The Cedar Valley Black Business & Entrepreneurship Accelerator (CVMBEA) graduated its third cohort of business owners last Friday.
For the past year and a half, the CVMBEA program has provided financial aid, networking opportunities, mentorship, and scale strategies for new and existing minority-owned businesses in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area.
Throughout the 16-week program, the business owners met every Tuesday as a group and go over several different topics including accounting, customer discovery, sales channels, marketing and more.
“There’s always such a variety of businesses,” said ReShonda Young, Manager of the program. “They’re all doing something so different, which is great because they don’t feel like they’re in competition with it with one another. We feel more like they’re collaborating.”
The business owners in this year’s cohort are:
- Leticia Roberts (Boujee Body Bakery)
- Marcia Jones and Carolyn Sallis (CalCia Luxury Interior Designs, LLC)
- Taneia Galloway (The Dollhouse Bundle Collection)
- Anthony Thomas (Basketball Business – Men’s Empowerment Organization)
- Jadell Boyd (Tu Wayy Catering & Dueceberry Boxes)
- Jessica Smith (Digne De Moi Scrubs & Fit Apparel)
- ShaunQuez Ketton (Absalom Lounge)
“I think one of the biggest values that our business owners get from the program is that we open them up to the broader community,” said Young. “Because a lot of them are well known within the black community, but to the broader community, they’re not known. And so we really try and make sure that they start to form relationships outside of our community. And the best way to do that is to help them make those introductions.”