Members of our Black Owned Business Network have recently received phony phone calls claiming to be representative of the Black Owned Business Network at www.BlackOwnedBiz.com . The caller is selling merchant services / credit card processing services. Please note that the Black Owned Business network does NOT sell merchant services or credit card processing services.
Becoming disabled from the waist down is enough to stop anyone from pursuing their dreams. But it wasn't enough to stop one determined man.
Anthony Stroy, the owner of the Locker Room Barbershop in Vivian, Louisiana was shot in 2005. As a result, he became disabled from the waist down. For many individuals, a tragedy such as this would mean the end of the world, but not for Anthony. Anthony managed to turn tragedy into triumph. Anthony looked at his situation and said, "NOTHING is going to stop me!", and nothing has.
As soon as Anthony was physically able, he returned to school at Louisiana State University Shreveport ( LSUS ). He went on to receive his degree in Kinesiology Health Sciences and became a teacher at the Hosston Alternative school in Hosston, LA. The school soon closed leaving Anthony without a job. Determined to not receive a disability check, Anthony started looking for other options.
Little did Anthony know, losing his job was the first step leading him on the path to bigger and better things. Using his skills as an artist, Anthony decided to attend tattoo school where he excelled. While in tattoo school, he used his networking skills to make the right connections. He was later caste on TLC's reality show "Tattoo School" which premiered on Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 10/9c. "Tattoo School" profiles prospective tattoo artists who are given a once-in-a-lifetime, two-week intensive course on the art of tattooing at the World's Only Tattoo School.
With his career taking off, Anthony still has not stopped. Anthony manages to give back to his community in many ways. Anthony said that "God saved me to help others". He spends his spare time mentoring neighborhood kids and helping to prepare them for their GED, ACT, and SAT tests. Even though he is in a wheelchair, Anthony is also a coach for the local little league football and basketball teams. That's still not enough for Anthony. When school starts, Anthony also spends his time giving free haircuts to the neighborhood kids who cannot afford them.
Anthony is an entrepreneur, businessman, teacher, barber, tattoo artist, and a role model. He is an inspiration for his community. He lives by his words that "Quitting is not an option".
So what's next for Anthony Stroy? He plans to expand his business, the Locker Room Barbershop, to offer a tutoring program, study hall, and a place for kids to go after school. He plans to offer all of these services under one roof. He is determined to make his community better.
Our goal is to empower black businesses with tools to strengthen networking abilities and to provide valuable business resources that will enable us to close the gap in the profit margin between black owned businesses and non–black owned businesses.
In 2007 there were over 1.9 million black owned businesses in the United States. That number is growing rapidly. According to the US Census, the average black owned business grosses about $72,000 per year. This is below the national average for other minority businesses which gross an average of $179,000. In addition, non-minority firms gross an average of $490,000 per year.
Improved networking is the key to the success of the black owned business. We will start by giving black businesses the ability to network with other black owned businesses. We will provide valuable resources to businesses that will enable businesses to move forward and focus on their business needs. These resources include the following:
When I was a child my mother often spoke of a time when the black community looked out for the black community. She would speak of the times when everyone in her neighborhood was considered a family. She spoke of times when the black community thrived and worked to improve their own community. She spoke of a time when blacks were PROUD of their communities.
That was my mother’s generation. My generation is different. I come from a time where the black community does not take care of itself. I come from a time when everything you hear about the black community is negative. I come from a time when the idea of Black Owned is considered negative. I come from a time where people just DO NOT CARE.
Well, at least I THOUGHT that African Americans did not care about their community. That was until I learned about a group called “It Takes A Village Y’all”.
“It Takes A Village Y’all” is a not a nonprofit. They are regular people like you and me. They live in their community. They work in their communities. Most importantly they give back to their community. They honor and celebrate the seniors in their Detroit community. They encourage and motivate the youth in their community. They promote unity within their community. They ARE making a difference in their community. They are “Changing Detroit for the better one block at a time”.
So how do they do it? Do they solicit funds from others? NO. Do they apply for government grants? NO. Are they funded by some big corporation? The answer is NO. They use their own hard earned money and resources to take care of THEIR community. They formed partnerships with a host of other groups with the same goal. They invest their time and money to improve their own community. They took the concept of It takes a Village and applied it literally.
It Takes A Village Y’all is an inspiration to me because they believe in their community. Not only that, they inspire others to believe in their community. They serve as proof that when we UNITE, we can move mountains. Most importantly, they represent HOPE for the community.
It Takes A Village Y’all was founded by Robert L. Robinson II. Find out more information by visiting www.ittakesavillageyall.com