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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

Usher's Nonprofit And IBM Are Offering Underserved Youth Free Tech Training

Usher’s nonprofit organization, Usher’s New Look, is working to make tech career paths more accessible for underserved youth. Essence reports that Usher’s New Look teamed up with IBM’s SkillsBuild program to provide young people who are supported by the nonprofit with free tech training including in AI. IBM’s free global platform provides educational pathways and content, particularly focused on career prep resources. “We serve more than 1,500 youth per year, and all the students we serve will have access to SkillsBuild,” said Usher’s New Look CEO and President Careshia Moore, according to Essence. “AI is being infused into every part of our lives, particularly the workforce. We want to make sure that our young people are prepared for what’s coming.” IBM Vice President and Chief Impact Officer Justina Nixon-Saintil chimed in, “In the United States, we very much focus on partnerships like Usher’s New Look, where we can to bring the free training, the expertise from IBM, even job...

May 20, 2024

Cristina Jones Shares The Intentionality She Has Behind Creating Partnerships As CEO Of Black Girls Code

Black Girls Code (BGC) is living true to its name. The organization exists to ensure at least 1 million girls of color will establish a presence in the tech industry by 2040 by partnering with schools, individuals who share its mission, and other organizations, a press release mentions. Among its efforts to bolster career paths in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) is providing computer programming education. In October 2023, the organization hired former Salesforce executive Cristina Jones as its CEO. Jones’ experience also includes having worked at Twentieth Century Fox, where she was able to gain further experience within the entertainment sector and technology. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Black Girls Code (@blackgirlscode) Now, in her latest role, the focus is on workforce development and fostering industry partnerships that will help to build the skills of its students and forge career pathways, as previously reported by...

May 14, 2024

Te’Lario Watkins II, A 16-Year-Old Nonprofit Founder Who Wants To Use Tech To Combat Food Insecurity, Gets A ‘Shark Tank’ Invite From Daymond John

A young Black entrepreneur’s tireless work to combat food insecurity is paying off. At age seven, Te’Lario Watkins II launched his business, Tiger Mushroom Farms in central Ohio, according to its website. “The idea of Tiger Mushroom Farms began after I planted cat grass and basil seeds at my 1st Cub Scout meeting,” Watkins wrote. “I enjoyed watering MY plants and was eager to see their growth each day.” He continued, “I began to wonder what else could I grow in Ohio in the wintertime. I remember reading a book about mushrooms. I told my parents and asked them about growing mushrooms. My parents bought me a mushroom kit…and the rest is history.” Nearly nine years after launching Tiger Mushroom Farms and selling his mushrooms at local farmers markets in Columbus, OH, the 16-year-old also has his own nonprofit, according to ABC News. The Garden Club Project’s mission is to eliminate food deserts and motivate children to make healthier food choices. ABC News reports that Watkins has...

Apr 15, 2024

Black-Owned Digital Platform Peadbo Wins $1K Check At SXSW 2024 Pitch Competition

If you want to advance in your professional career, it is imperative to obtain guidance from the right supporter. Keith Chaney learned this while working at technology company Google as the strategy and operations lead of its global partnerships and at McKinsey & Co., where he served as a management consultant. That’s when he decided to exit those jobs to pursue his own career as a founder. During the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2024 pitch competition, he recalls his experience as a first-generation graduate navigating the intricacies of post-college life. He later realized the importance of gaining peer support to be successful in the long term. “When I started my career, I was surrounded by an amazing family. Unfortunately, no one in my family had worked for Google, McKinsey, or any of the places I found myself during my career. So, despite their best efforts, no one was ever able to tell me the information that I needed to win in those spaces,” Chaney said at SXSW 2024. His desire...

Apr 4, 2024

Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor Using These 10 Simple Techniques

At this point in your career journey, you might be ready for a mentor yet unsure of how to approach the topic. Knowing how to ask someone to be your mentor is a vital skill, as discovering a mentor is likely one of the most valuable choices you will make in your professional life . This applies to all fields, from professional basketball to web development to firefighting. The challenge is that approaching someone and asking them to act as your mentor is not a simple task. Even in the greatest of situations, requesting somebody to mentor you may feel awkward, especially since influential people are typically in high demand as mentors in their field , and successful people are also frequently the busiest. Asking Someone For Mentorship You must first be certain that this is what you want: what makes you desire to have a mentor? And, most importantly, why would you like to receive mentoring? Do you wish to pick up a new talent, or have you been struggling with certain issues at work?...

