Founder Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon Is Redefining The Future Of Black Entrepreneurship

Founder Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon Is Redefining The Future Of Black Entrepreneurship

Nothing moves our community forward more than equipping Black entrepreneurs with the tools, support, and financial resources needed to make their vision a reality. And Our Village United, a nonprofit organization focused on the delivery of culturally competent technical training and small business incubation, is doing just that.

The organization is hosting the ELEVATED Tour in partnership with Mastercard’s “In Solidarity” Initiative and BeyGOOD Foundation Black Parade Route and kicked things off in Chicago, IL.

ELEVATED, powered by Mastercard, uplifts BeyGOOD Black Parade Route small business owners through a revolutionary 36-week game-changing entrepreneurial journey. With Our Village United, the mission is further elevated with a 12-week training session that leads industry experts in business operations, marketing, sales, fundraising, one-to-one business champion coaching, and wellness empowerment.

During last week's ELEVATED Tour stop, the spirit of Black excellence was in the air as entrepreneurs from Chicago, Kansas City, Missouri, and Aurora, Illinois in attendance to celebrate the completion of their 36-week ELEVATED program training. Guests joined together to listen in on a fireside chat moderated by TV Personality and Producer Dana Blair, featuring Founder and Executive Director of Our Village United, Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, with inspiring words that fueled the room’s collective entrepreneurial passions.

Select participants were also able to take part in a pitch competition to win up to $500,000 in non-dilutive grant funds.

This partnership with Our Village United, MasterCard's Cities Program, and BeyGOOD was a year in the making. According to its founder, Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, the collaboration came to be after Mastercard approached Dr. Hallmon last year to support their ELEVATED program and continued the backing through to this year.

During the fireside chat, Dr. Hallmon shared a moving story detailing when her family came together to “sow a financial seed” into her business during its early days of inception. This moment, as she shares, now plays a crucial part in her mission to do the same for other growing entrepreneurs and small business owners. “It’s the foundation,” she tells xoNecole. “We must sow good seeds for our communities. We must pour back into our communities. No one else will but us.”

“In order for us to scale and grow, it requires people like me and other founders out there to create organizations like this, and make sure business owners have resources, grant dollars, networking opportunity celebrations like this. I believe in the village model,” she adds.

As she moved forward in implementing the mission of Our Village United, Dr. Hallmon hopes to continue to contribute to the growth of Black-owned businesses by promoting economic liberation and creating avenues for generational wealth. “I want to ensure that we've supported by keeping more Black businesses open for business, scaling their operations, hiring within their community, and being able to be a global phenomenon,” she emphasizes.

“The goal is economic liberation. I want us to be able to experience generational wealth in this lifetime and to be able to set up the next generation. Economic liberation and economic justice: that's the vision.”

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Featured image by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Mighty Dream Forum

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