Headed by Harry Alford, DC Community Carrot's mission is to break the cycle of poverty by helping entrepreneurial Opportunity Youth create businesses of their own that will last a lifetime. Carrot’s six month program provides the mentors, education, access to capital and many more services needed for entrepreneurs to succeed.
I had an opportunity today to catch up with first cohort member and business owner Emani Wilson. Created by Emani Wislon, Entrepreneur Army is a for-profit that has a dual purpose business strategy: Provides low cost social media services to local and small businesses. After building a following, Entrepreneur Army will partner with businesses to advocate for entrepreneurship in the DMV. It will advocate for entrepreneurship in the DMV by using the partnered business’s following, speaking at functions and any other methods to advocate. “Education and advocacy is pretty much what my business services”, is how it was summed up.
DC Community Carrot provided mentors for Emani’s personal and professional growth. Patty Meager is involved in education and Brook Fallon represents the Institute for Justice. Patty Meager helped Emani understand if the educational component can be incorporated into Entrepreneur Army’s services. Brook Falon helped Emani obtain an internship at the Institute for Justice – Advocacy group. Being around thier work ethic positively impacted Emani’s quality work.
The cohorts and I share similar “struggles” growing up in Washington, DC. Emani knows the challenges of being an at risk youth, a female, a female of color and striving to make it as an successful entrepreneur in Washington, DC. Emani has made tangible strides towards accomplishing her goals.
Emani created our brochure. She is passionate about educating everyone on the many obstacles at risk youth has to overcome in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur Army was featured on WUSA 9 news twice. A major client is White Coat strategies. Along with a fellow past cohort, Entrepreneur Army was a candidate to be placed in the Mayors yearly accountability report. She has many fond memories of her time in the six month program.
One of many memorable moments was of founder David Sheon. Right before carrot’s Shark Tank style pitch competition, Emani had to revamp her business model. She wasn’t happy about the change but it worked out well. “He made me scrap my business idea and start over.” This was done because the viability of her first plan would’ve not been successful and it didn’t fit the personality of Emani. David and Emani worked meticulously to curate Entrepreneur Army’s current business strategy.
Doing something for the first time then analyzing it in hindsight will definitely illuminate ways of doing whatever it is better. I asked Emani, what are some things carrot could’ve done better? “There is one thing Carrot could’ve done better. Go deeper into financial education. After learning the importance of finance and credit to startups, I wish DC Community Carrot expanded on their finance curriculum.”
Entrepreneur Army can be found on Facebook - @WeAreEntrepreneurArmy
DC Community Carrot's services are open to all of our past participants. The entrepreneur journey is not overnight. This wisdom was instilled in all of our past cohort. There are so many ways you can get involved in our program. Whether you're a donator, volunteer, aspiring entrepreneur or entrepreneur ready to inspire, you can join our effort in supporting Opportunity Youth. Learn more on how you can contribute by clicking here. For inquiries, please email email@example.com.