Although Black business owners were disproportionately affected by the impact of Covid-19, a year into the pandemic, the number of Black CEOs had increased by 38%. And remarkably, 17% of Black women are in the process of starting or running a new business. business. We spoke with some of these entrepreneurs to share their inspiring journeys.
V’Esther Goode turned her passion for cooking into a full-time food truck business. When the pandemic hit, the food truck sector ground to a halt. Instead of closing shop, Goode expanded into private catering and enhanced her business skills by taking free courses at Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready is a free online program that helps small business owners succeed in today’s digital world. It has self-paced learning led by industry leaders with personalized coaching. There are also networking opportunities, and incentives toward grants for eligible businesses.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a Black woman entrepreneur in this space?
I learned that I don’t have to be intimidated even though I see mainly non-Black owned food trucks. I started with $200. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars. The goal is to service the needs of my people.
Q: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?
It’s going to be a rough road. You’re going to cry and want to quit—this is really the process of being a boss. So I say, pray for patience. Everything is on God’s time, not on our time.
Q: How has Verizon Small Business Digital Ready helped your business?
I thought I had social media down pat, since I built my business online. After taking the classes, I realized how I should reach out to influencers, how to get contracts to get bigger businesses, what times I should post, what times I should not post, and words I should use. One class also referenced the fact that you can’t do it all. So I have an assistant now. I also hired an accountant so I don’t have to worry about figuring this all out myself.
To sign up for this free program, visit verizon.com/smallbusinessdigitalready
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