CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More money, more opportunity is the mission of Black Pearl Global Investments as the venture capital firm launches a new focus to offer microloans up to $100,000 to Black-owned businesses across Charlotte.
Through this additional funding, the hope is that the smallest start-up can have the right tools to grow bigger and better.
“We want to be able to support the community not just in high-growth, high-tech, but really businesses that are anchors in our community," Black Pearl CEO Shante Williams said.
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On Monday evening, there was a chance for many Black business owners to come together to mingle and network. Five of those businesses were also awarded $5,000 each as part of a partnership with Black Pearl and The IKEA US Community Foundation.
Zamariya Spa of Africa was one of those businesses awarded the grant. Owner Anita Dereen said the money couldn't have come at a more perfect time with her plans to develop a natural pain-relieving product line.
“Business is still picking up, but I still need to bridge that gap so I’m not just saving, saving to get the product line but now this product line can be launched faster," Dereen said.
Other Black-owned start-ups like To Be Encouraged Christian Ministry plan to use the money in different ways like creating scholarships for young Black girls to invest in their education.
“They have an opportunity to be exactly what they want to be," Pastor Vanessa Whitley said. "Go after it, obtain it, and pursue it.”
U.S. Bank is also offering financial support to several local businesses.
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