Power Forward Small Business Grant

The Power Forward Small Business Grant program aims to create a lasting impact through the economic empowerment of Black-owned small businesses across New England. Through a combined commitment of $1 million, Vistaprint and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation are teaming up with the NAACP to award transformative grants of $25,000 on a rolling basis. Through this initiative, grant recipients will have opportunities to be featured on national co-branded platforms along with receiving marketing and design resources customized to their specific needs to help their business grow and thrive.

Grant Qualifications

Qualified applicants must be Black-owned small businesses with 1 to 25 employees and be based and operating in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, or select areas of Connecticut*. Applicants should be able to demonstrate the impact their small business has on their greater community and showcase how they intend to use the $25,000 grant award.

*See application for details.

Grant Recipients

The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and NAACP announced the first cohort of recipients from the Power Forward Small Business Grant. A diverse group of 12 New England small business owners each received grants of $25,000 along with customized design and marketing assistance to help support their brand mission in the aftermath of the pandemic.  Recipients were notified with surprise virtual visits from center Tacko Fall, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens and Lucky.

Beraka Juice

Owned by: Vanessa Mukania

Founded: 2019

Location: 46 Woodside Ave, Winthrop, MA 02152

Connect:

Beraka Juice’s vision is to serve the North Shore of Massachusetts, as there is a scarcity of juice bars in the area and they aim to fill this gap.

Bred Gourmet

Owned by: Tambo Barrow

Founded: 2014

Location: 2255 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02124

Connect:

This small burger bar serves gourmet patties & toppings, plus kale drinks, smoothies, salads & more.

Coils to Locs

Owned by: Dianne Austin

Founded: 2019

Connect:

  Coils to Locs, founded in 2019 by a cancer survivor and natural hair blogger, supports hospital cancer centers and medical hair loss salon’s ability to provide access for all of their clients regardless of hair type by offering contemporary, high quality, coily, curly synthetic wigs. Coils to Locs now has partnerships with 6 hospitals/salons.

ManeHire, LLC

Owned by: Nicole Polite

Founded: 2018

Connect:

ManeHire, founded in 2018, was created with two goals in mind: to make it easier to hire great people and to enable clients to exceed their marketplace goals. ManeHire also offers workshops on soft skills and resume building.

Pope Productions, Inc.

Owned by: Kristen L. Pope

Founded: 2014

Connect:

Pope Productions, Inc., founded in 2014, provides a full scale experience for all storytelling needs. Pope Productions includes videography, editing, writing and production for short form storytelling. Kristen started the "On-Air Academy" to provide a positive narrative of black people in communities across the country through training, coaching, and placing black journalists in newsrooms. To date the On Air Academy has coached and trained more than 300 entry level and aspiring journalists.

She Chef

Owned by: Elle Scott

Founded: 2013

Connect:

The mission of SheChefs, founded in 2013, is to provide mentoring and guidance to young women from urban settings who aspire to be exceptional within the culinary arts.

Small Steps Daycare

Owned by: Karen John Hope

Founded: 2002

Location: 1275 Pawtucket Blvd, Lowell, MA 01854

Connect:

After being laid-off from her job in the HR industry in 2002, Karen had her second daughter and opened Small Steps Daycare. Small Steps accept all state-issued vouchers; homeless, DTA, DCF, and teen programs. Small Steps’ ultimate goal is to provide affordable childcare, prepare all children to enroll in kindergarten, while in a safe and healthy learning environment.

The Nurse's Office Primary Care

Owned by: La'Erica Williams

Founded: 2017

Location: 179 Linwood Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415

Connect:

The Nurse’s Office, a primary care and walk-in center founded in 2017, provides primary care and walk-in services, including on-site lab work, for acute, non-life-threatening injuries and conditions, including sprains, strains, lacerations (cuts), fevers, colds, flu, other viruses, stomach bugs, and food poisoning.

The Vegan Nest Cafe

Owned by: Nicole Broushet

Founded: 2017

Location: 6 Waldo Street, Worcester, MA 01608

Connect:

The Vegan Nest, founded in 2017, is a collective committed to celebrating a healthy, natural, holistic and compassionate lifestyle. Rooted in biblical principles of gentleness, mercy and love, The Vegan Nest Cafe is passionate about compassion and shares that with its nesters through recipes and services.

White Lion Brewing Company

Owned by: Raymond Berry

Founded: 2013

Location: 1500 Main St, Springfield, MA 01103

Connect:

Seeing growth in the craft beer industry and recognizing the absence of local beer in Springfield, MA, Raymond Berry Jr. founded The White Lion Brewing Company with community in mind in 2014. Today, White Lion is proud to call 1500 Main Street in downtown Springfield its home.

