Category: Black History Month

Tramaine Seay | Black History Month

As a young Black woman and entrepreneur, she has learned to take pride and confidence in what she does. When she first started, she heard a lot of “Oh you’re the photographer?” type of comments in disbelief that she could be great and self-taught.

Merrit Family | Black History Month

During the pandemic, the coffee shop has received support from people in the community who made a conscious effort to support Black-owned businesses. The neighborhood lacked a coffee shop before The Narrow Way Cafe & Shop, so folks were sympathetic to the cause of keeping the business afloat.

Jennifer Lyle | Black History Month

Although she lost four pitch competitions in a row, Jennifer made sure every loss came with a learning opportunity and she came back to win over fourteen pitch competitions and grants which allowed her to debut her own production facility in Eastern Market. Lush Yummies Pie Company pies can now be found in national chain grocery stores, local markets, and she ships her pies nationwide through online sales despite recent struggles and adaptations around COVID-19.

Jerome B. Brown & Samuel VanBuren | Black History Month

Jerome and his brother Samuel took the time to get to know the community in the neighborhood where they planned on establishing their business to better understand their needs, and Detroit Soul was born. A farm-to-table soul food restaurant with healthy food options made available to folks who often lack access to these choices.

Sterling Wise | Black History Month

When it came to opening his facility, Sterling’s biggest challenge was being alone without business partners or expertise. He did not receive coaching from anyone at first and also took pride in doing everything on his own. And as a Black business owner and Black entrepreneur, he has always felt pressure do everything perfectly because he knows his work will be judged at a higher standard. Wise quickly realized that he needed to learn how to delegate and ask for help, because as he puts it “time is money.”

Nya Marshall | Black History Month

Nya set off to fill the need for healthy Black-oriented dining options in her community by opening a restaurant but raising the capital to get started proved challenging. After all, it is not uncommon to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars into one’s own business. And in a heavily male-dominated industry, self-funding her dream as a woman of color was not an easy feat, but she persevered.

Yolanda Massey | Black History Month

Out of all the places, Yolanda first came across ProsperUs Detroit via an online survey. Some things are just fate. Although very resourceful and self-taught, she never had any formal business training up until this point. By August of 2020, Yolanda had already graduated from our Entrepreneur Training Program and by December of 2020 became the director for her childcare.

Enid Parham | Black History Month

Being fully aware of the impasses imposed by an unjust system and the racist cannabis industry, she at times felt hesitant to dream big as a Black woman in this field. She cautiously joined FoodLab, fearful of being rejected because of the nature of her idea. Instead, she was welcomed with open arms and realized she could bring a unique perspective and insights to the group. Enid later applied and was accepted to the  FoodLab & ProsperUs Detroit collaborative, Tapestry Fellowship. 

Harriette Brown (Chef Bee) | Black History Month

Harriette’s mobile cafe and catering business “Sisters On A Roll” seeks to make wholesome and healthy food conveniently accessible to those who otherwise would not have access to a restaurant with a menu like theirs.

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