Building a Supportive Ecosystem for Black Owned Businesses
The Outcomes We Seek:
Increase number of Black-Owned businesses
Increase access to capital and markets
Scale Black-Owned businesses
Introducing Rock It! Lab
Lubazibwa founded Advancing Black Entrepreneurship in 2020 as a nonprofit extension of ReMix Ideas to further support Black entrepreneurs. The most recently completed project was in partnership with Central Arkansas Library System to launch the Rock It! Lab. It is a learning and start-up hub designed to inspire, educate and support entrepreneurs. There are resources and services available for entrepreneurs such as technical assistance, mentorship, promotional opportunities and networks. The Rock It! Lab six-month business incubator is currently helping 31 entrepreneurs
Why We Are Different
We believe that the status quo is unsustainable, and we must work not to level the playing field but to establish a new one rooted in equity and justice.
ReMix Ideas in Action:
1. Deployed Business Ownership Strategy to Reduce Racial Wealth Gap: There have been more than 500 entrepreneurs impacted by ReMix Ideas to date. ReMix Ideas has set a goal to help start and scale 100 Black-owned businesses in Arkansas by 2025.
2. Launched ReMix Ideas Business Academy [RIBA]: More than 70 Black business owners have participated in the 12-week ReMix Ideas Business Academy since 2019. While there have been six cohorts with 12-15 individuals in each thus far, the number of applications for each business academy cohort was approximately between 60 and 100. The custom-designed program equips individuals with skills required to create, scale, and sustain a successful business enterprise.
3. Strengthened Library as an Entrepreneurship Hub:
Lubazibwa founded Advancing Black Entrepreneurship in 2020 as a nonprofit extension of ReMix Ideas to further support Black entrepreneurs. The most recently completed project was in partnership with Central Arkansas Library System to launch the Rock It! Lab. It is
a learning and start-up hub designed to inspire, educate and support entrepreneurs. There are resources and services available for entrepreneurs such as technical assistance, mentorship, promotional opportunities and networks. The Rock It! Lab six-month business incubator is currently helping 31 entrepreneurs.
4. Launched Shop Black Live (SBL): Shop Black Live was launched in June 2020 to showcase and sell Black-owned products online. There have been over 100 local Black entrepreneurs highlighted on Shop Black Live. In addition to Shop Black Live, an in-person event was organized called Shop Black @ Wright Avenue on June 19, 2021 with 19 Black vendors and hundreds of community members participating. ReMix Ideas partnered with the Wright Avenue Historic Neighborhood Association. The event generated more than $20,000 in only eight hours by creating the Black Ten Dollar bill match which provided shoppers with an extra $10. Wright Avenue is located in a predominantly Black neighborhood within the city of Little Rock.
5. Imani Fund – In partnership with FORGE Community Loan Fund, ReMix Ideas helped launch a pilot program in August 2021 called the Imani Fund to provide under-resourced entrepreneurs in Arkansas with microloans between $5,000 and $25,000 as well as free technical assistance. The Imani Fund will use an uncommon underwriting process that assesses an individual’s character and community engagement rather than collateral to be considered for a loan. Another unique feature is that an individual’s potential to execute a viable business model in the future outweighs past relationship with personal debt. Loans for entrepreneurs from the Imani Fund will be provided by FORGE. The overall goal is to minimize the systemic barrier in access to capital that under-resourced entrepreneurs often face. There are currently more than 40 entrepreneurs who have started the application process for the Imani Fund to date. ReMix Ideas has been responsible for recruitment and providing technical assistance to entrepreneurs. Furthermore, ReMix Ideas has helped allocate $125,000 to Black entrepreneurs through the Imani Fund and $175,000 through a separate fund.
6. Launched Little Rock Night Market: In 2018, ReMix Ideas launched Little Rock Night Market, a family-friendly event that provides a platform for startups, artists, and entrepreneurs to showcase and test their ideas/products while strengthening the local economy by creating a space for shoppers to buy local.
7, Launched Freedom Project: The Freedom Project uses entrepreneurship as a re-entry strategy by equipping African Americans who have been formerly incarcerated with tools and resources required to start and run successful businesses.
8, Launched Black Founders Summit: The second annual Black Founders Summit will be hosted on October 27th, 2021 to connect business leaders, policymakers, and entrepreneurs with each other in effort to create a sustainable business ecosystem for Black-Owned Businesses to scale. More than 100 business leaders and entrepreneurs attended the first annual Black Founders Summit on October 22, 2020.
From Concept to Scaleup, Grow with ReMix Ideas
Launch100 is a ReMix Ideas initiative with the purpose of facilitating and accelerating the starting, growing and scaling of 100 Black Businesses in Arkansas by 2025.
Remix Ideas Business Academy
ReMix Ideas Business Academy (RIBA) is a 12-week, custom-designed program that teaches under-resourced entrepreneurs the skills required to create and run a successful business.
RIBA class instruction led by a diverse group of local business owners who teach fundamental concepts and provide practicum experience in a variety of core areas ranging from lean canvas, business model, finance, marketing, business landscape analysis, cash flow management, pricing strategy to intellectual property, negotiation and contracts.
Classes start July 10
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