Some of the best natural entrepreneurs in the United States are in underserved urban communities, including the greater Phoenix community. They are called hustlers – visionary risk-takers who seize the opportunity to move product and turn a profit. They have the God-given skills, attributes, and talents of an entrepreneur, but they lack key resources needed to create sustainable businesses that benefit the broader community.
Founded in 2014, Hustle PHX is a local nonprofit that provides a limited number of carefully selected entrepreneurs with three essential kinds of capital: intellectual capital, social capital, and financial capital. Through Hustle PHX’s 101 (Ideation), Hustle PHX 202 (Validation), and Hustle PHX 303 (Execution) program, entrepreneurs gain access to in-depth business development training taught by volunteer business owners and professionals, matched with mentors, and given access to business lending.
In the last 2 years, 80% of entrepreneurs participating in Hustle PHX’s programs have been women. Equally important is finding women volunteer business professionals and business owners to help meet the unique needs of these entrepreneurs. Founder and CEO Oye Waddell shared, “for many of the ladies in our program, they are juggling working full-time, being a caretaker at home, and have a desire to turn their business idea into reality. It’s a difficult road if you don’t have the resources and encouragement to press on. We want to help facilitate those meaningful connections that can help them take their businesses to the next level.”
Current Hustle PHX 202 participant and owner of Radiant Dance Center, Chareka Daniel said, “I came to Hustle PHX with ideas and was given tools to equip me and create structure for my business. Hustle PHX creates space for me as a black woman to start a business and it’s given me the confidence to do it. I feel empowered, believed in, and supported as a woman.”
Querida Walker, Hustle PHX alumni and owner of Workout Buddies Meet shared, “being a woman business owner you can feel overwhelmed and helpless. Hustle PHX has made me feel energetic, daring, valued and respected. It’s built my confidence and strengthened my faith in organizations and people. I’m thankful for the nurturing guidance to love what I do more and make me excited about my business.”
Having served over 400 business owners since its inception, the work of Hustle PHX relies on partnering with other local service organizations and churches including Hope Women’s Center and Neighborhood Ministries. On Saturday, April 9th, Hustle PHX will be hosting a Rise & Hustle event in partnership with 2:TEN Church. This pop-up market event invites the community to celebrate and support new and existing local businesses in the Hustle PHX family. Join us as we enjoy a beautiful Saturday enjoying music while tasting, buying local products, and learning about services from different Hustle PHX entrepreneurs. Click here to learn more and to RSVP. To learn more about Hustle PHX or if you are interested in volunteering or donating please visit www.hustlephx.com