Inspiring Entrepreneurs

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Read the stories of our community’s incredible entrepreneurs!

The E3 Durham Business Directory Showcases Local Small Businesses in Durham

June 1, 2023

The E3 Durham Business Directory is a platform designed to celebrate and support the remarkable entrepreneurs who have enrolled in the program and are working diligently to start or grow their small businesses. We are proud to shine a spotlight on their efforts and provide them with a means to reach a broader audience and connect with their fellow community members.

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Empowering Women through Thrifting

April 25, 2023

Gina Sambola isn’t afraid of “the hunt.” As an avid thrifter she thrills in the experience of thrift shopping. “You go in and you don’t really expect to find what you’ll find. I always leave with something and it always has a story behind it. You don’t really know who had the clothes before you or what their life was like, so it’s kind of like a mystery.”

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Three women standing around a product table

Cultivating Joy through Travel

March 29, 2023

Kestra’s love for travel began in the second grade when her mother took her to visit family in Germany. “My mom always told me ‘go out there, experience the world, experience cultures to see what you love, and learn more about yourself.’ So I took all her words to heart.”

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The Thriving Entrepreneurial Spirit of Durham

March 6, 2023

Look down any alley, side street or any market square downtown. You’ll see small gift and specialty shops, handmade goods, fresh flowers, local produce, unique services, and Triangle region sourced “Everythings”. The entrepreneurial spirit here is not only alive, it’s thriving.

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The Journey of a Parallel-Preneur

March 1, 2023

While she describes herself as always being on an entrepreneurial journey, Nefateria Fonda’ admits — that earlier in her life — she was so caught up in the process of checking the boxes, that she wasn’t really paying attention to what her mission was, or what her faith called her to be.

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Pharmacist sitting at a table with prepared medical equipment

A Community Pharmacy in the Heart of the City of Medicine

February 6, 2023

As the pharmacist, manager, and owner of an independent, Black-owned pharmacy in Durham, North Carolina, Dr. Keith—as his patients call him—knows some of the barriers to running a small business.

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Man and child reading a book.

Building the World You Hope to See

January 20, 2023

They say righteous anger is a powerful motivation, and Ruben Watson might agree. As author and creator of Watson Family Literacy, Ruben works to improve literacy for children through multicultural books, events, and more, but his journey began in the aisle of a big-box bookstore.

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Stay up-to-date on the efforts of our community’s incredible entrepreneurs and upcoming events and workshops by subscribing to our monthly E3 Durham e-newsletter.

For more information about the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Durham, NC, contact Stacey Williams - Forward Cities Senior Director of Impact and Assessment at


We're grateful for being able to partner with the following organizations to make an impact in Durham:


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Funded in part through a Grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.