Free Online Meetings Support Local Biz Owners
By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
In July 2022, Alicia Beatrice launched a series of free-monthly-online business meetings that could increase the number of Black businesses in Hampton Roads.
“It has grown from one person to almost 40 in attendance of Black men and women who want to have this safe space to make authentic connections and talk about their challenges in life and business without judgement or pressure,” Beatrice, the founder and CEO of Black Family Business, said in a recent interview with The New Journal and Guide.
“When I created the Black Family Business Networking Event, I was sitting in my quiet time with God and thought how it would be refreshing to have a safe space to network, laugh and pray with other Black entrepreneurs,” said Beatrice, an award winning performer, three-time bestselling-author, life coach, self help-specialist, and licensed therapist.
Black entrepreneurs from all walks of life attend and are welcome at these events, she said. “They feel heard and seen in this space.”
The free-online meetings are open to all. According to her ad on Eventbrite, her free monthly networking group welcomes individuals who “may have faced setbacks or losses in life and business, feel out of place, been kicked out of other communities including your church; or feel like you are ‘too different’ or ‘not normal’ enough to connect.”
The next online meeting dates are April 7, from 7 p.m., to 8 p.m. and May 5, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. To sign up for online gatherings, head over to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/Black-family-business-networking-event-tickets-476157268207?aff=ebdssbcitybrowse.
“The events are held the first Friday of the month,” she said. “Instead of feeling locked out, join this 40-plus membership group and share your stories.”
The agenda typically includes prayer “to acknowledge God and then an introduction,” she said. “I share the vision of Black Family Business and offer my resources and services to anyone who needs support or accountability. Last, I open the floor for people to share their products or services, get feedback on business ideas, ask questions and share ways to stay connected with each other. The event concludes with prayer and invitation to attend the next event.”
Beatrice launched the group after she quit her non-profit job in 2009 and started her first online business while she was a stay-at-home mom. She said, “My career has allowed me to work with talented leaders in community programs, fundraising, administration, and healthcare. Currently, I am completing my yoga teaching registration and branching into financial services. I am mama of two Black boys, divorced, and spend any free time with God in prayer or reading the Bible. I visit churches from time to time, watch livestreams of services, but do not belong to a church by choice.”
If you are an entrepreneur of color, you may want to join this free online group because participants are urged to speak openly but kindly.
“I encourage respect, kindness, and honesty,” Beatrice said, describing the sentiments that stream through her monthly online meetings. “We are all on the path of wholeness and success which is what I celebrate at the Black Family Business Networking Event so everyone who attends feels like they matter and belong. My hope it that no one feels like they are alone in their journey.”
Last summer, Beatrice not only held her first online business gathering, she also wrote her first book to honor God and share her inspirational story.
“Out of this work, Black Family Business was born,” she said. “This movement is more than just a story about a Black mother starting a business to have financial freedom so she can live out her wildest dreams and build a legacy for her family. It’s an empowering community (that builds) holistic support and (helps others) find (their) voice. It’s God’s hand at work in Black families and communities.”
To contact Beatrice, email support@Blackfamilybusiness.com. Her website is located at www.Blackfamilybusiness.com.