Yamacu

Owned by: Salimata Bangoura

Founded: 2018

Connect:

Yamacu is a West African fusion beverage company that offers delicious locally handcrafted fresh ginger drinks.

Zina's Hair Salon

Owned by: Zina Thompson

Founded: Prior to 2000

Location: 450 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02140

Connect:

Zina Hair Salon offers a variety of styling services including hair consultations. Their mission is to provide the highest level of service and educate our clients on how to maintain healthy, beautiful hair.

Beraka Juice

Owned by: Vanessa Mukania

Founded: 2019

Location: 46 Woodside Ave, Winthrop, MA 02152

Connect:

Beraka Juice’s vision is to serve the North Shore of Massachusetts, as there is a scarcity of juice bars in the area and they aim to fill this gap.

Bred Gourmet

Owned by: Tambo Barrow

Founded: 2014

Location: 2255 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02124

Connect:

This small burger bar serves gourmet patties & toppings, plus kale drinks, smoothies, salads & more.

Coils to Locs

Owned by: Dianne Austin

Founded: 2019

Connect:

  Coils to Locs, founded in 2019 by a cancer survivor and natural hair blogger, supports hospital cancer centers and medical hair loss salon’s ability to provide access for all of their clients regardless of hair type by offering contemporary, high quality, coily, curly synthetic wigs. Coils to Locs now has partnerships with 6 hospitals/salons.

ManeHire, LLC

Owned by: Nicole Polite

Founded: 2018

Connect:

ManeHire, founded in 2018, was created with two goals in mind: to make it easier to hire great people and to enable clients to exceed their marketplace goals. ManeHire also offers workshops on soft skills and resume building.

Pope Productions, Inc.

Owned by: Kristen L. Pope

Founded: 2014

Connect:

Pope Productions, Inc., founded in 2014, provides a full scale experience for all storytelling needs. Pope Productions includes videography, editing, writing and production for short form storytelling. Kristen started the "On-Air Academy" to provide a positive narrative of black people in communities across the country through training, coaching, and placing black journalists in newsrooms. To date the On Air Academy has coached and trained more than 300 entry level and aspiring journalists.

She Chef

Owned by: Elle Scott

Founded: 2013

Connect:

The mission of SheChefs, founded in 2013, is to provide mentoring and guidance to young women from urban settings who aspire to be exceptional within the culinary arts.

Small Steps Daycare

Owned by: Karen John Hope

Founded: 2002

Location: 1275 Pawtucket Blvd, Lowell, MA 01854

Connect:

After being laid-off from her job in the HR industry in 2002, Karen had her second daughter and opened Small Steps Daycare. Small Steps accept all state-issued vouchers; homeless, DTA, DCF, and teen programs. Small Steps’ ultimate goal is to provide affordable childcare, prepare all children to enroll in kindergarten, while in a safe and healthy learning environment.

The Nurse's Office Primary Care

Owned by: La'Erica Williams

Founded: 2017

Location: 179 Linwood Avenue, Colchester, CT 06415

Connect:

The Nurse’s Office, a primary care and walk-in center founded in 2017, provides primary care and walk-in services, including on-site lab work, for acute, non-life-threatening injuries and conditions, including sprains, strains, lacerations (cuts), fevers, colds, flu, other viruses, stomach bugs, and food poisoning.

The Vegan Nest Cafe

Owned by: Nicole Broushet

Founded: 2017

Location: 6 Waldo Street, Worcester, MA 01608

Connect:

The Vegan Nest, founded in 2017, is a collective committed to celebrating a healthy, natural, holistic and compassionate lifestyle. Rooted in biblical principles of gentleness, mercy and love, The Vegan Nest Cafe is passionate about compassion and shares that with its nesters through recipes and services.

White Lion Brewing Company

Owned by: Raymond Berry

Founded: 2013

Location: 1500 Main St, Springfield, MA 01103

Connect:

Seeing growth in the craft beer industry and recognizing the absence of local beer in Springfield, MA, Raymond Berry Jr. founded The White Lion Brewing Company with community in mind in 2014. Today, White Lion is proud to call 1500 Main Street in downtown Springfield its home.

Yamacu

Owned by: Salimata Bangoura

Founded: 2018

Connect:

Yamacu is a West African fusion beverage company that offers delicious locally handcrafted fresh ginger drinks.

Zina's Hair Salon

Owned by: Zina Thompson

Founded: Prior to 2000

Location: 450 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02140

Connect:

Zina Hair Salon offers a variety of styling services including hair consultations. Their mission is to provide the highest level of service and educate our clients on how to maintain healthy, beautiful hair.

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