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Inspiring Conversations with Nancy Korsah of Black Business Enterprises

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy Korsah.

Hi Nancy, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born and raised in Italy to Ghanian parents. I moved to America as a teen and quickly had to adapt to our new environment. My family and I came to America with nothing, but business saved my life.

I wanted to connect with other business owners so I could learn how to not just survive in my new country but thrive. English was my seventh and hardest language I’ve ever had to learn and every day was a challenge. I started a small community of community members, business owners and entrepreneurs that grew into a community of 1.8 million members which turned into Black Business Enterprises.

I quickly realized that while we were building a community, we were educating each other and helping people build wealth for themselves and their families. I decided we needed an incubator of sorts to help business owners get started and have a safe space to ask questions, get educated and start their businesses. We also realized that financial literacy was the main component to keeping businesses open and building true wealth in the community, so we launched our programs.

We helped open over 7,000 businesses and built a national directory with over 70,000 black-owned businesses represented and given 300k in micro-grants to black-owned businesses. We currently offer Financial literacy classes, homeownership workshops and have a co-working space and event center in our Minneapolis Headquarters.

We also host the largest Gala in Minneapolis each October called the Black Business Ball which serves to honor and download our members face to face so they can celebrate each other and get inspired for the new year.

I am so grateful to be able to help my community one person at a time and hope more people will join in the movement.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The biggest struggle was funding. Funding is always the biggest hurdle to realizing our business dreams and I was no different. When I started, I had a very high-paying corporate position that funded my business and I was able to donate 30% of my income easily, however it was not sustainable. I educated myself on business credit and was able to fund myself leveraging that and raising money through investors.

Another struggle was learning how to brand myself and deciding what I wanted my legacy to be and what impact I wanted to make, once I was able to realize that, the road got a lot smoother.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Black Business Enterprises?
Black Business Enterprises Fund (BBE) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in Minneapolis, M.N. We serve a large coalition who consist of young entrepreneurs, small businesses and low-income individuals seeking to start a business and improve their financial well-being. Our goal is to help individuals raise their economic status through education and we have a strong commitment to advance financial literacy in the community. We have cohorts in 48 states and 32 countries.

I specialize in pushing people to follow their dreams and not settle for less. I am most proud about elevating my community and helping build thousands of businesses and brands.

I would like our readers to support our cause by donating, adding their business to our national directory and reach out if they have a business idea and don’t know where to turn. We are here and are rooting for all people/things black.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
For anyone thinking about starting a business: Do it the right way, no shortcuts the slowest way will be the most successful. Do your research, find and study your audience/customer base. Create, grow and build a community around you. Support others while you ask for support, it’s a two way street. DO NOT use your own money to start your business, build business credit and use that. Ask for help as a close mouth does not get fed. Learn how to take valuable feedback and Failure is the most brilliant way to learn and do better so don’t give up. Stay humble, it’s ok not to know it all.

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Image Credits
Twin Cities Film Fest

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