• United Way celebrates inaugural Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative grantees

    13 local businesses complete matched savings incubator program


    NEW ORLEANS – On Wednesday, November 8th, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) will celebrate the inaugural participants of its Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative (TAASB), a game-changing program designed to help boost the profit potential of Black-owned businesses in greater New Orleans.

    When: Wednesday, November 8, 2023

    Where: New Orleans Jazz Market

    1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

    New Orleans, LA 70113

    Time: 4 PM - 7 PM (Program begins at 4:30 PM)  

    “We know small business contributes both jobs and positive economic activity to communities, and that’s one reason why we’re making this investment in these individuals working to build their brands and income,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA President and CEO. “But more importantly, our intentional investment in small, Black-owned businesses ensures communities of color don’t miss out on economic opportunities and growth.” 

    The 15 inaugural participants include:  

    Danny’s Creole Kitchen, LLC 

    Afri Modiste 
    Retail/Fashion Design 
    Domango Training 
    Health and Wellness  
    Paparazzi Cam Photo Booth & Photography 
    Event Rental Company 
    Christie Lockett Healing Center 
    Health Care and Social Assistance 
    Touches by Tircuit 
    Beauty Salon
    Socialstep Marketing and Consulting 
    Therapist With Talent Massage 
    Health & Wellness 
    Braids By Denise LLC 
    Hair Stylist 
    His Grace Enterprises LLC 
    Food & Drink 
    New Day Properties, LLC 
    Real Estate 
    Socialite Events 
    Event Planning
    Perfectly Vinyl Prints D&B, LLC 
    Graphic Design 

    The participants – from Jefferson, Orleans, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes – completed seven months of concentrated instruction through UWSELA’s Prosperity Centers designed to help them fine tune their budgeting skills and improve their profits and viability.

    Participants honed their business acumen, achieved a $2,000 savings goal in their Hope Federal Credit Union development accounts, which UWSELA will match 5:1, creating $12,000 in NEW capital for each business.  

    The graduation ceremony Wednesday evening will include the dynamic Level Up: Sell Your Spark presentations, which provides participants an opportunity to practice selling their plans to a group of potential investors – comprised of TAASB funders – who will rate each pitch. 

    UWSELA funded the Initiative through the generous support of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation, BET, MacKenzie Scott and St. Tammany Corporation. The Bernard Group/Jolie Bernard LLC generously agreed to cover membership costs for both the New Orleans Regional Black Chamber of Commerce and New Orleans Chamber of Commerce for all participants

    Information about future TAASB application cycles will be released though UWSELA’s community newsletter.  

    Visit UnitedWaySELA.org/TAASB to learn more about the program’s competitive application process and requirements.  

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