Women-Led Atlanta-Based Organization, Our Village United, Awarded The Jordan Brand’s Community Grant
Atlanta-based women-led organization, Our Village United (OVU), was among the recipients awarded the inaugural Community Grant by Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand.
The organization, founded by Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon in 2016, helps entrepreneurs become job creators in their local communities
“We received hundreds of applications for Community Grants, and every single one of them was a reminder of the unique impact and powerful personal connections local community efforts can make happen,” Craig Williams, President of the Jordan Brand, said in a press release.
When it comes to the growth and trajectory of Black founders, Hallmon considers having resources and a committed community as essential. Receiving support from the Jordan Brand helps OVU continue its mission of training entrepreneurs to be job creators in their local community. It also helps those creators secure mentorship, which Hallmon said is much needed for a businesses’ success.
“Mentorship is one of the most important factors in this program,” Hallmon, 40, said. “Entrepreneurs need a credible ear and a tangible model to assist them in their growth and development and we work to make mentorship and modeling key factors in our programming.”
The funds from the grant will go toward scaling the organization’s ELEVATE program, a 12-week incubator that serves the most urgent needs of small businesses by offering resources, tools, mentorship, training, wellness support, and connections to thriving community partners, Ebony reported.
“We also hope to expand our Unstuck program, which provides opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses to present their business challenges to a village of dynamic leaders and trendsetters in their respective fields,” Hallmon said.
While the organization plans to expand its services beyond the Atlanta area in the near future, it continues to do great work locally. OVU has helped entrepreneurs secure their first retail locations and land partnership deals with national retailers. Last November, OVU launched the Village Marketplace, a market offering an array of products from about 25 local Black entrepreneurs.
“The store typifies that when given access, Black entrepreneurs can accelerate,” Hallmon said about the market located in Ponce City Market. “It’s also proof that there is strength in numbers and when we make the collective commitment to investing in ourselves and our community, we can create efficient economic vehicles that filter back into our communities.”