This past ResourceFULL Black Businesses event was deeply touching in the best ways possible.
We brought together more than 72 Black Entrepreneurs and their partners and supporters., 11 Business Resources, food from down the street and tunes from DJ Cal Boogie holdin' it down one-mo-gen! All together we were about 142 in the same space, focused on building the HIVE.
It was powerful
We had 30 more entrepreneurs sign up for a Business Needs Survey to help assess their specific and unique needs that we'll use in partnership with MadREP to help connect them to critical resources. Speaking of resources...
We made low barrier grants and giveaways to Black entrepreneurs that participated. It was a true blessing to see some of the reactions of the recipients. Some were on their last leg and with with a wish, a prayer, and some initiative, they brought themselves a miracle moment. As a result of this, we have Black businesses getting just what they needed to start, expand, and for some, just to stabilize.
Even though only a few received funding, EVERYONE left feeling like they gained something from our signature HIVE Networking Activity, where we documented over 336 connections! MEANINGFUL Connections! These are Partner, Mentor, Resource, Client relationships. Amazing what can come out of the HIVE.
Too often, our city has suffered from an unintended byproduct of poverty and ambition. Some have called it the Crab Mentality: where in our struggle to rise, we pull our companions down. This is something we've become all too good at and the results support low levels of Black entrepreneurship and a median household income of less than half of our White counterparts. In order to change the result, we have to change the practice.
For our HIVE Networking Activity we had to work together in order to succeed individually and as a whole. Attendees were instructed to make three meaningful connections (mentor, partner, client, resource, etc.), document those connections and their commitments and then sign up for the Business Needs Survey. Each entry on the survey sign up sheet corresponded with numbers - some of which had been pre-selected as recipients of grant funds, discounted or free services and more.
While attendees were working their way to the Needs Survey and signing up, they were also helping other attendees qualify for grant funds. In this way, we collectively worked for the betterment of the whole. That's what The HIVE is all about.
If you're interested in getting involved, you can learn more about the membership levels and join us as a Supporter, Member, Ally or Partner. Everyone is welcome. The more BEE minded folks we have, the more grants we can make, the more businesses we can support, the stronger the HIVE becomes. Please consider joining the HIVE today.
Lastly, we're so grateful to our Sponsors and Key Partners for making this event a success. And we're just getting started. As our entrepreneurs get ready for their Needs Surveys and Resource Plans, we're already planning for a bigger and better ResourceFULL event this coming April. Find out more about Sponsoring ResourceFULL Black Businesses here.