Danielle McGee, the founder and CEO of a social enterprise called Black Business Boom, and Tee Wilson, the company’s creative director and chief marketing officer (CMO), have formed major partnerships to launch a training initiative that provides entrepreneurs with the strategies and services to not just survive but thrive in today’s digital economy.
Sponsored by Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) and facilitated by Black Business Boom (BBB), 50 Black entrepreneurs from Minneapolis, Minn., Indianapolis, Ind., and Memphis, Tenn. have already received in-depth training in digital marketing, brand development, advertising, and social media campaigns. Held in December 2021, the courses featured low-cost and easily implemented strategies for launching and growing a business in a digital world.
CARE has a special interest in growing Black wealth and promoting social justice in housing, jobs, voting, police reform, and more. Therefore, the partnership is a perfect fit.
Preparing disadvantaged businesses for success
Danielle, who is an expert in digital marketing and professor at Tennessee State University, comments, “The mission of Black Business Boom is to help minority-owned businesses become more competitive in the digital marketplace to increase their brand awareness and profits.”
Her company’s 12-week specialty cohort, known as Boomin University, provides business owners with the opportunity to learn effective digital marketing, and walk away with tangible marketing assets to execute what they learn.
Even more, CARE has provided numerous grants to help Black-owned businesses recover from the economic disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, approximately $2 million in funding has been distributed to almost 200 businesses, each receiving grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to make a major impact on the Black entrepreneurial community,” says Danielle.
“From the day we launched, our company has existed to empower Black entrepreneurs. This partnership will give us the scale we need to make a major difference.”
Taking it to the next level
Digital marketing is important to all businesses, but it can make or break minority-owned businesses that are historically under-funded and under-resourced. Boomin University gives Black entrepreneurs an opportunity to bridge the gap by providing education, coaching and services they may otherwise not have the budget to secure on their own.
Under the direction of Danielle and Tee Wilson, the company’s creative director and chief marketing officer (CMO), Black Business Boom worked one-on-one with selected Black-owned companies to develop tailored action plans and ensure every participant was prepared to launch and execute what they learned.
“These are not templated, boilerplate paint-by-numbers campaigns,” explains Danielle.
“This community is as rich and diverse as the culture itself. Each owner we help has a unique set of goals and challenges. Our job is to give them the tools they need to meet those challenges head-on.”
To select participants, Black Business Boom worked closely with local organizations to find new businesses that could benefit from the training. These organizations included:
– Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA)
– Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis
– Coalition to Back Black Businesses
– Indy Black Chamber of Commerce
Once selected, each entrepreneur received an in-depth training program. Touting a robust curriculum, the program touches on the most important aspects of digital marketing. Boomin University courses include:
– Digital branding
– Canva 101
– Branded social media campaigns
– Website building
– SEO strategies
– Email and list building
– Social media marketing
– Digital media campaigns
– Targeted advertising
– Creating video content
– Sales funnels
– Google suites and more
Proficiency in these skills will allow businesses to gain a competitive edge and position themselves for unstoppable growth.
Tee has been impressed with the experience.
She comments, “We’ve all heard the old metaphor about how a fish will feed someone for a day but learning to fish will feed them for life. We’re in a position here to do both.”
She adds, “We get to provide black-owned businesses with extraordinarily successful, targeted campaigns, and then we get to endow them with the tools to replicate that success over and over.”
This article first appeared on Blackbusiness.com.