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Celebrate Entrepreneurship through Black History Month and Entrepreneurship Week by supporting minority and/or women-owned businesses

As we enter Black History Month and Entrepreneurship Week, we celebrate women-owned businesses that are aligned with shared values of equality and unity. Create and raise awareness for disadvantaged business owners by supporting their businesses and the products that they create. Here is how you can support minority and/or woman-owned businesses.

Do your research

Research supporting businesses and business owners in your community that are aligned with your values. Ultimately these businesses should be female-owned and -operated and employ people from disadvantaged communities;, however, you can also research businesses that support or donate a portion of their proceeds to female organizations and minority/black-owned businesses. Purchase products from these businesses or use their services as often as you can to show your support.

Use social media to spread the word

Aside from financial assistance, there are alternative and additional methods of promotion you can utilize to help businesses. You can leave a positive review of the business on their website or on Google to help the business to establish trust in their products or services. Sharing your experience with others on social media can also help to introduce companies to the community and spread the word about their business. You can also tag your favorite black-owned or female-owned business in a social media post when you make a purchase.

Start your own business for women and minorities

Create a business that supports females and minorities. You can open up your own startup business or align your current business with values that support women and minority groups. Hire more people of color and women, attend workshops and continue to educate yourself and your employees on the importance of equality and inclusion of females and minority groups in entrepreneurship roles. 

The Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia at Community Business Partnership embodies the values of Black History Month and Entrepreneurship Week. We are committed to assisting women, minorities, and disadvantaged groups with training and assistance to help them to grow their businesses. If you are thinking of starting a business or have a business that has been operating for less than two years, you can sign up for a free business session with a WBC expert Counselor here:

Celebrate entrepreneurship and women-owned businesses by contacting us today!

Black Lives & Businesses Matter

A Message from the Board and Staff of the Community Business Partnership

Dear CBP Community,
As an organization that is focused on supporting America’s multicultural communities, we stand in solidarity with the Black community and those across the nation who are fighting to bring an end to systemic racism and social injustices.
We will continue to work together with community partners and small businesses to empower and support the Black community by fostering more economic and social equality and justice efforts. We will work harder to make sure that the faces of our staff reflect the faces of our clients and make more diligent efforts to reach out to minority communities. We reaffirm our commitment to providing accessible resources and support to minority-small business owners, and especially to Black-owned businesses.
In doing this, we also know that we have a responsibility to educate others on how to better support minority-owned small businesses, and we want to share a few simple ways you can support Black-owned businesses NOW:
Remember that there is power in your dollar! Sharing information and amplification are incredible tools and in the big picture, even the small choices we each make each day matter.
With love and steadfast support,
The Board and Staff of the Community Business Partnership

Celebrate Women’s History Month by learning more about these 5 women-owned businesses

As we begin Women’s History Month, we reflect on women-owned businesses around the world. Join us as we commemorate and highlight some of the top women-owned businesses in the United States. Here are 5 women-owned businesses that have earned notable success. 

  • BET 

 Black Entertainment Television (BET) was the first African American-controlled cable network. The popular network was started up in 1979 when a remarkable woman named Sheila Johnson helped to fund the cable network. Sheila used the money which she earned herself through teaching music lessons during her lifetime. She later became the VP of Corporate Affairs and serves as a board member of the company. 

  • The Body Shop

The Body Shop is known for its eco-friendly and animal-friendly body care products. It was created in 1976 by Anita Roddick in England.  Anita had the vision to create body care that doesn’t harm the environment, animals and is gentle enough for our skin too. She turned her vision into a success and promoted ethical consumer purchases globally. Today there are more than 45 Body Shop stores around the world with millions of products being sold on online stores annually.

  • Build-A-Bear

Maxine Clark had an idea to allow children to create unique stuffed animals in 1997. 

Today there are over 400 Build-A-Bear stores around the world. The workshop is one-of-a-kind and inspires kids to use their imagination and creativity in everyday life. 


Sara Blakely was one of the youngest self-made billionaires after creating the brand known as SPANX – a bodywear shapewear for women. Sara created the brand following an idea after snipping a pair of pantyhose to use under her pants. Her idea created a chain of stores that today have over 200 products and are used by celebrities such as Michelle Obama. Apart from creating the successful clothing range, Sara donates half her profits to charitable causes.

