Black Entrepreneur Initiative to host a block party with Black-owned companies

Black Entrepreneur Initiative to host a block party with Black-owned companies

The Black Entrepreneur Initiative serves to cultivate black entrepreneurs at UNC, while providing a space for black entrepreneurs to make profits and promote their businesses. The organization has three main goals: to promote, inform and connect.

“I think all three goals have one central mission of their own — and it’s just to elevate the black community,” said Eliam Mussie, co-president of the BEI.

Co-founded by college students Kene Uwajeh and Sherrod Crum, the organization began as a community for black entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial students, and those interested in the entrepreneurship field.

“Historically, black people have been barred from some of those spaces. Black businesses don’t get as many promotional marks as some other types of businesses,” said BEI co-president Richard Okoro. “I feel like that also has a greater effect on the black community as a whole and doesn’t see other entrepreneurs looking at you. appear.”

He said the initiative trains members of the Carolina community to be entrepreneurial in everything from business to medicine to marketing, and helps them grow professionally.

“Thinking like an entrepreneur is a great skill to have,” said John Obiefuna, event coordinator for the BEI. “Whatever career you choose to pursue, thinking like an entrepreneur is sure to take you a long way.”

The organization hosts multiple events such as pop-up shops and a block party every semester. They also conduct application workshops for the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship and 1789 Student Venture Funding. They want to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with professionals through speaker series.

In addition, Mussie said this year that BEI is planning other events, such as a Black formal that doubles as a fundraiser, and a startup pitching competition similar to Shark Tank that will provide mentorship and counseling to participants.

They are also currently working on expanding into other universities such as UNC-Greensboro, NC Agricultural and Technical State University, NC State University, and Duke University.

“We want to take it to new heights this year by hosting events, programs and information sessions so that more students of color can access entrepreneurship knowledge,” Mussie said.

The block party

BEI will host a block party in front of the clock tower on September 10 from 12 noon to 5 pm

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