Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shaleah Gilmer, CEO of Black Owned Brockton, located in Brockton, MA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Black Owned Brockton is a 501(c)3 organization advocacy organization, and social impact venture founded in 2020. Black-Owned Brockton curates cohesive, collaborative space & opportunities through collective brain power, networking, cooperative idea sharing, education & mentorship.

We connect new and seasoned entrepreneurs with other members in order to foster relationships within the community and generate mutually beneficial strategic partnerships.

Tell us about yourself

As one of the five largest ethnic groups in Brockton, MA, is Black or African American, making up 43% of our population. New England's only majority-Black city. In December 2020, our organization launched a survey for community members and business owners to gain an understanding of some of the economic disparities. We learned that more than 78% of minority, locally-led, and women-owned businesses had not been supported in a number of aspects, such as technical assistance, resources, representation, etc.

The effects of the pandemic lead to individuals regaining and revisiting creativity and goals that they may have forgotten due to the complacency of the job. It inspires me to see every generation tapping into their inner artist present day.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is being able to generate over 200 new connections and help multiple business owners generate $42,000 over a series of 6 events.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is establishing strategic & mutual business partnerships.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Through all of your endeavors and efforts, make sure that you self-reflect and ensure that what you do is with intent and aligned with your mission.
  2. All money is not all good money.
  3. Memos of Understanding/Contracts are detrimental to your partnerships. Be cognizant of your environment. If it is not in writing, it is not binding.

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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