Women-owned businesses are driving Flint’s small business boom

Women-owned businesses are driving Flint’s small business boom

You can make it.

That was a central theme of Flint’s recent GoGetHER Conference, which showcased the success stories of women like Naturalicious Hair Care Products Founder & CEO Gwen Jimmere. As an unemployed, single mother, Jimmere launched her national business with only $32 in assets and a desperate mandate to support her young son.

Kala Wilburn (center), Fashion Architect for Fannie Lucille, Founder of Flint’s Vehicle City Fashion Week and the Fashion Against Violence campaign and TheHUB’s social media guru was the proud recipient of the 2018 GoGetHER Award presented by event co-founders Catrina Tillman (left) and Tachina Mack (right). Photo courtesy of GoGetHER

The theme of starting from nothing resonated with more than 150 conference attendees, who represented a diverse audience, from the cities’ youngest dreamers to its newly retired. Although Flint shows promising signs of resurgence, GoGetHER’s message was that it’s absolutely critical to increase investments in die-hard city residents who’ve supported their neighborhoods and fledging businesses.

“Every one of us has something to invest,” says GoGetHER panelist Chanel Uboh, founder and CEO of Marmos, a nationally recognized financial services firm specializing in accounting, tax preparation, and wealth building  “The problem is too few of us invest in ourselves.”

The promising dreamers at the conference are among those Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce CEO Tim Herman referenced as being “an integral part of the city’s future growth strategies” at his organization’s annual meeting last month.

GoGetHER Conference Co-Founder Catrina Tillman, Fashion Savvy blogger Tamela Tatum, Marmos CEO Chanel Uboh , I’m Building Something CEO Ebonie Gipson, Natralicious CEO Gwen Jimmere, Detroit Speaks Co-Founder Danielle Hughes and GoGetHer Co-Founder Tachina Mack help lead to the charge to get more Flint women involved in small business and economic development at the first annual GoGetHER Conference, which attracted more than 150 attendees. Photo by Alvin Brown

TheHUB is proud to play an integral role in keeping these aspiring entrepreneurs in the headlines and supporting their economic success. GoGetHER Conference organizers Catrina Tillman and Tachina Mack deserve praise for the success of their event, which was aimed at putting even more women on the pathway toward economic independence.

Many women are hopeful that Flint’s small business development will help drive the city’s economic resurgence. Photo by Danen Williams

There is increasing evidence of positive business growth in Flint.

Companies like Yevette McClain’s Yevette’s Gourmet Tacos and Talicia Campbell’s  T.aste of C.ulture Catering are moving from start-ups to stay-ups with newly cemented brick-and-mortar locations.

Enterprising women like Charma Dompreh are helping cement Flint’s position as the home of high-growth businesses like Charma’s Green Chips.

Others, like Mia Harris’ Curly Girl Cakes, are celebrating firsts, such as being featured on Café Rhema’s coveted dessert menu.

TheHUB contributor Kala Wilburn, Flint’s first lady of fashion, recently made national news in Good Housekeeping Magazine behind the accelerating momentum of the city’s growing fashion culture. Others, like GoGetHER exhibitor and Sista Girl Cards founder Rhonda Willingham, and Deria Brown, owner of Glam Box Boutique, see signs of exponential business growth ahead.

GoGetHER panelist, workshop host and I’m Building Something Founder & CEO Ebonie Gipson has accelerated the growth of more than 100 Flint-based small business clients. Photo by Danen Williams

Advocates including HUB contributor, I’m Building Something founder and GoGetHER workshop guest Ebonie Gipson are also doing their part to help put area small businesses on sound footing.

All these women deserve our attention and support, especially while building something from nothing.

Hatching strategies for new business development was a part of the focus of the GoGetHer Conference. Photo by Danen Williams

We believe it’s women like these who will help make Flint America’s next Cinderella city.

They are the driving force behind our support of the GoGetHER Conference, Small Shops series, Savor the Flavor of Flint, and Mama Slay’s upcoming Mother’s Day Brunch.

When we support these women, we support the entire community.

Editor’s Note: Jackie Berg is the founder and publisher of TheHUB and 2018 recipient of the Association of Women in Communications Vanguard Award.

Lead image: SHE STRONG International Founder Tinesha Cherry (center), brought down the house with an inspirational spoken word performance at the GoGetHER Conference. Photo by Danen Williams.

 

 

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