  • Cisco 

Cisco, the networking product company responsible for a multi-network exchange, was founded by Sandy Lerner. Sandy alongside her then-husband Len Bosack developed the router that earned more than $1.5 million in sales in the first years of development. Today Cisco is valued at more than $220 billion.

There are so many notable women-owned businesses and you could be the entrepreneur that starts the next one. The Women’s Business Center helps to serve potential and existing small business owners including women, veterans, and minorities to earn success.   

Contact us today for more info on starting up your own business or to assist women-owned businesses!

New Hires Announced

Community Business Partnership is proud to welcome these new professionals to our amazing small business support team!

Sheila Dixon is the new Outreach Coordinator at our Business Finance Center. Sheila will be working part time to introduce the BFC’s alternative loan products to minority entrepreneurs. Sheila also serves as Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce.

Tiehdi Togba is the CBP’s new Financial Specialist. Tiehdi brings a wealth of knowledge in financial, budget and Federal grants management with over 10 years of experience. Tiehdi received the SBA’s State Star Award in 2018 and 2019 from the DC Small Business Development Center.


At CBP’s Business Finance Center, we make a difference in people’s lives by lending to promising small businesses that are unable to secure financing through traditional means.  Our goal: to help small businesses become credit worthy so that they can create sustainable income and jobs.  Our target markets are traditionally underserved Black, Latino, and Asian small businesses as well as low income communities.

We not only provide financing but we also share knowledge though the Community Business Partnership family of business assistance providers.  We require lending clients to attend informative webinars and regular counseling sessions to help them become even better business owners.

Check out our loan programs below to learn more about how we can help your business and community!

WBC Welcomes New Intern

The Women’s Business Center is proud to welcome George Mason University intern Amini Bonane.  Amini will support WBC as a Programs and Outreach Specialist and will be crowned Miss Black DC in February, 2020.

Bonane is a Congolese-American social entrepreneur, community organizer, and women’s rights advocate. She studies Finance, Philosophy and Law at George Mason University. She’s also a graduate student at Harvard University working on her certification in corporate finance. Amini is the founder of Brains Then Beauty Mentorship Program and jewelry line Nchi J Co that funds girls’ education in Congo. She plans to use her time as DC’s 2020 Miss Black USA to uplift women to believe in themselves regardless of life’s circumstances.  As Programs and Outreach Specialist, she will use her experience in leadership, service, and mentorship to further the goals of the Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia.

Sharif Small

Sharif J. Small, President & CEO of S.J.S. Financial Firm, LLC, has been in the financial service industry since 2002,  starting as an Insurance Agent and Financial Planner for Mass Mutual Financial Group. While at Mass Mutual, he obtained the following licenses: Life/Health insurance licenses, Series 6, 63 and 65 securities.

In 2005, Small left Mass Mutual to form his own practice to focus more on financial literacy, planning and advice. Also, Mr. Small has over ten years of tax and seven years of accounting experience working for Accountemps and Accountants International as a Contract Bookkeeper and Staff Accountant for small businesses, non-profit organizations and corporations.

Mr. Small has an A.A. in Business Administration from The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), a B.S. in Accounting with a Concentration in Personal Financial Planning from Towson University and has obtained the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) Designation from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE).

Mr. Small has been published in The Bizmonthly and The Baltimore Business Journal on retirement, taxes, and accounting issues. Also, he was featured in the Baltimore Examiner publishing financial empowerment articles for the online newspaper.

Mr. Small is actively involved in various professional and community organizations. In 2010, he help co-host an Annual Baltimore Financial Planning Day with the Mayor’s Office and City of Baltimore to provide free financial literacy workshops and financial counseling sessions to Baltimore residents.

In 2013, he became a Military Contractor for Serco, Inc as a Financial Planning Counselor and Business Consultant to help military soldiers transition to civilian life.

Current Activities:

  • Financial Empowerment Committee Chair, Urban League of Young Professionals
  • Co-Founder and Liaison, National Association of Black Accountants, Towson University Chapter

Past Activities Included:

  • Pro Bono Program Committee Chair, Financial Planning Association of MD
  • National Board Member, Association of African American Financial Advisors

“The CBP counselors and volunteers have been instrumental in helping me increase my knowledge and confidence in business ownership. Because of their guidance, I’ve been able to expand my practice and move into a larger facility with more employees.”

Debbie Allen, President, Premier Pediatric Therapy Source, Annandale, VA
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Community Business Partnership of Springfield, VA