“Intentional focus of black wealth creation”; 5th annual Mass Black Expo held in Boston

BOSTON – Business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals, students, and families took part in the Mass Black Expo, put on by The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts or BCMA. 

Their mission is to build black wealth across the Commonwealth, through commerce, entrepreneurship, ownership and placement of black people in decision making roles. 

Our biggest challenge though for our black owned businesses is really that access to affordable adequate capital. They need that to start and scale their firms,” BECMA CEO Nicole Obi said.

Nadia Fenton-Rahim has been working with BECMA to help grow and promote her family owned and operating business called Legacy Vending Services. Right now their main promotion is their smoothie vending machine.

“It’s a state of the art machine that has 100% real fruit, smoothies in 60 seconds. Our greatest need is really finding opportunities and connecting with businesses that want to host our vending machines and also getting capital to be able grow our business,” Nadia said.

Brendale Randolph is the founder and CEO of 1854 Cycling Company. He started the company to create jobs for the formerly incarcerated. It’s blossomed into a brand bikes including this state of the art fully electric bike for first responders.

“We made this to be the link between bicycle and motorcycle,” Randolph said. 

To make his company thrive he says he needs access to capital.

“I want people to know we exist and there’s no limit to what we can be. All this you see has been built on boot straps. No venture capital. And we’ve tried when people hear what we are doing they think its impossible for me to achieve it,” he said.

Taking part in a fire side chat Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, and Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren say more investment needs to be place into communities like Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan. 

“We need to have an intentional focus of wealth creation in the middle of the black community in this city,” Senator Markey said.

The event took place at the Boston Convention and Exhibit Center. 

“Going it alone is incredibly difficult and always has been. Coming together there are a lot resources and lot of people building black wealth and we should do that together,” Obi said.

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