Interview With Jice Johnston of BBI
What is BBI About?
Founded in 2014, The Black Business Initiative, a Public Benefit Corporation, aims to change the narrative by creating and supporting holistic solutions by working with community members, government, private partners, and organizations to deliver strong business acumen training, mentorship programs, cooperative and traditional pathways to access capital, increased patronage in Black-owned businesses, and sound policy that closes the economic chasm known as the “wealth gap.”
What are some things that you are excited about?
Recently we have received a lot of recognition. One organization that recognized us was the Denver Business Journal 40 under 40. We got the Urban Leadership Foundation Legacy and Leadership award. We were awarded the Denver Urban Spectrum African Americans who make a difference in award. We were awarded the Colorado black women for political action emerging leader award. We are out here. We are working for the community and people are recognizing the work that’s being done. that means that we are probably right on track, a lot of businesses struggles to make it into their fifth year. So, the fact that we’re here and we’re strong and we’re growing has been great.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
To be a little bit more discerning. I think it’s always a tightrope walk. When you have a vision and a passion and you are about doing the work and you are about your community and one of the things that is has been pretty painful for me is sometimes if there are people in the community that want to take advantage of Your good will that want to take advantage of your time that want to take advantage of your desire to be a help and you have to be able to find how to maintain yourself and your mission and your vision and still love the community that you’re here to serve.