Success Stories

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE FUND THE PEOPLE

 
 

A ROOF OVERHEAD

What happens when mother’s are able to create safe places for their family

 
 

I sweat I don’t know how we do it sometimes, but we do, but sometimes it gets really hard ant there’s no where to turn. I work two shifts and can barely keep the lights on. I’m just barely getting by. So when things come up, I get worried because it could mean that I lose my housing. It could mean that I lose my kids.

When I got my 5 day notice, I didn’t know what I was going to do, but God sent this to me.

This group funding helped me get emergency funds to my landlord, and that would have been good enough, but then the other resources I got connected to are helping me get a better job and better transportation.

Glory be to God! “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30:5

“I didn’t know what I was going to do, but God sent this to me.”

— Samantha M. Single Black Mother (Names may be altered to protect confidentiality)

 
 
 

Building the HIVE

Making low barrier grants accessible to the entrepreneurs who need it most

 
 

MABEE's ResourceFULL Black Businesses event was deeply touching and powerful. 

In all, we brought together nearly 99 entrepreneurs in front of 20 resources, documented 285 connections, and granted a total $10,000 to emerging entrepreneurs!

All together we were about 153 in the same space, focused on building the HIVE.

This incredibly powerful - and important - event also resulted in 31 new entrepreneurs signing up for a Business Needs Survey to help assess their specific and unique needs that we'll use to help connect them to critical resources in partnership with MadREP. This will be vital to their economic development.

At the event, we also awarded low barrier grants to Black entrepreneurs that participated. The reactions were truly emotional and phenomenal, especially since so many of the awardees were on their last legs in desperate need of a helping hand. Now, with ResourceFULL Black Businesses, we gave these emerging entrepreneurs the boost they need to start, expand, and stabilize.

Although only some received funding, everyone at the event was able to participate in our signature HIVE Networking Activity, where we documented over 258 unique connections! These Partner, Mentor, Resource, and Client relationships demonstrated the amazing successes that can come out of the HIVE. 

In Madison, many of us suffer from what's called the "Crab Mentality": in our struggle to rise, we pull our companions down. That's why it's so important to work together to empower one another - not bring each other down.

A perfect example of this collaborative approach is our signature HIVE Networking Activity, in which attendees were instructed to make three meaningful connections (mentor, partner, client, resource, etc.), document those connections and their commitments, and then sign up for the Business Needs Survey. This process of connecting taught participants the invaluable mindset of collaboration and working together.

Photographer Shalicia Johnson from ArrowStar Photography gives a tearful hug to MABEE Founder, Eric S. Upchurch II after being awarded critical business funding.

Photographer Shalicia Johnson from ArrowStar Photography gives a tearful hug to MABEE Founder, Eric S. Upchurch II after being awarded critical business funding.

 
 
 

The Law of Attraction

How a wish and a prayer are answered as if by a miracle

 
 

Before I attended the MABEE event, I used the Laws of Attraction and visualized myself taking home the top grant, choosing, and purchasing the equipment needed for my business, ArrowStar Photography.  When my number wasn’t called, I thought to myself, “Dang!  You need to try harder next time!” and suddenly, there was an astonishing turn of events and I had a second chance! Eric called on a child and asked him to pick a number, and out of the mouth of a babe, my number was called.  My jaw hit the floor and I was flooded with emotion as I realized the impact of this award…and I covered my face as the tears flowed freely. 

I walked from the back of the room to the front – heart racing – and was met with genuine and heartfelt clapping, cheers, hugs and congratulations.  I was shaking and could hardly speak, and I think I hugged Eric for a good..hmmm 47 ½ minutes maybe (laugh) before speaking.  After stating my name and my business, I was to tell the audience how the grant money would be utilized. I shakily announced that I needed a new laptop, and that was all I could get out before the sobs started, and again I was met with nothing but love from attendees.  Recalling the event brings me right back to that place – the warmth, the humility, the gratefulness. 

As a photographer, having a computer for editing is second to having a camera.  My laptop is 11 years old, and the one I’ve been using on loan is 3 generations behind as far as processing speed, and doesn’t have the memory and “guts” that I need it to have.  I have lost hours upon hours of productivity due to error messages, editing apps freezing and shutting down, slow rendering speed, etc. because my equipment simply cannot keep up with what I have to demand from it. 

My award will soon arrive, and it will be life changing for me; it will be like going from a lazy assistant who only shows up to work half of the time, to one who’s completely on top of their game and even one step ahead!  I am incredibly  thankful for Eric and his team.  Because of his vision for MABEE that seeks to support and empower other Black entrepreneurs, I will be able to propel my business forward without the hardship, and for that I will be forever grateful.

“Because of this, I will be able to propel my business forward without the hardship, and for that I will be forever grateful.”

— Shalicia Johnson ~ArrowStar Photography

 

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