Three Black CEOs turn obstacles into opportunities

(Repost | Credit: Qinling Li)

In honor of Black History Month, Verizon talked with Black women business owners who overcame challenges due to the pandemic and in the process, enhanced their business skills through free courses and coaching from Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.

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.

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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.

Watch how Verizon Small Business Digital Ready helped Goode take her business to the next level or read the full article here.

To sign up for this free program, visit

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