Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Imani Marley-Husbands, Owner of I&C Empowerment Zone, Inc., located in Lithonia, GA, USA.

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

The I&C Empowerment Zone, Inc. is a non-profit organization in DeKalb County. Our mission is to empower our community by dressing the youth for success, nourishing bodies, and re-acquainting our people with their culture through performance art. We serve DeKalb County and Metro Atlanta.

Tell us about yourself

I am a proud Alumni of the University of the Virgin Islands, mother of 2, grandmother of 1, and Auntie to hundreds. After retiring from DeKalb County Government, I decided to take my volunteer efforts and philanthropy one step further and create a nonprofit so that I can improve my community. I am motivated by my family, who wholeheartedly indulge my every idea or program.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We had our 1st County-wide FREE prom dress giveaway last year. We gave away 528 gowns, shoes, accessories, and makeup. The joy on the girls' faces and the endless thank yous from their parents made all of our efforts worth the sacrifice.

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

The lack of funding to complete all of the programs that I have created. I get by, by doing photography gigs to finance what I am doing. As a result of the lack of funding, I had to stretch the dollars that I did and create something out of nothing. I have a creative mind, so half the fun is seeing just what I can come up with.

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

Do your homework. Make sure there is a viable need for what you are selling/providing.

Start small, perhaps in your kitchen cooking if you are a caterer. When your sales have grown exponentially, then you find a building to move into.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Yes, We will be hosting our Prom Dress Fairy FREE prom dress giveaway on March 4th, 2023. We are expecting to give away over 100 dresses. I am so excited about this endeavor.

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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