Exclusive: NBA Star Lou Williams Surprises Youth Business Owner Of Beautiful Curly Me With Check For $10K

Atlanta native and former NBA star Lou Williams recently partnered with Verizon and national nonprofit LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) to give back to a local small business in need.

During an event at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE), Williams surprised Evana Oli of Beautiful Curly Me, with a grant check worth $10,000. 

The idea for Beautiful Curly Me came in 2019 when Evana Oli’s 9-year-old daughter, Zoe Oli, came home from school and asked her mom if they could make dolls that better represented young girls of color. That conversation led to the creation of Beautiful Curly Me which seeks to instill and inspire confidence in young Black and brown girls.

In 2022, Oli was awarded the Game ChangeHer award from the Atlanta Hawks and Lady Hawks.

The Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, a free online curriculum for small businesses that also provides grants to small businesses across the country. The courses support small business owners and start-ups across the entirety of their business, with a specific focus on helping diverse and under-resourced business owners, covering everything from financial management to marketing strategy

“She’s a young, Black entrepreneur whose business is growing,” Williams told ADW. “I think it’s important for young people to have businesses, to have goals. It’s great when we can give her a hand. It encourages other young people to start an idea and bring it to fruition.”

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