Bridgeway Capital Market Confidence Awardee: Cocoapreneur PGH
The Market Confidence Award is given to an organization whose work contributes to a thriving business district. They position the community to manage market forces to prevent displacement of people and local businesses and the neighborhood is a place where people want to live and invest time, resources and capital.
The mission of Cocoapreneur is to foster an environment of economic prosperity in order to ensure more sustainable neighborhoods for the historically African American communities and neighborhoods around Pittsburgh, PA. Through support to businesses via advertising, marketing and consulting, Cocoapreneur aims to normalize the idea of entrepreneurship–making becoming a business owner a more feasible and attainable goal for African Americans in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Khamil Scantling of Cocoaprenuer Pgh is a community leader who supports small, Black-owned businesses in combating the negative aspects of gentrification and in building a successful business. In addition to her day-to-day work of supporting small businesses, she also has jointly launched initiatives, like Greenwood Week Pittsburgh, which is a collaborative project between Cocoapreneur PGH, LLC and SYLA Pittsburgh, aimed at making information about running a small business accessible to minorities, women, and other systematically disadvantaged demographics who are often left out of programs that address similar needs. This week-long conference offers classes for current and aspiring entrepreneurs on mental health, finances, funding, business structure, marketing, and other essentials for small businesses, led by expert local MWBDE entrepreneurs. She’s also created an amazing Black business owners directory where anyone can go to find Black-owned businesses near them. Her impact has bettered the lives of many community members and helped to provide relief for small businesses that are staples in our communities.
Watch Cocoapreneur PGH’s Awardee Video!
Thanks to our partners at Pittsburgh Tech Council for interviewing Khamil!
You can listen here by clicking on the player below!
As part of the highlight week, we also spotlighted some of the businesses that received grants from Cocoapreneur’s Black Business Relief Fund!
The Fund aims to provide relief & aid to Black-owned businesses & Black initiatives that aren’t able to get funding and support through other means. It was started to help businesses that were vandalized after the George Floyd protests in Pittsburgh, but has expanded to help others, too — especially those affected by COVID-19. Check out interviews with several grant recipients below!
- Q&A with Official Entertainment, Inc. & Steel City Indie, LLC.
- Q&A with Royalty by Design Corporation
- Q&A with Each One Teach One Childcare & Learning Center
- Q&A with Happy Day Dessert Factory
- Q&A with Kin of Duncan
- Q&A with R&R Eyewear Excellence
- Q&A with Live Fresh Cold Pressed Juice + Smoothie Bar
Another key way that Cocoapreneur is helping local Black-owned businesses to thrive is through Greenwood Week Pittsburgh – a week-long minority business conference aimed at making information about running a small business accessible to minorities, women, and other demographics who are often left out of programs that address similar needs.
It is a collaborative effort in partnership with SYLA Pgh, and has helped to connect minority business owners across the city to each other, creating a whole community of support! The conference’s roster of impressive instructors over the past 2 years has included Julius Boatwright, CEO of Steel Smiling; Richard Witherspoon, owner of Hill District Federal Credit Union; Jason Flowers, Executive Director of Omicelo Cares, and even our very own Shad Henderson!
Read more in this spotlight article highlighting Greenwood Week 2019!