• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

Secrets to Sustained Growth: Interviews with Three Small Business Owners on Achieving Long-Term Success


Nov 20, 2023

Kenyatta Forbes was a middle school teacher in Chicago when she realized that the traditional Black History curriculum was not adequately covering all aspects of Black history. She felt that it focused too much on a few historical figures and didn’t provide enough insight into 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 people that students might recognize, such as 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 who encouraged her to create a business, Kenyatta launched a crowd-funding campaign and raised $5,500 to start her new venture. She sold the game at Black culture festivals for several years but was halted by the pandemic. Feeling uncertain about the future of her business, she needed help with marketing experience and being the sole person behind her business. 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 as they allowed her to focus on actionable goals and get into details.

The expert advice helped Kenyatta 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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