Jessica Kwalli, Owner of Jessica Blair Beauty

Jessica Kwalli, Jessica Blair Beauty | Black History Month 2022

Kwalli began researching ways to get into the beauty industry and how to open and run a beauty store. Though the task was daunting and she didn’t know where to begin, Kwalli noticed one of her notebooks sitting by her at the time had a vital message embossed on the cover. Write Every Moment.

“So I did just that,” Kwalli says. “Each day, I would jot down ideas, thoughts that would come to mind. I’d then start doing one thing at a time. Which put together a blueprint.”

Nedra Banks, The Grubbank | Black History Month 2022

“There are two defining moments for me that pushed me down this path of entrepreneurship,” Banks recalls. “I was taking my daughter to school one day and saw kids outside waiting on the school bus. Their stop was near a gas station, and I watched those kids rush in there and attack the snack aisles. When I asked if they had had breakfast, they all said no for various reasons. That moment made me realize there was no alternative for their family to have access to fresh food for them to start their day.”

Niema Stone, Soapstone Soaps | Black History Month 2022

“Eventually, I got better. But it took a lot of research and dedication to learn the proper way to do things and the way the ingredients work with each technique,” Stone says. “With each batch, both the soap and my skills got better, my confidence grew, and people started asking if they could purchase my products.”

Playground Detroit photo by Leah Castile

Impact Stories | PLAYGROUND DETROIT

They uplift artists, inspire the next generation, give back to Detroit through community discounts and partnerships with other community members, leverage the ability of their artists to use their talent for good and positive change, enhance Detroit’s creative economy, and encourage the vibrancy and beautification in Detroit. 

Guerilla Food Logo

Impact Stories | Guerilla Food

Meiko’s success, however, is not without massive hurdles faced by many small business owners, especially those who don’t have a traditional background in business. Taking the time to build her financial literacy and finding a network of collaborative small business owners helped Meiko stay afloat during especially tough times.

Inside Krispy Addicts

Impact Stories | Krispy Addicts

Hasan is more than an entrepreneur. He wants to inspire his peers and youth by showing them how a man from inner-city Detroit with a vision from an early age worked until his goals came to fruition. Hasan uses his connections to the Detroit community to uplift his neighbors.

Juneteenth ProsperUs Message Header

Reflecting on Juneteenth

Our culture is preserved and esteemed when the businesses in our neighborhoods are for and by us. Our humanity is recognized and we have safe spaces to exist. Our people are cared for by the opportunities we create to support and build up one another. The ripple effects are beautiful and endless. 

Jeana Harper-Kirkland, Owner of Torso Sweatband

Words of an Entrepreneur: Jeana Harper-Kirkland

When the opportunity arose for this multi-faceted businesswoman to take the ProsperUs Detroit Entrepreneurial Training, she jumped on it!  Jeana had taken entrepreneurial classes 15 years prior with her business partner, Rhonda Johnson, but time elapsed and life happened, so it was time for a refresher to fill in the holes with the most up-to-date training.

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