Embracing Freedom and Unity

July 3, 2023 | By

Nutishia Lee

This story is adapted from the E3 Durham e-newsletter, a monthly newsletter that features updates on the efforts of our community’s incredible entrepreneurs, upcoming events and workshops, and news from around the Durham Community. Stay up-to-date by subscribing to our monthly E3 Durham e-newsletter.



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Embracing Freedom and Unity

Juneteenth is a day of immense historical significance, and one that provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing pursuit of freedom and equality for all. As communities across the country come together through celebrations, festivals, and parades to honor all the triumphs that have come before, we also acknowledge that there is much more to be done. We invite you to join us in commemorating Juneteenth this year by taking part in activities that foster meaningful dialogue and learning. We wish you a memorable and meaningful Juneteenth celebration!

A Journey of Teaching, Self-Care, and Natural Products

The following is an excerpt from our recent blog, A Journey of Teaching, Self-Care, and Natural Products, featuring E3 Durham Entrepreneur, Gina-Marie D’Meza.

Gina-Marie's story began in New York, where she started her career as a first-grade teacher. After moving to Durham with her husband, she discovered her passion for creating soaps and body products for her family. What started as a personal endeavor gradually evolved into a full-fledged business. Gina-Marie's dedication to crafting safe and simple products led her to establish Little Homestead Farm.

For over a decade, Gina-Marie operated her business from her home studio. However, in September last year, she took a leap of faith and opened a physical space in old East Durham. Little Homestead Farm became a hub for creating high-quality soaps, body butters, sugar scrubs, and more. Beyond production, the space also provided a platform for teaching classes, from soap-making to self-care sessions.


Join us for Pull-Up at Provident in July!

two women standing next to each other and smiling

Pull-Up at Provident events feature opportunities to network with expert in the business community.

Don't miss a chance to network with entrepreneurial experts and other Durham entrepreneurs at Pull-Up at Provident on
Wednesday, July 5th, 2022 at 5pm! Enjoy a vibrant atmosphere and take advantage of being in a space full of fellow entrepreneurs eager to share their insights and forge new connections.


5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Networking

6:00 pm Greeting & Introductions

6:30 pm Workshops


June E3 Durham

Entrepreneur of the Month

a woman holding a camera in front of a wall

Hope Up is a social marketplace platform created to inspire and motivate. Image from hopeup.net

Michael Teasley is the owner of Hope Up, an all positive social marketplace. Hope Up’s purpose “is to inspire, cultivate and embrace the community by providing a positive platform [where] people can see others pushing for greatness; therefore creating a positive domino effect throughout the entire community.”


Want to be featured as an E3 Durham Entrepreneur of the Month?

Enroll in the E3 Durham program!

News and Announcements

Check out E3 Durham Businesses on IG throughout June!

Have you heard? We’re spotlighting the businesses from our directory on the E3 Durham Instagram this month!




Give it to the People and the Durham Technical Community College Small Business Center are happy to bring the 2nd Annual BLK BIZ Summit back to the Bull City on Friday, August 25, 2023, from 10 am - 4 pm at the Chesterfield Building located at 701 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 27701.

Join us as we explore the concept of Financial Freedoms and how it can be used to create empowerment for Black Founders as we build a new Black Wall Street. Explore options for creating a side hustle, starting a business, and find out what quitting your day job looks like as a full-time business owner.

Expect a lively and engaging day of STRATEGIC DOING, filled with energetic, information-packed, action sessions and engaging conversation about strategies for financial growth, developing mental wealth, as well as marketing yourself and your brand to generate more opportunities and revenue streams. Entrepreneurs will meet resource partners, economic funders, and engage with marketing techniques during the event. Expect to branch out online and in person to build a sustainable network of resources to create a prosperous business.


Bull City Sigmas: Bigger and Better Business Expo

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Durham Alumni hosts the Small Business & Community Expo for the general public to come out to support small businesses Sunday, August 13th from 1 - 5pm at Durham Central Park (501 Foster Street Durham, NC 27701). The Durham Alumni chapter of Phi Beta Sigma promotes black spend and small businesses throughout the year. This is an excellent opportunity for small business vendors to capitalize on this black spend event.



SoGaL: Black Founder Startup Grant | SoGal Foundation has teamed up with Winky Lux, bluemercury, twelveNYC, Twilio, Walmart.org’s Center for Racial Equity and other sponsors to make a small step towards progress by providing several $10K and $5K cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs.

Awardees will also receive tactical help navigating the fundraising environment at large so that they will have a more equitable opportunity at scaling the next billion dollar idea. They will also receive lifetime “ask-me-anything” access to the SoGal Foundation and SoGal Ventures teams. We know this is a small start, and we are hopeful that it will grow. We believe in a brighter future where the next world changing business does not go unrealized because of systemic discrimination.

Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund | The City of Durham and Durham County established the Durham Small Business Opportunity Loan Fund program to support small businesses located throughout Durham. The fund is held and administered by the Carolina Small Business Development Fund (CSBDF). Visit the CSBDF website for details and to apply!