top of page

Tulsa Initiative Nonprofit Educates Young Black Men on How to Build Successful Businesses

A business program dedicated to young Black men is changing lives — and Fayetteville.

The Tulsa Initiative is a nonprofit in Fayetteville, North Carolina that is geared towards Black and brown males, ages 18 to 25 who go through a 10-week program, according to Qu’Derrick Covington, the executive director of the Tulsa Initiative.

Qu’Derrick Covington

In the program, folks learn to start their own business as well as attain their own LLC license. By conclusion of the 10-week program, those in the initiative pitch their business for an opportunity to earn startup funds, Covington said to the Fayetteville Observer.

Where does the money come from? The funds are provided by community donors, which have already helped nine people in starting up businesses. Some businesses that have been produced thus far are a social media marketing company and a health and wellness company.

Naviyea Adams, 23, is a Fayetteville native and a former Tulsa Initiative member who is now a senior at Fayetteville State University, majoring in health and physical education. He said he learned a lot from the initiative.

Adams began baking cakes in a jar before turning it into a small business, Navi’s Sweet Treat, when he was in high school. He first started baking cakes at 7, he said.

”Once I graduate, I do plan to steer away from cakes,” Adams said.

Right now, alongside his father, he runs a small business, M.I.A. Beauty Supplies, a business in which he helps sell hair products, which was started by his father more than 30 years ago.

Adams said he used the skills learned in the 10-week program to bolster his beauty supply business talking points.

“When I was in the Tulsa Initiative program … I was actually pitching my products to Q’derrick, the board,” he said.

The Tulsa Initiative, which started in 2019, has a goal to help young Black men pursue their dreams of owning a business. Adams said there is a need for such a program.

Tulsa is something great. It’s trail-blazing,” he said. “I think it’s changing the game. … There’s a wealth gap. When it comes to financial literacy, we don’t really have that.”

Thanks to the initiative teaching Adams, and others, the skills to build a business model, how to apply for an LLC and deliver a pitch, the city of Fayetteville has the highest number of Black-owned businesses in the country, according to the Leading Tree.


QG - Ernie Hudson copy 4.jpg
bottom of page