Empowering Durham’s Dreamers

July 14, 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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Empowering Durham’s Dreamers

Equity for Every Entrepreneur. That’s the E3 in E3 Durham and what we are working toward everyday. Through this program, we have had the incredible opportunity to provide resources, mentorship, and guidance to a growing number of Durham entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them start, grow or scale their businesses. The level of excitement and satisfaction within our team is immeasurable as we witness the growth and success of our enrolled entrepreneurs and of the E3 Durham community as a whole! Discover more about the benefits of enrolling in the E3 Durham program by checking out our recent blog, Here’s Why You Should Enroll in E3 Durham in 2023.

Would you like to share your success story with the E3 Durham community? Submit a testimonial!

Level up your business and join us at PU@P in August!

a group of people standing around a table with food on it

Pull-Up at Provident events feature opportunities to network with experts 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, August 2nd, 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

5:40 pm Greeting & Introductions

6:00 pm Workshop

7:00 pm Workshop


July E3 Durham

Entrepreneur of the Month

a woman holding a camera in front of a wall

Laquan Black, founder of The Black Book Experience. Photo courtesy of theblackbookexperience.com.

Laquan Black is the founder of The Black Book Experience, a community offering educational opportunities for personal and professional growth for the autism community. Years of challenges and triumphs have given Laquan a unique perspective, along with a 15-year background in areas of clinical research, healthcare administration, education, training, and data analysis, to be able to help prepare you and your loved one on the spectrum to be able the reach the goals of success that are most fitting for their unique abilities. “We curate an ‘experience’ designed for your needs...for both our families and business partners!”


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

Enroll in the E3 Durham program!

News and Announcements


Black Founders Exchange 2023 | Cybersecurity & AI

Led by American Underground, this week-long immersion program empowers Black founders by providing curated community, connections, and content designed to build sustainable, revenue producing companies.

The 2023 program is geared specifically towards founders building high-growth ventures in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, with programs and mentorship designed to help founders navigate the rapidly-evolving and challenging startup landscape.

Participants will receive:

  • Content targeted towards founders building ventures in cybersecurity and AI

  • Community with fellow Black founders to connect and share knowledge

  • Connections to business experts and mentors from the Triangle and Google

  • Cash prize to the Pitch Competition winner

  • And more!

Please get in touch (bfe2023@americanunderground.com) if you have questions, or visit the program website to learn more about BFE, eligibility, and to apply: blackfounders.co.

Applications close on July 16!


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.



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.



NC IDEA Fall 2023 Grants Cycle | NC IDEA will kick off its Fall 2023 Grants Cycle with information sessions throughout the state. The sessions will highlight NC IDEA’s two upcoming grant opportunities supporting ambitious, growth-oriented companies:

  • NC IDEA MICRO awards small, project-based grants in the amount of $10K to young companies looking to validate and advance their idea.

  • NC IDEA SEED offers early stage companies the critical funding they need to scale faster. The $50K grants are awarded to innovative startups with a proven concept – even if they are not yet profitable.

NC IDEA MICRO and NC IDEA SEED grant applications open on July 31, 2023 and close on August 28, 2023 at 5:00pm EST.

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!