HBCU students help local minority-owned small businesses with help from NC State University and Lenovo

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WAKE COUNTY, NC (WTVD) – Small, minority-owned businesses are getting a helping hand from business students.

North Carolina State University has teamed up with Lenovo to help connect HBCU students with minority-owned small businesses across the state.

On Friday, the companies launched a collaboration aimed at giving business owners tools to expand their brands.

Six-year-old Eden Byrd is the face and founder Garden of Eden Moan online business that sells natural beauty products from soaps to lip balms and sugar scrubs.

Less than a year into the business, Eden, along with parents Ebony and Michael Bird, are facing the challenges of expanding the brand.

SEE ALSO: North Carolina Central University 1 of 3 HBCUs to get funding after bomb threats

“The biggest challenge is marketing and knowing where to promote our business. Actually being able to get out there and communicate,” explained Ebony Bird.

She explained that the lack of personal communication slowed down their work.

“They don’t have a lot of social features, so when we’re starting out and learning about our products and the market and what’s in demand right now, we’re trying to find our niche and get in, so it’s been tough,” said Ebony Bird.

To solve this problem, the Byrds were one of four businesses chosen to partner with students across the state.

“We are excited about the opportunity to learn something new. We don’t know anything about marketing, again it’s less than a year for us, so we’re like a new brand,” said Ebany Bird.

The Byrds will be working with seniors Winston Salem and Shanice Dansby next semester.

Dansby explained that she will help them analyze data analytics from their online store to help strategize how they can get more clicks and return customers.

The partnership will help grow the Byrds’ business, but also give Dansby real-world experience to give her an edge when she graduates.

“I just want to learn more about the software so that in the future, when I do this kind of consulting after graduation, I can help big clients in their business, and learning here is, you know, a jumping off point for that,” she explained.

Being able to specifically use his skills to help small, minority-owned businesses is something Dansby looks forward to.

“A lot of minority businesses don’t get the attention they need,” she said. “Being able to help a minority business and a young child while being a mom is very motivating to see them succeed.”

Gerald Youngblood, director of marketing for Lenovo in North America, said he is very excited about this partnership.

“We provide a platform for them to come together to solve real-world business challenges and for students to learn about entrepreneurship while supporting local small businesses,” he said.

Youngblood also emphasized that the collaboration aims to increase access to resources specifically for small and minority-owned businesses so they can create more innovative products and ideas.

“Without the support, it would have been a lot harder,” Youngblood said. “We want to bridge that gap so that these business owners can focus on their companies, products and business, and not struggle so much with technology, analytics or other skills that we can support and enable them to grow their business even faster.” .

Friday’s workshop was part of Lenovo’s broader Evolve Small initiative, which aims to help and grow small businesses across the country.

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HBCU students help local minority-owned small businesses with help from NC State University and Lenovo

Source link HBCU students help local minority-owned small businesses with help from NC State University and Lenovo