Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD Foundation Empowers Businesses for Prosperity

We live in a world where inequality and injustice sometimes overshadow the potential for prosperity. The BeyGOOD Foundation, founded by the globally-acclaimed artist Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration.

BeyGOOD is a public charity foundation that firmly believes in creating a society where everyone has the opportunity to prosper. With a mission to transform communities into places of economic prosperity, generosity and justice, the foundation has embarked on numerous initiatives that empower individuals, support black businesses and foster positive change worldwide. One of their most impactful endeavors is the Black Business Parade, which coincides with Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour. Both came to Chicago.

Amidst the excitement of the much-anticipated luncheon, a group of Chicago business owners was allowed to join the BeyGOOD Black Parade Route held at the Four Seasons Hotel last Friday.

The brunch was a VIP experience for each small business owner in attendance, from personalized glass menus, a four-course meal fit for a queen, an interview and an intimate Q&A session with Grammy award-winning artist Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, herself a solo Gospel artist, author and businesswoman. Each business owner was also bestowed elegant briefcases filled with bespoke resources.

But that wasn’t the end of the surprises.

The audience was also treated to a soulful performance from Williams that brought nearly everyone to tears.

BeyGOOD Awards Chicago-Area Businesses

From there, the stage was set for a symphony of empowerment orchestrated by BeyGOOD and its sponsors.

The BeyGOOD team awarded ten businesses with $10,000 grants. During the awards portion, the room was cheering and celebrating each other. As each winner was called, the screams got louder and the excitement increased. The entrepreneurs were genuinely happy for those that won.

Ultimately, the room was filled with hope. A mentality prevailed, one of learning to thrive, not just survive. Publicist to the stars,  Yvette Noel-Schure, continued the spirit of hope and determination following Williams’s story of only needing “one yes.”

The singer also discussed being exceptional in your career and passion so you are prepared to accept and exceed when “the yes” is extended.

Organizers made sure that each business owner at the brunch received a coveted briefcase that contained curated tools, all meticulously chosen, that held the potential to unlock a boundless realm of growth and development for their entrepreneurial pursuits.

The briefcase included a letter from Michelle Obama where she emphasized celebrating the diverse cultures that make Chicago so unique.

“For generations, the grit and determination of Black entrepreneurs have shaped Chicago’s business landscape, even when the odds were stacked against them…”

Also included was a heartfelt note from Ivy McGregor, the esteemed executive director of the foundation. McGregor implored the small business owners to stay connected with the illustrious Black Parade route.

McGregor also urged the small business owners to utilize and apply the resource stating, “Now, it’s the time to embark on the journey of accessing the curated tools and resources we have made available to you.”

This route is a journey towards gaining a treasure trove of resources, poised to empower these small businesses in many ways now and in the future.

McGregor also asked that all in attendance take away the spirit to “extend the good,” leave here and do something good for someone else.

More Tools for Prosperity

The BeyGOOD sponsors also offered training courses and tools that will unlock additional grant opportunities to support each cohort of business owners further. Inside the silver hardshell briefcases were resources from Garden America, which provides small loans, training and support to women-owned businesses.

Cisco included a six-hour free training course on AI and cybersecurity for small businesses. Master Card and Village United Inc. offered a community experience of virtual lessons accompanied by live instructors to bridge the gap between instruction and application.

Goldman Sachs’s One Million Black Women program was also available to the BeyGOOD participants, which included a free 10-12 week education program for newer entrepreneurs and a more in-depth scaling program for established businesses looking to grow.

The Fearless Fund included a future pitch contest for BeyGOOD members. The fund allocated up to $1 million in awards.

Finally, BeyGOOD suggested that participants get certified through the National Minority Supplier Development Council. The certification would allow local business owners to connect to the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, which serves the metro Chicago and Northwest Indiana region. The accreditation enables minority businesses to get matched with regional and member corporations interested in purchasing their services or products.

Ultimately, Beyoncé’s commitment to using her platform for social change has enabled BeyGOOD to collaborate with numerous organizations, institutions and individuals, channeling resources and support where they are needed most.

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