August is National Black Business Month, a time to recognize and support Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs across the county. The annual celebration was created in 2004.

According to Lending Tree, Atlanta has the highest percentage of Black-owned businesses at 7.4% across the 50 metros in the U.S. A critical point in the report highlighted that there was a substantial increase in business applications throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the data did not favor Black businesses, exposing a racial and financial disparity. Of Black Americans who applied for business credit in 2021, 46% were denied or approved for less than they requested, compared to 22% of white applicants. This suggests that Black entrepreneurs may have fewer financial resources to expand and advance their businesses than white entrepreneurs.

Goodwill of North Georgia recognizes National Black Business Month and supports all entrepreneurs through its GoodBIZ program.  This program spans 12 weeks and equips participants with the necessary tools to create a detailed business plan and access to continuous technical assistance, workshops, seminars, a dedicated business coach, and networking opportunities. Attendees learn various skills and knowledge required for self-employment, including marketing, financial literacy, management, and intellectual property. The program caters to a diverse range of industries, with popular ones including catering, child care, and janitorial services.

Taniesha Brooks wanted to become a Black entrepreneur but was unsure of where to go. Brooks researched and enrolled in Goodwill of North Georgia’s GoodBIZ training program. After completing the program, Brooks launched her business Taneshia Brooks Consulting. In the first year of her business, Brooks secured numerous grants and continued to grow her client list.

Marilyn Williams, a Jamaican native, immigrated to Florida in 1990. She earned an associate degree in fashion design at the Arts Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 2003 and launched Torie-Mlkhi Fashion Couture as a part-time venture. Waiting to learn how to take her brand full-time, Williams enrolled in Goodwill’s GoodBIZ Program. After completing the program, Williams used what she learned to grow her following and secure business ventures, including wedding gowns, cosplay costumes, and school uniforms.

Over the past four years, Goodwill’s GoodBIZ program has helped more than 150 entrepreneurs pursue entrepreneurship.

The GoodBiz program hosts the Battle of the BIZ Gala, where graduates of GoodBIZ compete for a cash prize to elevate their businesses. This year’s gala will take place on October 21st. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are currently available for this exciting event.

Click here to learn more about the GoodBIZ program. 

This is sponsored content.

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