Editor-in-Chief

140+ Black-owned Coffee/Tea Alternatives to Starbucks

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Black-owned Coffee/Tea Alternatives to Starbucks

Starbucks Coffee is facing public calls for a boycott after witnesses said two African American men were arrested this week at a Philadelphia store because of their skin color. Store employees said the men were trespassing because they hadn’t purchased anything.  We’ve compiled out list of alternatives to Starbucks.

As the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks continues to gain momentum following the Thursday arrests, a weakly worded apology by the company on Saturday only exacerbated public outrage.

View our complete list of over 140+ Alternative to Starbucks here.

Kaffeine Coffee Internet & office Cafe – Houston, Texas

Milk & Honey Cafe (Maryland)

in Soul FoodCoffee/Tea ShopsBreakfast & BrunchSouthern

From the moment you walk through the doors, you’ll immediately feel at home. Every detail was purposeful & carefully planned with you in mind.

Watts Coffee House (Los Angeles)

in American/GeneralCoffee & TeaCafe

More Than Java Cafe’ – Laurel, Maryland

An Oasis and great alternative to Starbucks

Damn Good Teas (Oakland)

in Brewing/BeveragesCoffee/Tea ShopsCoffee & TeaVending

Damn Goods Teas is a ready-made natural, hydrating and refreshing herbal drink. We use an abundance of Water, a signature 7 Herb blend – sweetened with real honey & stevia. Top it off with a light hinted of 100% fruit juice. ​

Tabba Tabba (Baltimore, Maryland)

in Soul FoodCafe

Wonderful, eclectic environment with an amazing outdoor venue. Great people creating a wonderful new business in a cool neighborhood on Baltimore�s West side. Good coffee, pastries and sandwiches. Rent the outdoors space for meeting and parties.

Tea In Sahara – Providence, Rhode Island

We are a family owned and operated Café known for our green tea with fresh mint, Moroccan atmosphere and decor. We serve espresso drinks, authentic Moroccan appetizers, tagines for lunch or dinner and deserts.

Kye Organic Teahouse (Washington, DC)

in Brewing/BeveragesCoffee/Tea Shops

KYE is a gourmet herbal teahouse that blends handcrafted organically grown ingredients to provide you with the most enjoyable, relaxing experience one sip at a time. KYE was established on the foundation of “going back to nature.”

Cafe Dejena – Oakland, California

Nspiyahd – Online

We’re just an everyday family who decided to live an extraordinary life. We work to share the concepts of healing, wholeness and holistic living through all of our works.

Brooklyn Bell’s The Local – Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn Bell, founded in 2011 by the husband and wife team of Ron Cunningham and Kati Duncan-Cunningham in Brooklyn, is a purveyor of strictly craft foods.

Serengeti Teas & Spices – New York, New York

Serengeti Teas and Spices introduces the history, magic, sumptuous taste and exotic flavors of Africa. The recipes, the aromas, and the culinary history kept in boxes, journals, and the African kitchen come to life in our signature coffees, teas, cocoa

AMALGAM COMICS & COFFEHOUSE (Philly)

in Coffee/Tea ShopsBooks, Mags, Music & VideoCafe

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is a celebration of geek culture. A place for comic book fans, hardcore gamers, movie addicts, television connoisseurs, and zombie apocalypse survivalists to meet, and with their powers combined, change the world a little

Sphinx Cafe – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Mla Gourmet (Stone Mtn, Georgia)

in BakeriesDessertsGourmet Snacks

Loaded with fresh spices, coffee and Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate. Infused with liquor. MLA Gourmet makes cookies for grownups. We love to create decadent recipes using nontraditional ingredients, and we’ve perfected the classic chocolate chip cookie.

Foggy Bottom Coffee House – Dexter, Michigan

Stef-n-Ty – Detroit, Michigan

Stef-n-Ty is the clothing design team of Stephanie and Tyrone Dickey. Our location is a boutique and coffee shop in the progressive North End neighborhood.

My Coffee Shop @ Eastlake(Atlanta, Georgia)

in Coffee/Tea ShopsCoffee & TeaJuice Bars & SmoothiesCafe

It’s our pleasure to welcome you to My Coffee Shop @ East Lake! It was always Miss Linda’s dream to surround herself with friends, family, and guests in a comfortable, homelike space that makes all who enter feel like they are part of something.

