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Devante Green, Taylor Overton, and Paige Robinson are the founders of Black:30

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Diversifying Local Economy

Black:30 Helps the Lawrence Business Community to be More Inclusive

In the vibrant city of Lawrence, Kansas, a beacon of support and empowerment shines through an entrepreneurial support organization known as Black:30. This dynamic organization is dedicated to assisting minority-owned businesses in navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship, providing a crucial foundation for success.

Taylor Overton, Devante Green, and Paige Robinson teamed up to create Black:30. The impetus to this organization is to fix the equity gap in black, indigenous, and other disadvantaged groups through entrepreneurship when disadvantaged groups can succeed in changing the economic landscape within.

"Entrepreneurship is in my blood," says Overton, president of the Black:30 board. "Both of my parents owned businesses growing up, so it's all I've ever known. Because of this, I didn't want to own a business for many years. I saw my parents struggle and spaces that would reject my mother just because she was a black woman who owned a construction company in the Midwest. I thought that if someone were signing my paycheck, that would mean financial stability for my family. Now I know that to create generational wealth for my family, I want to write my own story and oversee my own business."

Executive Director Green adds, "I'm the first one in my family to take entrepreneurship on, and when I think about my nephew, I want him to have options. I don't want him to feel like he has to go and work for anybody, or he has to go to college, or he has to go into the military. You can also be an entrepreneur; you can do all those things or none of those things. The time is now for us all to be thinking about the future and thinking about the bigger picture of the Lawrence economy."

At the heart of Black:30's mission is the commitment to fostering diversity and inclusivity in the business landscape. Recognizing the unique challenges minority entrepreneurs face, the group offers comprehensive services tailored to those needs. One of the primary focuses is guiding businesses through securing funding, a hurdle that often poses a significant barrier. Black:30 works tirelessly to connect entrepreneurs with financing options, ensuring their visions can materialize into flourishing enterprises.

Creating a solid business foundation is paramount for any startup, and Black:30 excels in assisting entrepreneurs in crafting business development. Help also comes from the KU Small Business Development Center, which guides people through the startup process, including business planning, funding, marketing plans, accounting, human resources, and even taxes.

Black 30 understands the importance of minority status in accessing various opportunities, contracts, and resources. The consultancy guides businesses through the process of obtaining minority certifications, opening doors to a myriad of benefits and support networks. This strategic positioning empowers minority-owned enterprises to thrive in a competitive market.

Beyond the professional services, Black:30 fosters a supportive community where minority entrepreneurs can network, share experiences, and uplift one another. This sense of camaraderie contributes to the overall success of these businesses.

"As we approach the one-year anniversary of Black:30," says Overton, "I reflect on our successes and opportunities for growth. We want to identify more organizations with similar goals/missions to continue advancing and diversifying the Lawrence economy. "

Learn more about Black:30 at

  • Devante Green, Taylor Overton, and Paige Robinson are the founders of Black:30
  • A group of Black:30 supporters at a recent event.
  • Lawrence City Commissioner Amber Sellers at a recent Black:30 event.
  • Conner England and Morgan Long at a the Inclusive Holiday Market sponsored by Black:30 this past December.

...when I think about my nephew, I want him to have options.

 I want to write my own story...