Editor’s note: The following story — spotlighting an Aug. 25 virtual event about challenges facing Black business owners — is sponsored by Let’s Talk Black Business and SCORE Community Strategic Alliance.
Black entrepreneurship isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience, said Dom Green.
“It is not cookie cutter, and it is so important to showcase the differences of the Black entrepreneur,” said Green, the founder of Positive People Posse/3P Media and an organizer behind an Aug. 25 Let’s Talk Black Business virtual event.
Kansas City’s SCORE Community Strategic Alliance (SCSA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are partnering to sponsor Zoom gathering, which is designed to uplift Black business owners and inspire other entrepreneurs at any stage of their journeys, Green explained.
“There’s never a wrong time for you to continue to learn from other people’s experiences,” Green said. “Maybe there might be a connection that happens because of this event; maybe it will spark a curiosity in someone to really start their own business.”
Click here to register for the Let’s Talk Black Business event.
Let’s Talk Black Business is set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug 25 with serial entrepreneur Adam Miller — the co-owner of Aquam Vinos, co-founder of The WorkoutKC and director of diversity and inclusion at Barkley — moderating. The event is set to cover marketing, networking and finance.
“Adam deserves so much credit for what he’s accomplished, and it is just so natural for him to be this connector,” Green said, describing his fellow Olathe East High School alum.
“I’m doing this for the young entrepreneurs who maybe stopped their college experience a little bit earlier to take a chance on themselves, or for the person who’s had a failing business two or three times and is questioning if they should try a fourth time,” Miller said. “I’ve had a failed business and that’s something I intend to speak on.”
It is crucial that entrepreneurs of color are able to see examples of people who look like them succeeding, despite their obstacles, Miller continued.
“Representation matters,” Miller said. “Those who are turning into this event may have a program they want to start or an initiative they want to kick off the ground; and maybe they haven’t had the encouragement or believe that they can do it.”
“Every single person at this event will be laying down the path [for others],” Miller noted. “But the expectation is that you don’t become the next Jordan or the next LeBron. You become the next you, and do it better than the generation before.”
Gammage, who is the CEO and co-founder of Market Base, said that she is looking to provide validation to early stage minority founders through discussing her personal journey
“A lot of times minority business owners are way too over-mentored and way too under-resourced,” Gammage said. “It’s because they believe the lie that the issue is a knowledge gap when it’s really a capital gap. Hearing from real founders who are [raising capital] and who look like them, I’m hoping, will be validation that there is no huge disproportionate difference between us; success is completely accessible to them.”
Click here to read about how Market Base was named the Emerging Business Award winner by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Although there’s no guarantee the event will give people direct access to financial capital, it will help give attendees the insight and resources to find it, Green said.
“[The event] is meant to create that curiosity and spark conversations on how someone else did it and how that’s applicable to you,” Green noted. “Davin Gordon, who recently announced that he’s no longer going to be with AltCap, has a financial background and will be able to speak to the audience about some of the qualifiers in fundraising.”
The Let’s Talk Black Business event is going to be an ongoing conversation, Green added — explaining that SCSA and SBA have already agreed to sponsor an in-person event for February 2022.
“SCORE and the SBA are backing this,” Green said, “and they really want to see Black businesses succeed.”
“This is just the beginning of what’s going to happen,” Miller added. “The continuation is yet to come, and there’s no end in sight.”