Jazz Cafe & Grille – Opa-locka (Miami), Florida

Beyú Caffé – Durham, North Carolina

Beyù Caffè (pronounced be-you) is a combination of four business models in downtown Durham, NC – coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and live jazz club – successfully wrapped into one unique business venture.

Breukelen Coffee House – New York, New York

Urban Grind Coffee House – Atlanta, Georgia

We’re all about coffee , culture and community.

Teavolve – Baltimore, Maryland

Watts Coffee House – Los Angeles, California

640 WEST ATL (Atlanta, Georgia)

in American/GeneralCoffee/Tea ShopsConvenience StoresCafe

640 West is a coffeeshop/cafe & event space situated in the Historic West End. Come enjoy food, networking, wifi, poetry, live music, tutoring & community.

Calabash Teahouse & Cafe – Harlem, NY

The seed for Calabash was planted 2 doors from the world famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY in 1976. Serving at her parent’s herbal shop & juice bar, owner Sunyatta trained alongside master herbalists learning the medicinal value of teas & spices.

Afro Deli & Coffee (Minneapolis)

in American/GeneralAfricanMediterranean

Afro Deli is an urban fast-casual restaurant that provides a delicious fusion of African, Mediterranean, and American themed food in a fast, fun, and friendly environment. Patrons describe the atmosphere as a ‘community meeting’

Dream Cafe – Atlanta, Georgia

Dream Cafe is a cafe and empowerment lounge in the Castleberry Hills District of downtown Atlanta. Offering coffee, creativity, culture and community.

Kazanda’s Cafe – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Royal Cup Cafe – Long Beach, California

Grant Park Coffeehouse – Atlanta, Georgia

Serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee

Blackstar Books & Cafe (New Orleans)

in Coffee/Tea ShopsBooks, Mags, Music & VideoCafe

curators and independent business owners. We live for art and community! We feed your mind, body and soul! Only the freshest creators have graced our stages and we are proud to be your home for soul, rnb, hip hop, and all art grooves in between.

Sip & Savor Chicago (Chicago)

in Coffee/Tea ShopsCafe

Roomy coffeehouse offering carefully sourced cups, light bites & pastries, plus coffee by the pound.

Gullah Girl Tea – Online

Healing and decadent looseleaf tea blends made by hand and with love

Just Add Honey Tea Company – Atlanta, Georgia

Our mission is to bring superior quality teas to your doorstep. just add honey wants you to enjoy the best, freshest, and most flavorful teas alone or in the company of friends.

Grounds For A Better World – Midland, Michigan

Tsion Cafe & Bakery – New York, New York

As long time residents of Harlem, we wanted to bring something fresh, healthy, delicious to the taste buds and supportive the artistic talent that is near and far. We are committed to honoring that heritage by providing a space for regular arts event

Culture Coffee – Washington, District Of Columbia

Culture Coffee is a coffee house, art gallery and live performance venue in the Brightwood Park neighborhood of Washington,DC.

Village Coffee House – Atlanta, Georgia

Tak’s Coffee Shop – Los Angeles, California

Sankofa Video Books & Cafe –

Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe hopes to be a place where thoughtful consideration of the past and future can take place

Akhirah’s Praline Candy – Chicago, Illinois

That’s a vision the owner of Akhirah’s Praline Candy, Beignets and Coffee gave me roughly three years ago…before he even knew the location. With focus, passion, and determination Arron Muhammad brought that vision into reality.

View our complete list of over 140+ Alternative to Starbucks here.

EARL GRAVES SR., FOUNDER OF BLACK ENTERPRISE AND ULTIMATE CHAMPION OF BLACK BUSINESS, PASSES AWAY AT 85

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Black Enterprise Founder and Publisher Earl G. Graves, Sr., the quintessential entrepreneur who created a vehicle of information and advocacy that has inspired four generations of African Americans to build wealth through entrepreneurship, career advancement and money management, has died. According to his son, Black Enterprise CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., he passed away quietly at 9:22 p.m. on April 6, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Graves was 85.

Graves was widely considered to be the ultimate champion of black business, launching Black Enterprise in 1970 to not only chronicle the rise of African American entrepreneurs, but also provide the tools for African Americans to succeed in the business mainstream and  “achieve their measure of the American dream.”

