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Success Circles Entrepreneurs

A Small Business Capacity Building Program Powered by the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Meet the entrepreneurs

What it means to have a Success Circle

"Success Circles has been absolutely phenomenal. The group of mentors Jill and her team have assembled for Swivel, from branding experts to fundraising pros and PR gurus have been transformational for our business.


When you're working with a small budget, one of the biggest hurdles startups can face is access to the right advisors to help you grow in critical areas. Success Circles has filled that gap for us. We feel honored to be part of this program and can already see the impact it's having on our business." 

Jihan Thompson, Swivel Beauty

“A great opportunity to connect with mentors and experienced entrepreneurs about cultivating successful business practices.”

Kimberly Gray, Uvii

 "Being an entrepreneur means you have to wear many hats. Having a Success Circle lessens the burden of trying to be an expert in every area. 


It not only provides me with additional resources, but it also allows me to apply my expertise in the areas where I am well versed. In fact, it gives me the mental space to be relaxed and effective in my business and personally." 

Adrienne Fudge, 40 Dreams Catering 

 "Being a part of the Success Circles program has truly impacted our early-stage startup. After our first pitch, we connected with the Managing Director of Goldenseeds who gave us transformative, valuable guidance on pitching, refining our business model, and learning investor lingo.


In addition, we connected with HR and Sales Advisors who came in and supported our team in scaling and making sure our due diligence was prepped for a successful future. Being in this program has led to tremendous growth and development for our company". 

Tiasia O'Brien, Seam Social Labs

"We were partnered with two volunteers who immediately brought in a level of experience and insights to help us relaunch our brand into a Baby and Beauty company. They have also been helping us keep our financial goals in check. Adjusted our product pricing to fit the new brand. Helped us create a customer profile."

Phumelele Kuene, Ebaata Skincare

"The Success Circles program is a phenomenal resource and network. I am in awe of the other entrepreneurs in the program, they are always willing to discuss their experiences with important issues such as hiring or funding.  The knowledgeable angel investors ask tough questions that help you grow and the high caliber business support has saved me thousands. I am so happy that we were accepted into this program!"

Dr. Tope Mitchell,  Reflekt Me

"Our business largely revolved around people getting together, from wedding celebrations to group food crafting classes. Since the pandemic restricted most of these events, we were challenged with finding ways to stay viable this year, as well as prepare for success post-pandemic."

"I worked with volunteers who created a safe space to communicate ideas and get feedback. They assisted in suggesting resources, conducting research, and coaching.

Success Circles has helped to clearly define our value proposition  in the midst of change so that we can keep our offerings representative of our mission, and aid in lead generation."

Nadia Bruce, Cupcake Chromatography

Meet the Entrepreneurs

These entrepreneurs were selected through a competitive process to receive volunteer capacity-building support and implementation resources

Boogie Down Grind Cafe 

The Boogie Down Grind Cafe, located in the South Bronx, is
an immersive themed Hip Hop experience that serves great specialty
espresso and teas, wine, beer and light fare.

Learn more about 

Boogie Down Grind Cafe:

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Adrienne Fudge
40 Dreams Catering 

40 Dreams Catering provides delicious, nutritious and healthy Home Delivered Meals to members participating in the Managed Long-Term Supports and Services program. 

Learn more about 40 Dreams: 

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Dr. Alissa Gardenhire
 Kids Win Tutoring Center

At Best in Class, we help students develop the skills and knowledge they need for a bright future. We offer individual and small group sessions with engaging course material aligned with common standards. Learn more about

Kids Win:

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UVII is mobile-first education, a collaborative learning app and video commenting plugin for educational institutions and enterprises.Learn more about Uvii:

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IyaSokoya Karade
Athletic Arts Academy 

The Athletic Arts Academy is a gymnastics school that provides high-quality, professional instruction children deserve.  Learn more about

Athletic Arts Academy:

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Tiasia Obrien - Head Shot.jpg
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co:census is an inclusive survey and polling software pioneering the collection and analysis of public sentiments for those interested in deeply listening to communities. Learn more about co:census:

Tiasia O'Brien
Jihan Thompson
Swivel Beauty 

We make it easy for women of color to find hairstylists and hair salons for their unique hair type and texture—and book appointments all in one place. Learn more about

Swivel Beauty:

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Ready to help change business as usual?

Become a Success Circles volunteer.

Are you a Women of Color entrepreneur who needs help building the capacity to grow, scale and exit?  

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Apply to pitch at a future Success Circles Event!

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