Mar 22, 2024

Writers Block? Here's What To Write In A Retirement Card For Your Mentor

Going straight out of school and into the professional world is a huge transition that leaves many feeling blindsided. Receiving guidance on how to navigate the change from someone with industry experience is invaluable, which is what makes mentors so impactful . That and the selflessness they exhibit by going out of their way to help you in whatever stage of your career you may be in so you can grow. Forming this kind of relationship can make it challenging to decide what to write in a retirement card for a mentor. An optimal message for a retirement card would be one that is fairly brief but sincere enough to convey the gratitude that person deserves. There is no shame in seeking inspiration for what to write in a retirement card for a mentor. Sometimes it is hard to convey feelings of gratitude and appreciation in the most appropriate words for the situation. These messages are a great start and can easily be edited to align with the card giver’s personal relationship with their...

Mar 15, 2024

Mentorship Vs. Sponsorship: The Difference Between The Two And Why They Both Matter

Professionals often strive to advance throughout their careers, and there are several ways that they can achieve this goal. Two of those ways are through mentorship and sponsorship. The differentiation between the two is that a mentor will enhance your skills, provide guidance on a project or task you are undertaking, or elevate your way of thinking. A sponsor will be useful to advocate on your behalf, create opportunities for you, and help promote you within an organization. Matthew C. Meade, a financial services executive with experience working with Fortune 100 companies, stopped by AfroTech to provide some insights on what to consider when seeking either route to move up the career ladder.

Mar 7, 2023

LegacyShift Partners With Connecticut State Agency To Make Mentorship And Coaching More Accessible

LegacyShift, a Connecticut-based mentorship and coaching tech platform, has entered into a partnership with CTNext to support startups and entrepreneurs in the state of Connecticut.

Jan 23, 2023

Candace Parker Tag Teams With adidas To Mentor Female Student-Athletes Through The NIL Era

Candace Parker is helping adidas keep its promise to student-athletes.  

Jul 27, 2022

This Entrepreneur Is Defying The Odds With Her Million-Dollar Trucking Business And Mentoring Other Women To Follow Suit

Tristen Simmons is forging a pathway for women to shake up a male-dominated industry through her trucking and logistics brokerage firm.  

Jul 27, 2022

Harlem's Fashion Row Partners With LVMH In Support Of Emerging Black Designers To Carry On Virgil Abloh’s Mission

Rising talent will be supported in the fight toward a more equitable and inclusive fashion industry in light of a new partnership between Harlem’s Fashion Row (HFR) and LVMH North America.

Jun 17, 2022

Google For Startups Is Now Accepting Applications For Its 2022 Cohort

Google for Startups is on the hunt for promising Black, Latinx, and Veteran founders across the country. Starting now, these founders can apply to be a part of the third cohort of the Founders Academy. The four-month virtual program will provide Google’s best practices, top tools, and the community required to raise capital and upscale startups, according to information provided to AfroTech. “Boddle had begun raising a round of funding when we started the Founders Academy. The timing was fortuitous because it allowed us to take advantage of the program’s investor-in-residence. Tony was instrumental in helping us crystallize our pitch to VCs and gain better insights on negotiating for the $1.45M funding round that we eventually raised,” said Edna Martinson, Founders Academy alumna and founder of Boddle Learning in a statement provided to us.

Dec 17, 2021

Ryan Leslie Says He Turned A $100K Investment Into $16M Thanks To Advice From His Mentor

Ryan Leslie could teach us a thing or two about investing in stocks! The iconic singer/songwriter/producer, responsible for hits like Cassie’s “Me & U,” is also quite the entrepreneur and businessman with an eye for investments. Leslie must’ve known that Apple would become the tech giant that it is today, having first invested in the company back in 2009. In 2018, Apple became the first trillion-dollar company. According to Complex, the “Addicted” singer’s initial stake of $100,000 reached millions of dollars thanks to a wise lesson from his mentor. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Earn Your Leisure (@earnyourleisure) Leslie detailed exactly how during an episode of the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast stating: “I remember a conversation I had with my mentor. I said, ‘Hey look, man. I took your advice and man, $100,000 to $350,000. I’mma cash out and get something nice for my mom.’ And he gave me the ultimatum at that time– he said, ‘Ryan,listen. You can go ahead and cash...

Sep 10, 2021

Spelman College, IDEAYA Biosciences Partner to Build Black Women Leaders in the Biotechnology Industry

A new partnership between IDEAYA Biosciences and Spelman College aims to help develop the next generation of Black women leaders in the biotechnology industry. The Spelman IDEAYA partnership is an eccentric academic and industry collaboration that will provide Spelman students with the learning platform necessary for pursuing a career in biotechnology, reports PR Newswire. Using the guiding principles of education and mentorship, the Spelman IDEAYA Health Science and Biotechnology Program is the combination of a development program, professional internship, and scholarship for select Spelman students with an interest in biotechnology as a future career path. “As an institution with one of the nation’s highest number of medical school applications from Black Americans, we are passionate about not only the discovery on new therapeutic options but the delivery of the treatments as well,” said Rosalind Gregory-Bass, M.D., associate professor of environmental and health sciences and...

Jan 20, 2021