In his award-winning, now classic, business bestseller, How To Succeed In Business Without Being White, Graves stated his life-defining purpose for founding Black Enterprise in simple, direct terms: “The time was ripe for a magazine devoted to economic development in the African American community. The publication was committed to the task of educating, inspiring and uplifting its readers. My goal was to show them how to thrive professionally, economically and as proactive, empowered citizens.”

Driven by that mission, Graves became a trailblazing entrepreneur in his own right, building Black Enterprise from a single-magazine publishing company 50 years ago, to a diversified multimedia business spreading the message of financial empowerment to more than 6 million African Americans through print, digital, broadcast and live-event platforms.  As such, Black Enterprise was one of two companies that would appear on the BE 100s—the publication’s annual rankings of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—each of its 47 years. At one point, Graves would operate two companies on the list, including Pepsi-Cola of Washington, DC, one of the nation’s largest soft-drink distributors owned by African Americans.

Graves’ influence and reach also extended into the mainstream of corporate America. One of the few African Americans to serve on the boards of major corporations such as American Airlines, Daimler Chrysler, Rohm & Hass and Federated Department Stores (Macy’s), he was a staunch advocate for African American inclusion in the C-Suite and corporate governance. Graves was also a tireless champion of major corporations doing business with black-owned companies.

Beyond business, Graves was a force in politics, civil rights and philanthropy. In fact, he played a pivotal role in galvanizing support for the election of the first African American president of the United States, Barack Obama, through his endorsement in Black Enterprise and service as a surrogate campaigning on his behalf. Before that, Graves also championed the historic presidential bids of Rev. Jesse Jackson. Moreover, his fight for racial justice and economic parity earned him the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the organization’s highest honor, in 1999.

Graves was also known for his dedication to family, and especially to his wife Barbara Kydd Graves, who passed away in 2012. Together, they raised three sons, Earl Jr., Johnny and Michael, and were blessed with eight grandchildren.

Born in 1935, Graves reaches the pinnacle of power from humble beginnings in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. It was in that community where he learned the lessons of hard work and perseverance from his parents, Earl Godwin and Winifred Sealy Graves. After graduating from a Morgan State University with a B.A. in economics, he served two years as an officer in the Army, and held jobs in law enforcement and real estate. In 1975, he joined the staff of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy as his administrative assistant. When Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, he decided to start a publication that would provide blacks with the pathway to go into entrepreneurship.

Read more at BlackEnterprise.com

25-Year Old Entrepreneur Launches Vegan Hair and Skincare Brand Celebrating Self-Love

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Nationwide — Meet Love Atiya, the first 25-year old unschooled Black woman to launch – not one, two or three – but four self-love inspired businesses; with her newest business being Ethereal by Love Atiya.

Films like Mean Girls often portray homeschooled children as extremely socially awkward, highly intelligent, yet very strange. Atiya, however, spent her entire life trying to change that narrative. In fact, by the age of four, she had already opened her first business.

Thanks to a beautician glueing a weave to her scalp; at the age of eighteen, Love Atiya lost a patch of her hair in the front of her head, as well as her confidence.

Fortunately, she began to do an extensive amount of research until she was able to grow her “edges” back. A few years later, she lost her edges again; but thanks to her new found knowledge, she knew the perfect mix of oils that would grow them back even faster!

After moving from New York City to Atlanta, GA, Love Atiya’s hair product addiction grew, as did her frustration. Why was it so hard for her to find a product that didn’t contain water, alcohol, a paraben or a word she couldn’t pronounce? That’s when Ethereal by Love Atiya was born.

Love Atiya’s signature product, Ethereal Hair Growth Oil, has stunned the world with its cruelty free, vegan, aromatic, detangling, hydrating and thickening abilities.

The expansion of the company continued on Valentine’s Day with the release of Love Atiya’s latest confidence boosting product The Ethereal Rhassoul Clay & Turmeric Face/Hair Mask.

She comments, “I changed my name to Love Atiya in 2015 because I felt like I was lacking the self love I needed in order to flourish. I wanted everyone I came across to approach me with love.”

“Once I truly began my self love journey and saw how beautiful life became, I knew I had to share this feeling with the world. All of my businesses involve self love in some way,” she continues. “I found a way to weave love into my photography business The Lens Goddess, my Self Love Workshops for youth and in the stories I tell through my production company, Love Atiya Productions.”

