Atlantans Rise: Black Women Business Owners Hit the Jackpot

Local entrepreneurs, Jeannell Darden and Camilla Banks of Atlanta each won top $50,000 Backing Black Business Grants from Reimagine Main Street and Zakiya Bryant from Atlanta is taking home $25,000! Would you like to interview any of the entrepreneurs?

More than 200 Black women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs across the U.S. applied to win cash grant prizes ranging from $5,000-$50,000 through Reimagine Main Street.

Reimagine Mainstreet is a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector initiative focused on advancing and uplifting innovative solutions to ensure that Main Street is at the center of the economic recovery.

Darden, Banks and six other finalists competed last week in a pitch competition, and based on the most votes, the finalists received either $25,000 or $50,000 in Backing Black Business cash grants. Darden and Banks were among the top three winners.

Jeannell Darden, a $50,000 winner owns a product line, Moisture Love, a beauty movement that helps women of color love and embrace their curls and kinks confidently.

Camilla Banks, another $50,000 winner owns The Muted Home, which sells luxury home decor products, helping others rediscover their homes, especially in COVID when many were/are confined at home.

Another ATLien, Zakiya Bryant was also a competition winner, taking home $25,000 for her app-based service, WeSUB Teach, that connects teachers in early child care with child care centers in need of substitute teachers.

The grants, which will fuel the growth aspirations and boost the trajectory of these Black women-led small businesses, include:

  • $50,000 cash grants awarded to the top three pitch competition winners
  • $25,000 cash grants awarded to four pitch competition finalists
  • $10,000 cash grants awarded to 150 businesses that launched pre-COVID-19
  • $5,000 cash grants awarded to 50 businesses that launched during COVID-19

The Backing Black Business: Small Business Grant Program winners either launched during the COVID-19 pandemic or successfully navigated their businesses through the pandemic. They include women entrepreneurs competing in 10 industries – retail, beauty, health and caregiving, maintenance and repair, transport and logistics, professional services, food and leisure, technology, education and training and others hailing from communities across the entire U.S. 

The announcement comes at the culmination of Black History Month and on the heels of seven finalists receiving coaching and then competing in a pitch competition streamed online earlier this month. Participants who received the most votes during the voting period that followed the pitch competition, received the top cash grant awards. 

“Black women entrepreneurs are vital contributors to our national and local economies, innovating products and services to meet customer demand and creating jobs,” said Tammy Halevy, Co-lead of Reimagine Main Street. “By providing cash grants and other valuable support and resources, we can help these entrepreneurs and their businesses thrive and grow as we emerge from the economic effects of the pandemic.”


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