At the age of 17, Ami Dias, now the founder of the Black Entrepreneurship Initiative, moved to Philadelphia with her family to pursue her dreams.
After working as a social worker and studying business in the U.S., Dias landed a job as a marketing executive at a company that helps young people in the Philadelphia area, but she found herself frustrated by the bureaucracy and the slow pace of change that came with being an African-American entrepreneur.
“I’m trying to get to work with some of the same folks that I used to work for, but with more urgency,” Dias told The Jerusalem Report.
“I’m just trying to find a way to make a difference and make sure the country is getting better for all of us.”
Today, Dias is a key member of the initiative’s board of directors, where she is actively involved in helping to expand the group’s work.
As part of her role as a board member, Dia has made the decision to focus her efforts on the development of a new platform that would allow Black entrepreneurs to connect with government and the wider community.
“My primary focus right now is on building a platform that is going to empower Black entrepreneurs,” Dia said.
“The platform is not just going to be an online platform for people to connect, but it’s going to enable them to do it themselves.”
In a series of posts on her Facebook page, Dios has launched an effort to get the Black-owned companies and other businesses that were previously considered non-profit organizations (NGOs) into the community-funding model that would make them a part of the larger government-funded enterprise.
She has also launched a series on the website Kickstarter, where people can pledge to build projects and receive a portion of the proceeds from the projects.
While the Black Enterprise Fund has been working on the platform, Diacas hopes that it will help to increase the participation of Black businesses in the government and wider economy.
“The Black Enterprise is a tool to build community.
Black businesses are a tool for the economy, and that’s why it’s such a powerful thing,” she said.
While Dias has a long way to go, she has a lot of support from her peers.
“We’re getting a lot more people to look at the Black entrepreneurs, because they are doing this in their own way,” Dios said.
“Black entrepreneurs are doing their own thing, and they are succeeding in doing that.
So I think it’s a really great thing that people are coming together to create something that’s going as fast as it can, that’s moving as quickly as it possibly can, and will give people the ability to have access to resources to help them succeed.”