Ethereal by Love Atiya is perfect for women and men who are in search of loving themselves again. She says her company’s mission is to show their customers how Ethereal and fulfilling self care can make them feel, and how amazing it can make their hair feel and smell!

Love Atiya thanks her mother for the years she spent encouraging her to embrace and adore her natural hair. Who knew it’d take one home grown product to help her grow a more beautiful relationship with her hair, her confidence and herself.

To support Love Atiya, vist her official web site at LoveAtiya.com

Also, follow her on social media:

Instagram – @etherealbyloveatiya
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/user/atiyaleetv

PRESS CONTACT:
Ethereal By Love Atiya
646-427-0052
[email protected]

Food Delivery Service ‘Black And Mobile’ Supports Black-Owned Eateries Amid Coronavirus Crisis

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Black and Mobile has experienced a surge in deliveries and sales in Philadelphia and Detroit.

Business operation restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic have ravaged many small businesses throughout the U.S. The food delivery service Black and Mobile is focusing on rallying around Black-owned eateries during the health crisis, Black Enterprise reported.

The platform—which was founded by brother-duo Aaron and David Cabello from Philadelphia last year—was created to spread awareness about Black-owned establishments by helping them grow their digital presence in an effort to connect them with more customers and boost their sales. The delivery service, which has expanded into Detroit, has an ever-growing directory that features 30 Philadelphia-based restaurants and nearly 20 in the Motor City. The twin brothers are dedicated to supporting Black-owned businesses all-year-round, but say due to the current health crisis they need assistance now more than ever. Black and Mobile has experienced a surge in deliveries and sales since the outbreak shifted the communities they serve. The founders hope to expand into other cities.

“With my platform, we make it easy to find Black-owned businesses — there are no more excuses,” David told Philly Mag after the platform’s launch. “We locate every black-owned restaurant and we put them on our site. That way if you want to support them, we’ll hire someone from the community and they’ll bring it to your door.”

Black business owners in Philadelphia are trying to remain hopeful during this uncertain time. “I’m just trying to stand firm and support my employees,” Keven Parker, the owner of Keven Parker’s Soul Food Café and Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar and Lounge told the Philadelphia Tribune. “I hope the state and city comes through with funding.” The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation has reportedly teamed up with the city to create a program to support small business owners.

Lecrae Brings Portable Hand Washing Stations To The Homeless In Atlanta

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Entertainer and businessman Lecrae Devaughn Moore, best known as Lecrae, is doing what he can to restore some order to the ongoing health crisis taking place across the world. The gospel/hip-hop rapper has partnered with Love Beyond Walls to install portable wash stations in and around the Atlanta metro area.

“I’ve been following Covid-19 quite intently since it’s become a pandemic and, first and foremost, I want to remind people THIS IS NOT THE END!” Lecrae said in an open letter to Billboard. “While we can heed The Center For Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to stay away from others who are sick, avoid crowds, and properly wash our hands, I can’t help but think about those living on the street who have no way to bathe or wash their hands. People who may eat, sleep and congregate so close to each other that social distancing is not possible. Partnering with Love Beyond Walls is my way of doing what Jesus did which is serve humanity. I’m humbled to support the work of organizations like Love Beyond Walls who help, serve, bring light, love, peace, and restoration every day.” 

The initiative launched on March 19 at Love Beyond Wall’s Center, located at 3270 East Main Street, College Park, Georgia, 30337. It was developed by Terence Lester, executive director of Love Beyond Walls. Lester, who was once one of Atlanta’s homeless, is the founder of Love Beyond Walls and is pursuing his PH.D. in Public Policy & Social Change.

“We’re excited to have Lecrae be involved with our work at Love Beyond Walls because he understands the importance of restoring the community and affirming the dignity of those who are unseen,” he said. “Lecrae understands that it takes both faith and action to provide real restoration in our communities and world. Jesus washed feet, now we have an opportunity to wash hands and provide that same type of restoration in a modern way.”

National Museum Of African American Music Is Set To Open This Summer In Nashville

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The National Museum of African American Music is on track to open in Nashville later this year. When it does, it will be the only institution dedicated to showcasing music genres created and inspired by black Americans.

