Written by Leonard Webb, Publisher
“Providing Tools to Grow Your Business to The Next Level”
Connecting Black Business to “to connect to each other, capital, and resources while providing guidance” has always been the mission and goal since 2016 for the Black Business Alliance in Connecticut (BBA).
Under the passionate leadership of Executive Director Anne-Marie Knight and her amazing team and seasoned board members, the BBA has been helping small Black businesses understand the importance of getting their business registered with the state, providing access to capital, legal advice and so much more. I had a chance to sit down via a Zoom call with ED Anne-Marie and Director of Business Development Services, James Nichols about the value add of the BBA and a few of the programs offered.
Executive Director, Anne-Marie Knight
What is the BBA’s mission?
BBA is a non-profit membership organization with a mission to EMPOWER, GUIDE, PROMOTE, ENHANCE, COLLABORATE with, GROW and ADVOCATE for black businesses throughout Connecticut and Nationally by addressing the gap in business access to funding, educational resources and statewide capacity building.
If you are looking for a “professional, trustworthy community of business owners who are committed to excellence, while building community legacy “ then the Black Business Alliance if for YOU!
What areas of CT do you cover?
The good news is no matter where you live or your business resides in the State of Connecticut, you are covered. Throughout the calendar year the BBA hosts an average 30-40 workshops and events over the state, with businesses in 43 Towns & Cities in Connecticut. Be sure to check their calendar of events for a workshop in your area. https://www.bbusinessalliance.org/events/events-calendar
What types of business qualify for the BBA’s services?
If you are a Black Owned Startup with a concept or business plan you QUALIFY! If you are a Black Owned Established Business looking to grow or solidify your business you QUALIFY! Technical Assistance services are available for business in any stage of development.
What types of services does the BBA provide?
Access to Capital:
As 1 of the top 3 reasons businesses fail early, BBA will equip businesses to expand and increase their bottom line with access to capital, and financing.
Events & Networking:
BBA understands the power of relationships and how opportunities can be obtained when the entrepreneur works his/her network. BBA events are targeted to build trust and get businesses connected.
BBA members benefit from exclusive access to special events or resources, BBA programs, and small and large companies through a power network of dynamic businesses and organizations. BBA believes in the power of the collective.
Outreach & Training:
BBA wants to make sure that the economically-empowered entrepreneur is also the educated one. Our workshops provide the tools and resources to keep a sustainable business.
To get access to capital, BBA helps businesses with administration and packaging applicants seeking funding from lending institutions. BBA offers business advice around business planning, strategy, HR, and more.
Health & Wellness go hand and hand when owning your business:
BBA has a whole-person approach to service provision. We are intentional about providing opportunities for community healing, self-care and overall wellness.
30 Second Video: https://vimeo.com/782685179/fb66715278
Does the BBA work? Check out just a few SUCCESS stories below:
The Black Business Alliance recently launched its inaugural Noire Exposé – a premiere Pitch Awards Competition where 10 (out of 52) Black owned businesses competed for a chance to win between $2.5K and $35K. These businesses will also receive technical help using the funding to pursue their business goals.
This is the first of its kind in the state of Connecticut, solely focused on Black businesses with a technology-enhanced* business model with an emphasis on companies starting at the “inspiration stage” and either creating a new business or pivoting. This was a true opportunity to invest in innovative, and future-driven Black entrepreneurs resulting in a positive impact to the growth of the Connecticut economy. We are excited about the opportunity to spark more investment and expand the footprint beyond the Connecticut borders next year.
*Technology-enhanced businesses, unlike core tech businesses, are characterized basically by their use of existing tools, platforms, libraries, and frameworks to make their processes more efficient or effective. Technology-enhanced businesses don’t necessarily create tech products. Instead, they leverage them to optimize their operations.
The BLUEPRINT for growing new and established BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES has been established by the BBA on a local level. The goal of the BBA is to take this BLUEPRINT on the road to a NATIONAL LEVEL. Keep your eye open for the BBA coming to your town!
Ready to JOIN and watch your business GROW?
Click here TODAY: https://www.bbusinessalliance.org/membership/join