SOURCE: DC Community Carrot

DC Community Carrot

October 11, 2017 10:00 ET

Thirteen of D.C.'s Newest CEOs, all Living Under the Poverty Limit and Under 26 Years Old, to Graduate Saturday from DC Community Carrot's Inaugural Entrepreneurship Training Class

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - October 11, 2017) - Thirteen young entrepreneurs, all living under the poverty limit and with additional life barriers, have received their business licenses and will receive their Certificate of Completion from DC Community Carrot, a 501c3 non-profit based in Petworth/Brightwood Park. The graduation takes place this Saturday, October 14th at 3pm, at the WeWork's Wonderbread Building office, 641 S Street NW.

{Note to journalists: media wishing to attend should register with Rachel Gartlan,}

The graduates include:

  • Tasneem Ali, CEO of Fash/On and Charlie Pender, President, Fash/On
  • Marvin Best, CEO Best Computer Repair
  • Shatiqua Burgess, CEO, Minnie's Helper
  • Damon Carrington, CEO, HumanU
  • Khalil DuBerry-Dockery, CEO, Vegan Buddy
  • Alfonzo Gregory, CEO Shoe Resurrection
  • Daquon Jamison, CEO, D3
  • Josh Jones, CEO, Creative Outlet
  • Michelle Nixon, CEO, Gifted Motions
  • Kate Russell, CEO, Katphish Korp
  • Ryan Tanner, CEO, Seven20VR
  • Emani Wilson, CEO, Entrepreneur Army

The idea for the organization was created in June 2016 when over 100 Petworth and Brightwood Park residents participated in discussions and activities aimed at solving the chronic joblessness and related crime issues that the community was experiencing.

"Rather than focusing on the sticks of incarceration, the community made clear that it wanted to do a better job of providing incentives, or carrots, that would support our young people when they get on a constructive path," said Gerald Elston, Chairman of the Board of DC Community Carrot and Pastor, Brightwood Park United Methodist Church. "Residents joined clergy, police, and elected leaders and young adults in agreeing that an entrepreneurship program would serve this community well."

Funding for the inaugural class from grants from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development as well as the DC Department of Employment Services.

"We learned how to conduct research to differentiate our business, marketing, financial management including how to qualify for low interest loans, and how to navigate regulatory requirements," said Emani Wilson, CEO, Entrepreneur Army. "But most important, we believed that no obstacle is too high. This program taught us to believe in ourselves."

David Sheon served as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Petworth and helped organize the effort.

"Great ideas for businesses can come from anywhere, said David Sheon, Founder and Executive Director, DC Community Carrot. "This program shows that if we provide the same three supports to young adults who live under the poverty level that those with means typically have -- mentors, business education, and access to capital -- there's every reason these CEOs will succeed too."

The program also linked participants to social services for mental health, medical, housing, and other supports as needed.

About DC Community Carrot

DC Community Carrot's mission is to break the cycle of poverty by helping entrepreneurial Opportunity Youth create businesses of their own that will last a lifetime. The program provides the mentors, education, and access to capital needed for entrepreneurs to succeed. The organization's vision is to create pathways to the middle class for D.C.'s Opportunity Youth, ages 18 to 24.

The Board of Directors of DC Community Carrot includes Chairman Elston; Leon Andrews, National League of Cities; Michael Aniton, former Assistant Attorney General; Brian Fair, DonorSearch (Norfolk, Va.); Aaron Frank, Singularity University (Mountain View, Calif.); Rachel Gartlan, WeWork; Ryan Palmer; and Nicole Porter, Sentencing Project.

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