CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Beyonce’s BeyGOOD Foundation is giving back to small businesses impacted by economic inequalities.
In 2020, the Houston native introduced the Black Parade Route as an initiative to help 900 Black-owned small businesses globally that were challenged by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the foundation partnered with the National Minority Supplier Development Council to continue to support entrepreneurs and small business owners facing financial hardships due to economic challenges.
“I’m real famous for my collard and cabbage blend is collard greens and cabbage mixed together with smoked turkey wings,” said North Carolina Chef Shawn Adams.
He owns Southern Boii Cuisine, a traveling catering business specializing in southern foods.
Adams says during the pandemic, when restaurants closed early, he started feeding the community and selling food out of his home, which quickly turned into a business. Now, he wants to expand into a stand-alone restaurant as well as further into the community.
“I definitely think my business benefits the community because I have pretty much like no background check policy when it comes to getting jobs because outside of this business,” Adams said. “I want to be able to find another organization where I’m able to give back as far as like help people with crisis because I know how it feels to be homeless.”
He is one of 100 small black-owned businesses invited to Beyonce’s BeyGOOD foundation luncheon.
The Grammy Award winner is giving back to the community during her Renaissance tour by committing $1 million to businesses.
- 10+ cities around the globe (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, London, and two additional international cities to be named).
- 100 Black entrepreneurs will be selected in each city to attend the Black Parade Route luncheons.
- 1,000 small businesses provided with grant opportunities and/or business sustainability support services.
- $100,000 in grants provided per city for small business relief.
Jenkins owns a home decor line focusing on black and brown representation with positive affirmations designs. She started her business in 2016.
“We focus on the outward appearance. And I know as a child I wanted to hear you are important, you are doing well, you are worthy,” Jenkins said. “And that is something that our African-American children really need. And so every collection is just absolutely amazing. I want to do all shades of black because colorism is a huge toxic legacy within the black community.”
Queendom Essence includes decor for all ages, ethnicities, and gender. Her line has bathroom and bedroom decor, as well as luggage like bookbags.
“We have over 15 collections right now. It mainly caters to little girls. But of course, I had my boy moms saying, ‘Well, you don’t have anything for a little boy.’ So I had to make some King stuff!” she said. “So each collection is named. I have a collection named after my daughters. And I hear from the teen, the teenager line.”
Her next venture is a furniture line and location expansion, but she needs financial help. Ten recipients will receive $10,000 during the foundation luncheon to help take their businesses to the next level.
“The time for building a more inclusive retail industry is now. We are not settling anymore for just one or two products on the shelves,” Jenkins said. “And oftentimes, when our competitors create products for us, it’s usually one shade of black. We are a solution to a major problem in our generation. And that problem is lack of representation.”
“Our business brings joy. Our business educates people. Trivia, for us, is a mind game for the culture, for everyone,” said co-owner Deydra Bringas. “We have a huge emphasis on black culture, and with that, we host in-person and virtual events. We host private events, but we host a lot of events for corporations that are looking for TV and AI solutions to bring their teams together.”
She and her co-owner Shakira Hodges say their card game has curated questions representing diversity, backgrounds, and cultures.
“What we like to do at Trivia For Us is make sure that our content is multicultural,” Hodges said. “Even though we have an emphasis on black culture, we want to make sure that we’re making all groups and cultures feel included. We may have some events that are from the LGBTQ community and the AAPI community, and that’s something that we felt lacking in the trivia game space, just diversity as a whole.”
“We’re very intentional about making our content multigenerational so that families have opportunities to sit down and play with one another and learn from one another. So old school, new school, all fun,” Bringas said. “It’s a fun school.”
Trivia For Us says they want to pour it back into the community if their business is one of the ten selected to receive the grant.
“We are so grateful for the growth that we’ve been experiencing, but we also want to hire more people,” said Bringas. “The reality is a lot of black-owned businesses — only 25% of black-owned businesses actually have employees. And we want to be part of that. And we want to be able to hire young black people that are looking for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion solution for team building and networking.”
“We will also use the funds to support our new decks that we’re working on. We want to expand our collection of card games, so that will help with production,” Bringas said. “In addition to that, we are also shopping for a TV pilot for a game show, and we could use the funds to support that as well. So there is a multitude of things that we’ll be utilizing the funds for that will help propel us forward.”