Investing in Black Wall Street, This Month and Beyond

February 28, 2022 | By

Deryle Daniels

This story is adapted from the Forward Cities monthly e-newsletter. Subscribe for the latest news and updates from cities across the country.


February 2022
Celebrating Black History Month Through the Lens of Entrepreneurship

With claims of being progressive, cities like Durham seek the aesthetic of urban culture — from murals of Black/Indigenous/People of Color on exterior walls to raw brick apartments decorated with turntables that spin hip-hop classics daily. Whereas artistic aspects of The Culture are embraced, many often overlook the economic infrastructure and business acumen that allowed for such astounding art to have the luxury of being discovered and to, ultimately, thrive.

"We would be remiss to not identify that, before the term 'entrepreneurial ecosystem' was coined, Black communities were building them."
 Deryle Daniels, Senior Manager of Marketing & Communications

Without the Greenwood Districts (Oklahoma) and the Hayti Communities (North Carolina), the Jackson Wards (Virginia) and the Fourth Avenue Districts (Alabama), the Boleys (Oklahoma) and the numerous other unsung, interrupted, independently-stable Black sections of towns, this nation would lack both its financial foundation and its creative credibility. But, as is often the case, Black culture, Black inventions, Black land, and Black dollars have been retrieved, repackaged, and repriced to keep us away from that which we openly shared without reciprocity or reparation.
Building Better Futures
Black History Month is a great time to support Black-owned businesses but don't let it be the only time.

Our hometown of Durham, NC has a wealth of Black-owned businesses that are thriving and well. Recently, we interviewed a few owners about why starting their business in what is affably known as "The Bull City" mattered to them and, more meaningfully, why they feel it is important to continue in the legacy of one of this nation's many Black Wall Streets.


Indy, We're Back!

We're excited to say that the E3 Indy ball is officially rolling! On January 20, we kicked off our second engagement with entrepreneurial support organizations and other partners/stakeholders in Indianapolis. As over a dozen ESOs from the area come together to develop pilots that will help strengthen access to resources for entrepreneurs, we know that some exciting collaboration and funding will come as a result. Over the next few months, make sure you're keeping up with our social media accounts and blog posts to hear stories of various groups coming together to build something better together.


Homecourt Advantage

We've been talking about it a lot because we're excited about it: This month, we're kicking off E3 Durham, our first formal engagement in the City of Durham and Durham County. Forward Cities was founded here in 2014 and has been doing work in entrepreneurial ecosystems across the United States, including in the Triangle but the grant we received from the Small Business Administration will allow us to be even more impactful in our hometown.

On February 23, we will be having our E3 Durham launch. Forward Cities will serve as the hub to six Durham-based spokes that will allow us to put Black and Brown entrepreneurs in position to take their businesses to the next level. With resources like time with thought leaders, business counseling, and (most importantly for any business) access to capital, E3 Durham is posed to be one of our most exciting engagements to date.

The launch event and all E3 Durham events until March 30, 2022 will be virtual. Click here to sign up for updates specifically related to E3 Durham.

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome."

 – Booker T. Washington


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