Entrepreneurship, Arkansas State University Alum Runs Entrepreneurship Program, Over-A-Cup, For Black Women

Arkansas State University Alum Initiates Entrepreneurship Program ‘Over-A-Cup’ For Black Women

Over-A-Cup offers Black women a safe space to discuss business future plans over a cup of coffee, teaching what has "not been taught."

Shunqetta Cunningham, an alumna of Arkansas State University, is educating Black women on how to become entrepreneurs as the CEO of her program, Over-A-Cup.

Established in January 2018, the Over-A-Cup initiative fosters connections, promotes social equity, and empowers minority women-owned businesses in Arkansas and the Mid-South regions. Arkansas Business noted that Cunningham’s program stands as the sole current advocacy initiative tailored toward Black women entrepreneurs in the state of Arkansas. “Over A Cup® is a space of intentional relationship for Black women-run businesses to reimagine business success and share solid business practices in a safe space,” the program’s website stated. “There is no avenue serving as a conduit to connect African American women businesses that offer both economic and relational capital support. We are privileged to fill this gap in our state.”

Monthly gatherings with Over-A-Cup allow women to convene over coffee or tea to discuss future business plans. “My everyday job is to support nonprofit organizations and community leaders,” the nonprofit strategist said, according to KAIT. As a mother and college graduate, Cunningham supports women, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders through services such as grant writing, strategic planning, nonprofit development, and leadership training.

“I believe that nonprofit organizations are the second responders of our communities,” said Cunningham, whose dedication to assisting aspiring African American entrepreneurs stems from awareness of the systemic barriers and lack of information. She said Over-A-Cup gathers women to learn what has “not been taught.” She uses her role to “gather all the resources that these organizations need and put them on a path to success.”

Over-A-Cup has already graduated 12 Black women entrepreneurs.

Additionally, Cunningham serves as the CEO and lead consultant of KHARIS Group and founded and chairs the Nonprofit Summit of Northeast Arkansas. She previously told Arkansas Business that her company equips nonprofits with strategies to soar in income, impact, and influence. An honors graduate of Blytheville High School in 2004, she earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Arkansas State in 2008 and a Master’s in Public Administration in 2010.