is not me. Who is that?” said Lamya. “I was confused because I’ve never been there.” When her parents dropped her off at the rink on Saturday, they expected her to spend the day having fun and hanging out with friends but she didn’t even make it into the venue. Lamya was denied entry after her face was scanned and the rink accused her of being involved in a brawl at the venue back in March. “You all put my daughter...

Jul 15, 2021

MassMutual Great Lakes, First Independence Bank Announce Partnership To Close Racial Wealth Gap

MassMutual is linking up with Michigan’s only Black-owned bank to work toward closing the racial wealth gap! According to the news release , First Independence Bank (FIB) is the only Black-owned bank in Michigan and through the new strategic alliance with MassMutual Great Lakes (MMGL), they’ve committed to helping the underserved reshape how they view money. “At MassMutual Great Lakes, we believe every individual, small business owner, and corporation deserves the right to financial services and strategies designed to create stability,” said MassMutual Great Lakes Manuel Amezcua in an official news release. “Our commitment is to develop meaningful relationships that reshape the financial well-being and success of a diverse group of individuals and institutions in the communities we serve.” Since its launch in 1970, FIB has served the dreams and financial needs of Black Americans and is one of only 155 minority depository institutions, according to Black Enterprise, in the nation and...

May 18, 2021

How a Tax Refund Made This Entrepreneur's Dreams of Building a Real Estate Portfolio Come True

A tax refund in 2009 changed this single mother’s life forever. After banks refused to give her a loan and without any credit cards to finance her dreams, Detroit-based waitress Ashley Hamilton, decided to use her tax refund to begin her real estate journey, reports Black Enterprise. Each year since 2009, she used cash to purchase single-family properties in Detroit to rehab, before ultimately using the properties as buy and hold rentals. Her initial plan was to secure one property every year with her annual tax refunds, but instead, she was able to expand her portfolio building dream by saving the rent she collected from tenants and was finally able to gain access to loans. “Not having money worked for my benefit,” said Hamilton during an appearance on the BiggerPockets podcast. “I got a tax return at the end of the year. By me only making around $20K and having two kids, I was able to get a $5K-$6K refund.” She also has Detroit’s real estate market — which had a low entry point at...

Mar 31, 2021

These Metro Detroit Doctors Run the First Mother-Daughter Orthodontics Practice in the U.S.

Mother-daughter duo Jana and Janelle McQueen operate the first and only mother-daughter orthodontics practice in the United States, according to WDIV . Dr. Jana opened her practice in 1998 when her daughter, Dr. Janelle, was just a baby. Now, after following in her mothers footsteps — even attending the same college and dental school — the pair run three McQueen Orthodontics Specialists centers in Metro Detroit. Both women graduated top of their class from Meharry Medical College and Howard University. “I didn’t ask her to do this,” said Dr. Jana. “It just warms my heart to have her as my legacy; the comfort of knowing once I decide to retire, the practice is going to be in good hands.” They are now working to help other young women professionals like Dr. Janelle grow in this male-dominated industry by offering mentoring and job shadowing to individuals who are interested. “Especially the Black mothers that come in here and they’re bringing their daughters in here, they’re like, ‘Oh...

Mar 29, 2021