Meeting the Entrepreneurs | Made in America Ep 1

Meeting the Entrepreneurs | Made in America Ep 1

(lively music) – [Vernon] There’s a lotta
things that you don’t know. It’s not like you take this handbook, and you follow the steps, and then you’re a
successful business owner. That’s now it works. (lively music) – I’m accustomed to doing one problem at a time. And now you have 20. But I love it when you tell
me what I can’t do. It makes me work harder. (lively music) – Like, what are the struggles
you had as a entrepreneur? – Struggle? (laughing) I still feel like I’m in the struggle. – America has always been
associated with making it, but is this opportunity accessible to all? I’m Scott Shigeoka, GoDaddy’s
entrepreneur in residence, and I’m on a journey across
the country meeting the people who are building it. They’re defying the odds,
and their stories show us what it means to be Made in America. (piano music) (lively music) I’m fourth generation Japanese American. My whole family grew up in Hawaii. I come from, like, a
line of entrepreneurs. I tend to be really
positive and see failure or setbacks as an opportunity to grow. And I think that’s a core part of being an entrepreneur, right? We all have this grit. I think there’s this way of thinking, this perseverance, this mindset
that entrepreneurs have, and they think, “Why not me?” And, yeah, why not you? That’s why I’m excited
to explore this role as entrepreneur in
residence, to think back to my journey, and what it was like for me to set up a business,
and to share and learn from others who are on
that same journey too. I think entrepreneurs are creators. They’re inventors. The majority of entrepreneurs
aren’t the people that are in suits. They are everyday Americans like you and I who are creating something new. The goal of the series is to highlight everyday entrepreneurs. I think we have a perception
of what an entrepreneur is, but we’re trying to
expand that definition. There are entrepreneurs
everywhere in our country, and that’s why we’re here in Memphis. Memphis has a thriving
ecosystem of entrepreneurs. There’s a lot going on here in Memphis. (lively music) – [Morris] There’s a lot
of talent in Memphis, people looking for opportunity, hungry. – [Woman] Growing up in
Memphis, you can always see a lot of different
family-owned small business that goes back for so many years. – [Scott] Tell me about
your upbringing in Memphis. What was that like? – Oh, well I was born and
raised in the projects. You know what the projects are? – Tell me about it. – The projects where a lot
of us African Americans live. My mom was poor. You know, we were poor. – My grandparents were actual slaves. They lived on a plantation. One of the stories my dad
always told me about was how he used to kill bullfrogs in the swamp and go sell them on the
corner for a nickel apiece, frog legs, and he was making more money than his mom and dad was on the farm. That kind of started off a psychology of being able to go out and
make money a different way. He was the first African American to have a distribution deal
with Goodyear and Michelin. So I grew up working for him
and learning the principles, the values that I would never
have gotten anywhere else. – There’s this idea that the generations that came before us, we carry
their trauma, their joy. Like all the things they went through, we have it in us too. (lively music) – Memphis has the blood
of Dr. Martin Luther King on our hands, no matter
how many years pass. (lively music) He came here for equal pay
for the sanitation workers. We know the history. You know I know I stand on his shoulders, among many other African Americans and non-African Americans
who were in the fight. And those entrepreneurs,
like Ida B. Wells, who started a haircare line back then and was like straightening hair. – Memphis is a place where
struggle has been present. People have gone through that adversity and have come out on the other side here. I mean this is the epicenter
of the Civil Rights Movement. This is a place where people have pushed for equality, have
pushed for something new. But we also need to think about Memphis in the national context. (solemn music) – [Connie] Local community
businesses should be supported, because they really are the backbone and the lifeline to this country. – We have to remember that
it’s not just Tennessee. It not just Memphis
that’s going through this. D.C. is a place where
brilliant minds come together to think about these really big problems. – You mentioned Memphis, Tennessee. In communities where job
creation has not been robust, this is how you bring jobs
into those communities. – [Scott] But to the
everyday American, like, why does this matter? Like, why should I care about
supporting small businesses? – Right, right, figuring out not just how to help them spark, but
really this question of how we help them grow and realize their potential is
really, really important from a national economic perspective. Small business is where
innovation happens. – They are providing
over 31% of all the jobs in this country. – Why is it important to
serve these underserved groups – [Joyce] Right. – to become entrepreneurs? – One of the challenges we’ve seen in the last couple decades
is that actually rates of entrepreneurship are declining. What’s interesting is if
you look underneath the data the places where we’re
seeing higher relative rates of small-business
creation are among women, are among people of color,
are among immigrants, so these are the folks who
are starting businesses in a time when we’re seeing
that generally declining. So they’re pretty precious,
and you wanna invest in them, but they’re
also the people we know who’ve had the biggest barriers. – Coming from where I come from, receiving a business loan
of any amount is unheard of. My mom didn’t finish high school. My father didn’t finish high school. I’m the only one of my mother’s children to graduate college. – Friends and family are
