• Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

Small Business Success Stories: Lessons from Entrepreneurs Who Have Thrived for 5, 10, and 15 Years


Nov 20, 2023

Kenyatta Forbes, a former middle school teacher in Chicago, stumbled upon her passion for Black history while teaching. She realized that the traditional curriculum was not adequately covering the cultural and historical impact of Black history. To enhance her lessons, she created a unique deck of index cards that mixed historical figures with modern-day rappers and reality TV stars. The game, called “Trading Races,” had each player dealt five cards, and the goal was to convince everyone else that the person on their card was the “blackest.”

After testing the game with friends and receiving encouragement to create a business, Forbes launched a crowd-funding campaign and raised $5,500 to start her new venture. She sold the game at Black culture festivals for a few years until the pandemic halted all in-person events. With no professional marketing experience and being the sole person behind her business, Forbes needed help to develop her marketing ideas. That’s when she heard about Verizon Small Business Digital Ready and signed up for live 1:1 reviews to discuss social media marketing and strategy.

The one-on-one sessions were incredibly helpful for Forbes as they allowed her to focus on actionable goals and get into the details of promoting her business. The expert advice helped refine her promotional ideas into a marketing calendar with a coherent social media strategy tailored to her target audience. With a better understanding of what she needed to do, creating content, and scheduling it out, Trading Races began to see a surge in followers and sales. Today, the business has several thousand followers on social media and has formed partnerships with influencers.

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