Boss Network continues to help black, female entrepreneurs connect and thrive

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ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) Entrepreneurs do it all. He is a corporate planner, accountant and inventory specialist.

One Orland Park business owner is trying to keep her head above water while managing everything. Morning Insider Lauren Victory shares what helped the business owner and other Black women owners blossom recently.

Shevri Levy is ashamed of her mess, but it all has to do with the beauty she produces from within.

“It’s always been my passion to make things really, really beautiful,” Levy said.

It’s this passion that, along with the pain of losing her son, Courtney, inspired her to create her own Silk Flower rental company. She named it “Courtney Blooms”.

“How could I not associate her with a place in my life that made me blossom?” Levy said.

The Orland Park mom wants to bring some joy to other grieving families by hosting flower arrangement workshops and offering a service of moving bouquets to decorate cemeteries.

“So with subscription boxes, it ensures that your family or loved one always has something to do,” Levy said.

But his business cannot thrive without better website functionality. Storage will also help.

“I felt blessed,” she said.

CBS 2 interviewed Levy after she learned that she was one of 25 Black women entrepreneurs selected for a $10,000 grant from Bringing Out Successful Sisters, also known as The Boss Network.

Founder Kemka Smith shared the good news with the other winners. About 18 thousand women applied.

“Less than 1% of black women have access to capital, and that’s a very small number,” Smith said. “So I knew this was going to be really important to my community and the number of applicants shows that it certainly is.”

2022 grant winner Janine Harrell told CBS 2 last year that she planned to use the money to streamline her Chicago office.

“We’ve got the content library completely up and running,” Harrell said. “We’ve bought more technology to help support the efforts that we’re doing here in the office and so the grant is absolutely the gift that keeps on giving.”

Levy said the reason for the network, “the load isn’t as heavy, is because I have people I can talk to.”

Mentorship is another benefit of being a Boss Network winner, which infuses budding businesses with cash and confidence.

The third round of Boss Network grants will begin next January. Overall, it is a three-year, $1.5 million program in partnership with software company Sage.

Lauren Victory



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