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APB Skatepark — The First Privately Held, Black-Owned, Publicly Accessible Non-DIY Skatepark In The US — Opens In Charlotte, NC

A community-driven project is coming to revitalize Charlotte, NC. According to a press release provided to AFROTECH™, The Whitaker Group — the creative company behind brands such as A Ma Maniére, Social Status, APB, and Prosper — has revealed its plans for The Collective on Tuckaseegee , a 13,000-square-foot compound and retail campus with 10 retail units located in Charlotte. The Collective aims to stimulate economic development in many ways. The venture will feature local entrepreneurs as well as The Whitaker Group’s existing brands, partners, and experiences, including APB Skatepark, the first privately held, Black-owned, publicly accessible, non-DIY skatepark in the country. This skatepark was developed in collaboration with The Boardr, which encompasses three firms with expertise in skateboarding facility design and construction, event production and consulting, and athlete management, its website mentions. Additionally, The Whitaker Group plans to launch the in-house apparel...

Jun 20, 2024

Kevin Hart's Gran Coramino Tequila Has Donated Over $1M To Small Black And Latinx Businesses

Kevin Hart’s Gran Coramino Tequila has officially reached a new milestone. According to a press release shared with AFROTECH™, since its inception in 2022, the ultra-premium tequila company has provided more than $1 million in grant funding to over 100 Black and Latinx small-business owners and entrepreneurs through its Coramino Fund. The fund, powered by the company founded by Hart and 11th-generation tequila maker Juan Domingo Beckmann, has made giving back to the community its main priority from the very beginning, honoring its “vision to celebrate life’s hard-earned moments” by donating $1 from every bottle sold to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in the United States and Mexico. “As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve seen how early financial support can impact the long-term success of the business,” Hart said in a statement. “The Coramino Fund was created to provide support to some of the hardest working people out there — entrepreneurs and small business owners.”   View this...

Apr 24, 2024

Black-Owned Juice Bar Offering Entrepreneurship Training To The Youth Expands To A Second Location In Baltimore

A Baltimore, MD-based juice bar helping the youth will be expanding to its second location. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, Rich Juice Bar opened its doors to the South Baltimore community in 2023. Co-founder Michael Battle had experienced health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and after adopting a healthier diet he saw improvements, reports The Baltimore Banner. Now, alongside his wife, Danielle, they are making it their life’s mission to make affordable and healthful food options such as juices, smoothies, and acai bowls accessible. View this post on Instagram A post shared by RICH JUICE BAR| POURING LIFE INTO THE COMMUNITY (@richjuicebar) What’s more, Rich Juice Bar’s mission extends a hand to the youth, offering job opportunities as well as training in communication, entrepreneurship, banking, and financial advocacy. “This social enterprise will provide wellness and economic vitality, health and delicious cold-pressed juices, nutrient rich smoothies, and...

Apr 23, 2024

How NASA Is Increasing Equity In STEM Beyond Space Exploration

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) hopes to inspire people to look into the skies and to their communities. Recently, Black individuals in NASA’s workforce took social media by storm after sharing their headshots from the independent agency. The heartwarming posts reminded everyone of the importance of representation and fostering inclusivity, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Joining #BlackAtNASA . After 15 years this is my headshot. — K Renee Horton,PhD (@Reneehortonphd) March 17, 2024 Despite the fleeting nature of viral moments, NASA’s efforts for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are far more than just a snapshot. In 2023, the agency released an equity action plan supporting a presidential executive order focused on dismantling “inequitable barriers and challenges facing underserved communities.” “We at NASA, as an administrator, never tell our story,” Shahra Lambert, NASA’s...

Apr 5, 2024

Can A New Rule Change By The Small Business Administration Give Formerly Incarcerated Citizens A Chance At Entrepreneurship?

Vice President Kamala Harris has unveiled significant changes to entrepreneurship pathways for formerly incarcerated individuals.

