Launch of Program Raises Visibility and Opportunities for Black-Owned Businesses in Arizona

ARG Cultivators Community

ARG Cultivators Community, an Arizona nonprofit, launched the inaugural cohort of The S.E.E. M.E. (Social and Economic Equity for Minority Enterprises) Program. Twenty (20) Arizona-based businesses were selected to participate in the 18-month program. The nonprofit was awarded a grant in February 2021 by the Arizona Community Foundation/Black Philanthropy Initiative to design and develop a program that would support the economic empowerment of 20 businesses across the state. This is the largest known grant in the state that has been dedicated to the growth and development of black owned businesses.

The S.E.E. M.E. Program Cohort Participants include:

  • 4 Nineteen Education & Training – Davonna Willis
  • Andy’s Shoe Shine & Repair – Grace Foster
  • Ascension Medical Technologies LLC – Antoine Jay Hutchins
  • Black Russian Label – Joanna de’Shay
  • Bubba Ganter Production – Leon Ganter
  • Chateau Tolbert LLC –  Shannon Tolbert
  • Desert Soul Media, Inc. – Calvin Worthen
  • Four-Three Technologies LLC – Michael Hamilton
  • House Of Donaldson – John Donaldson
  • House of Hope Residential Homes – Angela O’Connor
  • Kuttz Enterprizes – Jabarha Nichols
  • Million Dollar Teacher Project – Lloyd Hopkins
  • Polished Clean Company – Brandee Dunn
  • RevealED – Melodie Simmons
  • Right Way Automotive dba Meineke Car Care Center 2829 – LaVon Jackson Maccanico
  • Rue Law LLC – Chelsea Lynch
  • Sonic Productions, LLC d.b.a. SONICA – Dan Young
  • The HighFliers, LLC – Nancy Uko
  • Tish Times Enterprises – Tish Times
  • Your Favorite Things – Micah Phillips

Each of the businesses selected to participate in The S.E.E. M.E. Program will receive $16,500 in grant funds to invest in the growth of their businesses over the next year in half. The businesses range in industries. Many of the businesses are seeking to secure contracts with corporations and government entities. Some provide B2C products and services. The goal of the program is to raise the visibility and opportunities for the businesses.

There were 51 businesses that applied to be part of the program, only 20 were selected. The Social Justice Project Team of ARG Cultivators Community is so passionate about helping businesses succeed that they opened up the 6-weeks business accelerator program to all applicants that applied. The launch of the program was attended by the cohort participants, members of the community, other business owners, and the ACF/BPI committee members.

It takes everyone in the community for small businesses to succeed. The S.E.E. M.E. Program speakers are a representation of the community and range in professions, disciplines, and sizes. Last week, the program launched with two dynamic speakers, Paul Smiley, CEO of Sonoran Technology, and Kristin Slice, Senior Program Director, Peoria Forward, Community Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship + Innovation ASU. The 18-month program will consist of  business development planning, mentoring, and financial literacy conversation.

“What an amazing opportunity to create a collaborative experience for black business owners across the state. Collaboration is germane in the business ecosystem. The Social Justice Project is history in the making. Finding ways to work together to break the barriers and the cycles that have impacted black business ownership for centuries.” Said Angela Garmon, President of ARG Cultivators Community.

The Social Justice Project Team of ARG Cultivators Community consists of Shellie Berry of Gateway Bank, Mel Hannah, Community Outreach Coordinator, Joan Young, Taraji PLLC, Ashley La Russa, Roux Events LLC, and Angela Garmon, ARG Cultivators Community and ARG Coaching & Consulting Group.

Please share the news. Connect with a member of the team, if you would like to provide additional support to the program. If you have any questions, please connect with us at

ARG Cultivators Community an Arizona non-profit that is on a mission is to bridge the economic wealth gap for minority and women-owned businesses.

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