Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Muhammad, CEO of Black and Global Business Network, located in Upper Marlboro, MD, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Black & Global Business Network is an international business development, consulting, training, and networking company. We help Black-owned businesses access government resources to sell their products and services globally.
Tell us about yourself
In my research as an International Tax Attorney, I realized that no black-owned businesses were participating or taking advantage of the billions of dollars in programs set aside for minorities.
After further research, Melissa determined that she wanted to help empower black-owned companies to grow their companies by overcoming the complicated process and obstacles involved in taking one's business abroad. There are so many barriers to overcome, such as cultural, language, economic disparity, developing relationships, working with individuals with integrity, tax laws, etc. These things alone can effectively discourage a business owner from taking on such a daunting task. I am motivated by helping business owners overcome this uncertainty.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is simply "getting started." I launched BGBN approximately 18 months ago. I'm proud to say that I'm partnering with other black-owned business owners, savvy consultants, and a talented team of professionals dedicated to catapulting BGBN into the business world. Our focus is on hosting a successful Virtual International Summit next month.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a first-time business owner, one of the hardest things to overcome is making the right decisions that can affect the trajectory of your business. For me, failure is not an option because our mission is so critical to black-owned businesses. The black community is leaving millions of dollars on the table simply because they do not know these programs exist. My goal is to create awareness and offer assistance at a cost that the majority of business owners can afford. My goal is to level the playing field, and this is not an easy feat.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be persistent.
- Be positive.
- Be patient.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Yes. If you or another individual/business owner have a viable, exportable product or service, please contact me to show you how to grow globally.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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