the most widely used source of startup capital, so
that’s not really bootstraps. (laughing) That’s not you. That’s somebody else who
you’re lucky enough to know. People often finance their businesses. They use savings, or they use
a home equity line of credit. African Americans in particular, they’ve been redlined out of neighborhoods where they’ve seen a lot
of housing appreciation. If you look at the
history of different kinds of predatory lending in the U.S., whether it’s things like payday loans, or of things like subprime mortgages, it’s often communities of color that are most intensively targeted
with those products. So you sort of roll all
these things together, and it’s one if the reasons why we see it’s really challenging
for people of color. – I didn’t come from
anyone who ever thought about starting a business,
so I didn’t have a blueprint to go by. And that’s why I’m really
excited for the class. – Do you have a website yet? – [Woman] No. – Okay. – Welcome everybody to
our social media marketing bootcamp today. So excited to have all of you here. I’m Cynthia Terry with
Communities Unlimited. I’m the the director of our
entrepreneurship program, and our goal is for you to be successful. – In the U.S. we have these
entities called community development financial institutions, and they’re particularly targeting people who aren’t served by traditional lending. – Banks don’t look at people
in terms of their character. They look for assets, and wealth, and all of those things. – [Cynthia] What’s different about what Communities Unlimited does for small businesses is the combination of the small business lending, as well as the business and
management skills training that we provide. – Communities Unlimited helped me from start to finish to get
my product to the shelf. I’m telling you, everybody told me no. The banks, lenders, everybody told me no. Communities Unlimited
gave me my first yes. (laughing) – One of the reasons we decided to partner with GoDaddy was so we
could offer this training to help more businesses
get their websites built to be exposed to more
customers than they are without the internet. (piano music) – What a lot of people don’t understand is sometimes your website is
your hardest working employee. – I actually grew up as a child of a self-employed mother. When I think about the opportunities now, one of the biggest changes
to affect business owners I think is the internet. – What is the difference for your business between the Instagram to Facebook? What is this?
– Instagram. – My name is Consuelo Rosales
and I have a cleaning company. A few of the struggles that I have, at this time it’s language
and reach more customers. I want to show my boys that we can have a different kind of life. (piano music) I would like to leave
something for my grandchildren. I want them to not have to struggle like I have had to struggle. – Whites hold 13 times more
wealth than a black family. But when we compare average
wealth of a black business owner against a white business owner, it goes from 13 times more wealth to only three times more wealth. I mean, just think what that
does and what that says. By giving people an
opportunity to access credit, access capital, access markets, you’re able to shrink
the racial wealth gap that allows people to create wealth in their own homes, in their families. – What a small business owner
means to me is autonomy, being able to make your own way. ♪ There’s no stoppin’ me ♪ – For all you all that I met, like, I’m so grateful to be here. Like, seriously, you all have inspired me in so many ways, and as
a fellow entrepreneur, I know the struggle, so I just wanna say, like, keep on goin’. They’re really empowering
themselves to step into something new for their families and for their future. (laughing) It is their drive, it is who they are that is so inspiring and so contagious. And it makes me believe
that there is hope. We’re seeing folks from house cleaners to boutique owners using entrepreneurship as a way out into something new. To me, Made in America is bravery. It’s courage. It’s joy. It’s passion. It’s possibility. It’s empowerment. I’m really excited to dive into some of the stories that we’ve
heard right here in Memphis. – I’m optimistic that at some point in this country we’ll get things right. We’ll be able to create
economic opportunities for all. – You can be a successful business owner, entrepreneur, and live the same life, maybe a better life
than some of the images that we see on TV. Something has to change the culture. – I’m really excited to grow my business. Really, really. (laughing) – If I can do it. Oh my goodness, so can you. (lively music) – Stay with me as I cross
America sharing the stories of communities who don’t
have the same access that others do. And I’m gonna do my best to support them in every way I can, and I
know I’m gonna learn a ton along the way too. My first stop in Memphis will be hanging with new mom and fashion
boutique owner, Sequoia. She’s shaking up her business model and taking her fashion boutique mobile. I hope you join me.


  1. Kudos to GoDaddy for their creativity and investment in the production of this docu-series about the success and struggle of everyday small businesses! Launching the docu-series in Memphis with minority and immigrant business owners that are using entrepreneurship as a platform to improve their lives is so inspiring and it is a common story. Thank you for choosing Communities Unlimited, our clients, and Memphis Tennessee to launch this film. I'm grateful to have been part of these empowering stories!

  2. So beautiful to see the ways in which GoDaddy is incubating entrepreneurs, while elevating communities in the process. Love this storytelling and attentiveness to the historical context within which entrepreneurs are doing this work!

  3. