Celebrating National Black Business Month

Growing up, I didn’t have anyone to send me to college. My great grandmother raised me, but she passed away when I was in the 11th grade. I remember one day at school — I think it was Career Day — we had professionals come and present to us students about their jobs.

One of those people was a funeral director, and at the time, he said that it only took 12 months of schooling to get into the funeral business. I could afford that kind of money as opposed to college tuition. So, I hustled up the money I needed, and I've been on this 55-year journey ever since.

Being in business this long, you realize a couple of things: successful companies need a plan and something to which they can aspire. I hope Black Business Month shines a light on both of those needs. Because by highlighting black businesses that have made it, other potential black entrepreneurs might find the courage to start something of their own while understanding the planning needed to get the financing and help required to get off the ground.

I believe there’s a lot we can do to help educate black men and women about owning a business, financial literacy, and maybe Black Business Month is a way to get those conversations going.

And once you start having more black businesses in your community, it gives everyday people a place to look for leadership. Then those business owners get elected to city positions and start to represent those people and stand up for them. That was my goal when I was a city commissioner in Thomsville, Georiga. I wanted to serve people however I could, just like I did when I was 12 years old, running my newspaper route. If you lead a life of service, there's a lot of good you can do.

At Synovus, we’re proud to partner with black-owned businesses like Hatcher Funeral Home to help them grow and gain momentum. If you have a business idea you want to explore, visit our Business Resource Center for information to get going.

Follow Your Ambition