Entrepreneurs of color will get a boon to their businesses skills this summer in a bootcamp to help them gain skills such as marketing, legal advice and website design. Small businesses participating in the Vissionaireum Execution Excelerator include tech companies, a bakery and a local fashion magazine.
The bootcamp morphed from a pitch fest in 2016 for the city’s entrepreneurs of color, and was founded by Angelique Johnson, founder of medical device company MEMStim, LLC.
To Johnson, the course is more than a place where business owners can get lessons and marketing and pitching.
“What we heard over and over again is that I’ve been operating and I’ve been doing it alone,” she said. “And so really in addition to executing we’re trying to provide a community, a support community for people because it gets lonely as an entrepreneur.”
I went to LouieLab downtown to talk to some of Louisville’s budding business owners enrolled in the eight-week course on why a program like this is needed for the city’s entrepreneurs of color. Listen to what they’ve learned so far in the player above, or read below.
“I learned quite a bit … I think the first one I learned is having a passion is not enough,” — Oremeyi Kareem founder of VOME’ Magazine, on taking the course a second time (not pictured)
“Before any programs like this, I didn’t even really know that Louisville had a black entrepreneurship scene whatsoever.” — Alex Haynes, founder of The Glass Capitol
“I think it’s good for Louisville because it basically gives you exposure, right? It lets you know that you’re not alone in this. There’s other people out there; maybe they’re not doing the same, similar things you are. But there’s other people out there thinking of different, creative ways to solve a problem.” — Mo Sloan, founder of ez-chow.com