Jan 31, 2024

Where To Find Startup Grants For Your Business In 2024

Those seeking funding for their small business have the debt-free option of applying for startup business grants or small business grants. These grants are typically awarded by government entities, private organizations or corporations and, unlike loans , are not expected to be paid back. There are incentives for these companies and organizations to award these grants, as the new businesses could create economic growth or support a certain cause/research topic (like social or environmental) that one of these entities is interested in. These grants are highly competitive and have very specific requirements that must be met before they are awarded. Most likely, applicants will need to prepare by verifying the eligibility criteria, funding amount, application deadlines and any restrictions of a grant that their business aligns with. Also, ensuring the applicant’s business is specific enough to the grant’s requirements is very important . Doing so ensures the applicant has a better...

Jan 19, 2024

No Idea? Here Are 10 Tech Business Ideas To Launch This Year

Some people know the moment they enter the workforce that, they are meant to be their own boss. Others may have known from the beginning but are waiting for the right idea to ignite a fire within them. However, waiting too long can just as easily stifle that fire. Aspiring entrepreneurs often find themselves throwing up their hands in defeat saying, “I want to start a business but have no ideas.” Most successful entrepreneurs share that it is not always about having an original idea that gets one started in business, nor does that original idea automatically equate to success. For many, it was taking an existing idea and iterating upon it; making it more efficient and polishing it. In other words, it was about starting rather than waiting for just the right moment with just the right idea. With this in mind, here are ten tech business ideas for those who want to start a business but have no ideas. Each one of them capitalizes upon existing tech that is popular and becoming more and...

Jan 11, 2024

How To Scale Your Small Business By Making Your 9-5 A 'Silent Investor'

It may be possible to grow and navigate an industry with greater ease by maintaining a full-time job. This decision has proved favorable for some Black entrepreneurs who often don’t see the same investment dollars as their counterparts. And sometimes, keeping the vision afloat means carrying forward with your financial resources. Ultimately, you can lean on what route will be most beneficial for the longevity of your business. However, we have compiled some tips from Black women small business owners who have scaled their brands and attribute their growth to their 9-5.

Jul 28, 2023

How A Husband-And-Wife Team Turned EBkicks Into A Successful Company

If you’re a sneakerhead, EBkicks isn’t just a luxury — it’s a requirement. Made of all-natural and biodegradable materials, EBkicks — helmed by the husband-and-wife team of Kenny and Elin Berbick — is safe for all shoe materials. The Las Vegas-based duo has achieved exponential success as a family-centered lifestyle brand. As life and business partners, Elin and Kenny Berbick, pride themselves on being the original sneakerheads. The duo’s passion for sneakers inspired them to put their hard-earned money to develop low-cost top-tier biodegradable sneaker cleaning products. EB and Kenny have even become influencers in their own right with over 180,000 followers on Instagram and over 365,000 followers on TikTok, amassing nearly 5 million likes on the latter platform. What’s more, the solution can keep your expensive shoes lasting a lot longer — and looking a lot better in the process. The product was also recently featured in GQ, when popular sneaker influencers Miguel and Grace...

Startup Kippa Raises $3.2M To Help Africa’s Small Businesses Improve Their Bookkeeping Practices

Sometimes small businesses face the challenge of learning how to develop effective bookkeeping practices. This obstacle could lead to disrupted cash flow and a failure to meet the financial obligations of one’s business. Looking to resolve this issue in Nigeria is the startup Kippa, which markets itself as the country’s simplest accounting software. Founded by Kennedy Ekezie alongside Duke Ekezie and Jephthah Uche in February 2021, the application is designed to help small business owners create a bookkeeping system that will help them “recover debts 3x faster,” TechCrunch reports. According to Kippa, a stand-out feature on its application is customers who have not made payments can not only be tracked, but they will receive an automated reminder message for the business owner to recover debts. In addition, businesses can manage inventory, track daily cash flow and expenses, create invoices and generate receipts. “For us, what we do is we have such a unique opportunity to provide...

