By–Okon Ekpenyong, with contribution by Tonya Kelly
Ayesha Curry, a cooking Television Personality, cookbook author, and entrepreneur, took part in the Dublin Women Leaderboard Breakfast at the Exchange at Bridge Park in Dublin, Ohio. The event was part of the One million black woman initiative, in which Curry is on the advisory council board.
Ayesha Curry is the wife of National Basketball League player Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. But away from the basketball world, she makes her name in the restaurant and food business industry.
In 2021, as part of an effort to invest in black women, Goldman Sachs provided twelve organizations, including Columbus Urban league and Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, with Investment capital and philanthropic grants. The funds were part of the “one million black women initiative,” which aims to help minority-owned women entrepreneurs advance in their fields, build racial equity, and create economic opportunities.
The Advisory Council meets regularly to review the scope and impact of investment and grant opportunities and how business owners can benefit from those funds.
At the Dublin Women in Leadership Breakfast, Tonya Kelly, the founder and board member of Empower our youth foundation, shared their initiative with Ayesha Curry and other women’s business entrepreneurs. “We are shifting narratives about bullying that are pivotal to enriching the lives of students and families,” Tonya Kelly said.
Empower our youth foundation was present on behalf of Columbus Urban League, one of the recipients of the grants provided by Goldman Sachs. “The event featured some of the Columbus Urban League’s #incubateher participants assisting women in training through career coaching, business startup and expansion, and leadership development,” Kelly said. President Stephanie Hightower of Columbus Urban League and her team made the #IncubateHER cohort possible, including their fantastic partnerships.
“In addition to access to capital, we have to provide Black women with a safe space to learn and grow. I am so proud to be a member of the Advisory Council. I look forward to sharing the lessons that I’ve learned as an entrepreneur, as well as growing and evolving with the women in this community,” Ayesha Curry told the Business Wire magazine.
The cohort provided an exceptional experience building, educating, and assisting in the growth of Black Women Founders in Columbus. “I was honored to represent and share my success journey as the Columbus Urban League #IncubateHer cohort participant at the Dublin Leaderboard Breakfast and Insightful discussion with business leaders this morning in Dublin, OH,” Kelly said.
Kelly had the opportunity to spend a few moments with Ayesha Curry and shared her business with her. “I’m so thankful for her business leadership in creating a space for Black Women Founders to succeed as entrepreneurs in Columbus, Ohio.”
It was a fantastic day of networking and meeting business leaders in our city. Dublin Mayor Jane Fox hosted the changemaker discussion today,” Kelly added.
Special thanks to the Columbus Urban League organization, especially Cleesia Smith, for your passion for advocating for Incubate, Her mentor initiative. The cohort was a changemaker to see women of color founders with brand new or developed businesses grow and scale their businesses during the Incubate program. They focus on goal setting, mentorship, best-in-class leadership coaching, collaborative community work, and networking opportunities with the potential to receive funding sources.
Over the past two years, even during the pandemic, Empower our Youth Foundation continued to impact and make a difference in over 400 lives in Columbus and Erie, PA.