Oct. 5, 2021
Dr. Shanté Williams is gathering her colleagues to move a big mountain.
The head of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to reorient the focus of the chamber she heads. Networking and workshops and events are fine, she told the Forum this morning. But the new focus – what’s needed most among black businesses in Charlotte – will be on directing capital to small businesses that have the capacity to expand but don’t have dollars in the bank to respond to growth opportunities. She said investments could come from grants, corporate support, personal investments and so forth.
Dr. Williams said the chamber has more than 100 members, but reaches more than 7,000 with its newsletter. Can beating the drum for individuals to invest in small businesses help Charlotte’s black community grow stronger? Can personal action on a small scale address a very large problem?
One of Dr. Williams’ stories, told elsewhere and repeated this morning, was that her first personal investment was of $1,000 of her own money, and it was invested in her hairdresser’s business. The entrepreneurial-minded hairdresser thought she could sell hair care products to customers. The two worked out a plan, the hairdresser found success, paid off her angel investor later with interest, expanded her business and hired people. Success; only$1,000 at risk.
Sarafina Wright explored the planned funding and wrap-around services in an article in QCityMetro.
Dr. Williams covered more of her personal life story during a Feb. 13, 2018 visit to the Forum in connection with her becoming the head of the Black Chamber of Commerce. [Young people’s alert: Watch that earlier video to understand how waking up and acting on a new vision can be life-changing; how a high school International Baccalaureate program can open doors; how retooling with more education can be hard perhaps, but may open even more doors as you have new dreams for your life and service.]
Dr. Williams’ PhD is not in business but in medical research. Her 2011 Ohio State University dissertation is titled, “The Role of Glycogen Synthase Kinase in Glioblastoma Multiforme Migration and Invasion.” Read the dissertation and you will realize the value of creating a plan, and then meticulously following it.
Below the video is material shared in the chat box, including contact information for Dr. Williams and several Forum participants.
If you have only 3 minutes to watch the video, zip to minute 1:15:58 and watch how Dr. Williams answered entrepreneur Winston Robinson when he asked her for details on how Charlotte could better support black businesses.
Excerpts from the chat box
The following contact info and other material was shared during the meeting in the chat box.
Juan Lascano: I am Senior Strategic Operations Partner for Profound Gentlemen.
Yvette Townsend: I am a Black business owner, and I help candidates win elections! Contact me for campaign data, research, management! I also write grants & do grant research! I help nonprofits!
Rhonda Walker: I’m running for Mint Hill Commissioner early voting starts next week for us. Would love your support.
Also a business owner: Tone Your Temple Health and Wellness Toneyourtemple.com [email protected] 980-253-2922
Jennifer De La Jara: I’m running for County Commissioner At-Large. The primary election is March 8. You can follow my campaign at jennifer4meck.com
Dr. Shante Williams: Contact is via [email protected]