In 2015, Karl Dean, who was the mayor of Nashville at the time, announced that plans would move forward to redevelop the old convention center on Fifth and Broadway into a brand-new space. In 2017, demolition started to make way for the construction of apartments, offices, retail, and the NMAAM. Nearly three years from the start of the project, the museum is nearly finished and it is expected to be completed by this summer, WRKN reports.

“The perception nationally, I think, is that Nashville is just country music. And while we love country music, I think it’s important to touch base on all the other musical genres African Americans have helped to influence,” Tamar Smithers, director of Education and Public Programs​​, said, adding it’s a story that needs to be told.

The museum will consist of more than 1,400 artifacts, seven galleries, a theater, and live music. NMAAM will educate and celebrate the influence African Americans have made on America’s music. R&B, hip-hop, soul, funk, Jazz, and Gospel are just a few of more than 50 genres and sub-genres of music that will be showcased and highlighted in the museum, integrating history and interactive technology to bring musicians of the past into the present.

African American music has a very rich history and originated from slaves during the 1600s who used songs to communicate amongst each other. In its basic form, the music was a simple rhythm, beaten out on rudimentary drums and percussion instruments fashioned from materials gathered by slaves. Back in Africa, rhythm was part of daily life and was incorporated into labor, rituals, and celebrations within the community, according to questia.com.

Black Nurse Launches Next Billion-Dollar Tech Startup, “Nursesbnb”

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Nursesbnb allows people to house healthcare workers who need special accommodations because of their odd work schedules, according to webuyblack.com.  This new innovative platform was created by Keisha Manning, who is a nurse, after realizing there was a need for housing for traveling nurses.

There is a significant nursing shortage in the United States. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.1 million new registered nurses will be needed by 2022 to prevent the shortage. Travel nursing has emerged as a response to that shortage, today there are an estimated 25,000 travel nurses in the U.S. alone. Travel nurses usually take short-term assignments at hospitals, ranging from a few weeks to a full year.  A typical shift for a traveling nurse might be from 7 PM to 7 AM. Hotels and Airbnb hosts simply can’t accommodate such schedules because they generally cater to tourists.

Manning recalls an experience she had with another nurse who was recruited for an assignment at the hospital she was working for in 2019. The new nurse began his shift that night without knowing where he would go at the end of his shift, at 7 a.m. He called several hotels in the surrounding area and checked with several Airbnb hosts. Keisha saw him the next night and asked where he stayed after he finished his shift. His answer was shocking; he said he was forced to sleep in his car. Hotels weren’t willing to adjust their check-in or check-out times and after a 12-hour shift, he had no other option. Manning recognized there was a real issue but also an opportunity and thus Nursesbnb was born.

With the urgent need for a place to stay for traveling nurses and hospitals being everywhere, Nursesbnb can become the next billion-dollar tech startup, much like the Airbnb business. Airbnb, which is now valued well into the billions, has helped homeowners across the globe become mini-hoteliers, allowing guests to stay overnight in an extra room or take over their home for a set period of time. To date, the company has helped book more than 160 million guests for its more than three million listings in 190 countries. According to Priceonomics, hosts on Airbnb are earning more than anyone else in the gig economy and are raking in an average of $924 a month.

Black-Owned Feminine Care Company Is Attacked Over Target Commercial

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Last month, Target released a new campaign for Black History Month highlighting entrepreneurs and how their businesses got started. One of those entrepreneurs was Bea Dixon, owner of the Honey Pot, who wanted to empower her community, specifically other black women, to own their businesses as well. Unfortunately, the move triggered some fragile trolls online.

Dixon started the Honey Pot when she found out she had contracted bacterial vaginosis which left her ill for months. She was interested in natural remedies that could help her with her ailment. She shared that she had an ancestor visit her in a dream who offered a vision of what would heal her: plant-based solutions consisting of herbs and botanicals. The idea was to help other women heal using holistic, natural ingredients.

She appeared on a recent commercial for Target to tell her story. “The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so that the next black girl that comes up with a great idea, she can have a better opportunity. That means a lot to me,” she said in the commercial.

Unfortunately, not everyone was thrilled about Dixon’s desire to help young black girls. Many white female shoppers expressed their anger in negative comments online, leaving 1-star reviews to diminish her brand reputation.

