News & Press Releases

Celebrating Black Business Month: Empowering Entrepreneurship and Driving Economic Growth in DeKalb County

DeKalb County, Georgia – [July 26, 2023] – Decide DeKalb Development Authority is proud to join the nation in celebrating Black Business Month which kicks-off August 1. This month-long observance pays tribute to the immense contributions of Black entrepreneurs and business owners to the economic development and vitality throughout the country. Decide DeKalb will focus its attention locally with an informative panel discussion, a business pop-up incubator, as well as highlighting DeKalb organizations and business owners on social media and in blog posts.

The roots of Black Business Month go back to 2004 when Frederick Jordan, an engineer, and historian John William Templeton set out to drive awareness of Black business owners across the country to advance policies to lift up African American businesses. The pair ultimately wanted to help develop greater economic freedom for Black communities. Jordan and Templeton wanted a platform to acknowledge and honor the resilience and creativity of African American entrepreneurs who make an indelible impact on our community despite the challenges that come along with it.

Historically, African Americans have struggled to gain financial backing and funding when starting a business. A 2019 study by the Federal Reserve Bank reported the median net worth of white families was $188,200 —7.8 times that of their Black peers which was $24,100. This wealth gap translates to other disparities, including business ownership, which is heavily influenced by individual and family wealth.

Dorian DeBarr, President of Decide DeKalb Development Authority, said, “Decide DeKalb is committed to cultivating an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and business growth across the county. If there are 30,000 Black-owned businesses in Georgia today, with fewer than 4,000 in DeKalb, we have work to do to encourage Black entrepreneurs. We’ll continue our initiatives and partnerships to actively support and promote opportunities to encourage the success for our Black-owned enterprises.”

The impact of Black entrepreneurship in DeKalb County cannot be overstated. From the Cereal Lab desert bar to Brave + Kind Bookstore, to Corporate Environmental Risk Management engineering firm, as well as Bear and Honey Candle company, Black-owned businesses in DeKalb directly contribute to the overall economic prosperity of our region. These businesses, and many more, foster a sense of pride and unity within our diverse population while stimulating innovation, progress, and legacy wealth building.

Decide DeKalb will host two programs for Black Business Month:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 2, Generations of Success panel discussion
  • Thursday Aug. 31: South DeKalb Pop-up Business Incubator for Thursday, August 31
  • All DeKalb residents and stakeholders are invited to participate

Decide DeKalb remains dedicated to fostering an equitable business ecosystem that empowers all entrepreneurs, especially those from underrepresented communities. “By celebrating Black Business Month, we underscore our commitment to building a vibrant and inclusive local economy that benefits all residents of DeKalb County,” DeBarr said.


  • Generations of Success| Wednesday, August 2 | 5 – 8 pm| Hippin Hops Brewery
    2380 Hosea L. Williams Drive. NE #1 Atlanta, GA 30317 RSVP HERE
  • South DeKalb Pop-Up Business Incubator | Thursday, August 31 | 9 am – 2 pm | New Life Community Center | 3592 Flat Shoals Road Decatur, GA 30037 RSVP HERE

About Decide DeKalb

Decide DeKalb serves as the primary arm of economic development and job growth for DeKalb County, Georgia. DeKalb has a diverse population of 760,000 and is home to part of the City of Atlanta as well as the cities of Decatur, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Pine Lake, Stone Mountain, Stonecrest, Lithonia, Doraville, Brookhaven, Clarkston, Avondale Estate, and Tucker. Eighty percent of all movies filmed in Georgia are filmed in DeKalb County, home to Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2022, Decide DeKalb facilitated $705 million new investments and 6,300 in new and retained jobs.

Find more information at Follow Decide DeKalb on TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Terra Washington | [email protected] | 404.277.5958