Nov 18, 2021

The United States Best And Worst Cities To Start A Business

A recent study published by NBC News revealed that North Carolina is the best state to start a business in. But which state is the worst? LendingTree provided their research to NBC News, and their studies concluded that three of North Carolina’s top cities — Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham — offer the best places for small businesses to get started. Raleigh takes the top spot, while Charlotte is at No. 3, and Durham is at No. 4. “54.8% of Raleigh’s population is in their prime working years between ages 25 and 54, ninth-highest among the 100 metros,” reports the study. Austin, TX, meanwhile, takes the No. 2 spot. In fact, according to the study, the South holds five of the 10 top ten spots in the United States to open a small business. Aside from North Carolina, states like Idaho (with Boise, ID, coming in at No. 5) and Tennessee (with Nashville coming in at No. 9) also made the top of the list. But, which states are the worst states to open a new business in? At the top of the list...

Visa To Provide Its Tap To Phone Technology To 50 Black-Owned Small Businesses In D.C.

Visa is piloting its Tap to Phone technology in Washington, D.C., with hopes of aiding in the close of the digital divide for small Black-owned businesses and communities. This is the first time the multinational financial services corporation is bringing its new tech to the U.S. after piloting it in 30 other countries, Visa shared in a press release. Visa is also looking to provide resources and education through Visa Street Teams , an initiative it created to digitally-enable 50 million small businesses. Following this launch in D.C., Visa will be taking its tech to Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and Miami as part of its small business revitalization initiative. “The way we shop and pay has forever changed. During the pandemic, tapping to pay and contactless checkout became more commonplace – and are now expected,“ Mary Kay Bowman, Visa’s global head of buyer, seller, core and platform products, said in a press release. “With our technology, networking and community...

Jun 16, 2021

Float Is Providing Capital To Small & Medium Sized Businesses In Africa

Float, a start-up company with offices in Nigeria and San Francisco, is here to solve the problems that many African companies say they have with cash flow. According to TechCrunch, 85% of African SMBs have zero access to financing, which creates issues in the supply chain. Jesse Ghansah and his co-founder Barima Effah founded Float — originally named Swipe — 18 months ago with the hopes of closing the gaps in the funding. ” Cash flow [is] the number one problem that [businesses] face,” said co-founder and CEO Jesse Ghansah to TechCrunch. “Because you’re waiting for your revenue to come in, they sometimes fall behind in meeting certain expense payments like payroll, inventory, utilities. That’s what really causes a lot of these cash flow issues, and because of that, businesses can’t grow.” For Float, solving cash flow problems involves providing the users with credit when they need it, and working capital when possible. The founders say that this approach to extending credit and...

Vanessa Jean-Baptiste of Massachusetts Opened the First Black Woman-Owned Dispensary on the East Coast

Vanessa Jean-Baptiste opened the first Black woman-owned dispensary on the East Coast this past weekend, WPRI reported. Baptiste welcomed customers to Legal Greens for the first time on Sunday, March 28. The new dispensary is located in Brockton, Massachusetts, and WPRI reported that the historic cannabis store has been in the works for three years. “It means a lot to me because we worked really hard to get to where we are at,” Jean-Baptiste told WPRI. There was a line of people waiting to support Jean-Baptiste and Brockton’s newest local Black-owned business on Sunday before the doors opened at 8 a.m. Jean-Baptiste was born and raised in Brockton and she opened this new dispensary with the hopes of bringing a positive impact to the community.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Legal Greens (@legal_greens) “This is the first woman Black-owned business in the legal market on the East Coast which is as exciting as the first stores that opened in November of 2018,” Davide...

Mar 30, 2021

TikTok is Offering $100M in Ad Credits to Rebuild the Small Business Community

TikTok has been on the tip of many tongues lately. However, despite threats of takedowns and power shifts, the video-sharing giant is still providing opportunities for businesses to grow. According to Small Business Trends , TikTok launched TikTok For Business , under which the brand committed $100 million in ad credits to small businesses as a part of their Back-to-Business program. The initiative is designed to help boost brand awareness, alleviate marketing costs, and craft engaging creative messaging. Now, for a limited time, small businesses can receive up to $2,300 in ad credit. To be eligible for the ad offer, small and medium-sized businesses must sign up for TikTok For Business and register for a TikTok Ads Manager account. Eligible SMBs can claim a one-time ad credit worth $300, the site says. Any additional spending will be matched up to $2,000 per business. This year, TikTok has become an integral part of many businesses and individual creatives’ marketing plans. In...

Sep 30, 2020