“Denoting products as being about/for one particular race is just wrong. I will not purchase any of these products. This should be for all women. What are you telling young girls of any other race?” said one angry reviewer.

“I received a bottle of one of the honey pot cleansers in my BUMP box subscription my husband bought for me during my pregnancy, I thought the product was just alright… then I saw the commercial where the founder of the company stated that it’s to empower black women- not ALL women, only black women… it made me feel that the company is not only racist but small minded and not worth purchasing, I will tell all my friends and anyone who asks that the products are not worth purchasing… very disappointed in the company and founder,” said another reviewer.

In an effort to combat the wave of negativity, many of Dixon’s supporters fought back, leaving positive reviews of their own experiences with her products.

“All those one star reviews can stay mad that this product isn’t for them. It’s probably not for me either but it deserves to be rated fairly by the beautiful and powerful black women it was made for,” said one review.

“The negative comments only prove the point that no one wants black women to succeed. As if saying I hope this inspires other black girls excludes white women who literally have to do nothing and are rewarded for it. The jealously jumped out quick,” said another.

Black Entrepreneur Opens Detroit Luxury Beauty Salon After Receiving $596K In Funding

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Katrina Wilson’s passion has always been to help people look their most glorious through the complex art of hairstyling. The Detroit native is now able to successfully achieve that dream thanks to being granted $596,000.

Katrina is launching her own beauty salon called Creme Brulee. What sets this salon apart from all the other salons in downtown Detroit, is the fact that it is not only multicultural but luxurious.

According to BlackBusiness.com, Katrina’s background includes growing up in a family that often struggled financially. As a result, Katrina began working as a hair stylist at only 13 years old in order to help her family with money. When she was 16, she earned her Cosmetology license and has been working with a variety of VIPs as a “platform artist and celebrity stylist,” according to BlackBusiness.com.

But it was when she got an endorsement from the industry’s #1 brand, Paul Mitchell, that her career blew up. Katrina wanted to go a step further and open her very own salon. She decided that she wanted to create a luxurious salon where her clients can be treated like celebrities no matter their race and background.

Once she made her choice to own her salon, Katrina was given $170,000 from organizations such as the Space Award from the Motor City Match Program which according to BlackBusiness.com, “helps entrepreneurs from Detroit find a location and build their space.” Katrina was also given $426,000 in microloans. All funding is now being used to renovate the space she has rented for her salon.

Creme Brulee will have its grand opening this year in downtown Detroit. The salon will be the first and only multicultural, celebrity beauty salon in the area that caters to all hair textures and ethnicities, setting it apart from all the rest in Detroit.

Black-Owned Rideshare Looking To Be A Safer Alternative For Women And Children

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Diondre Lewis, a technology entrepreneur, who also runs training programs in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area noticed that many of his students were having issues with transportation to get themselves to his classes. To solve this pain point, Lewis decided to create a rideshare service, ScoopM, that would be safer than the traditional rideshare companies.

“This group [of students] was anywhere from 14 to maybe 18 or 19 years old,” Lewis told The Charlotte Post, “and a lot of them relied on their parents for transportation to the training. And if there was ever any kind of glitch, or any type of issue with, with the parents’ schedules, they were not able to come to class, they were not able to get that valuable training that we delivered.”

Lewis looks to take market share away from companies like Uber, Lyft, and GrubHub by positioning ScoopM as focused on safety. Lewis’ rideshare company requires mandatory FBI screenings, interviews, and random drug tests for its drivers. The cars also have ScoopM decals and LED lights identifying the vehicles. There are also interior and exterior cameras, as well as a panic button.

All of those features are for the customer, but there are also advantages for the rideshare drivers with higher pay and better benefits than the competitors.

“The awesome thing about rideshare is that it has been created by these entities. Uber and Lyft, they’ve also created a connected economy, gig economy, where people can work when they want, people can live the lifestyle they want to live, they can supplement their own existing income,” Lewis said. “They’ve created this massive market, but they’re not paying their drivers right, they’re not being transparent regarding the way that they pay. And they are not background checking their drivers adequately.”

Lewis is not worried about well-funded competition that already has several years’ head start in the market.

“Every time a McDonald’s opens up on a corner, there’s a Burger King on the other side,” Lewis said. “It’s like, this is business, this is American enterprise. You figure out a way to separate yourself.”

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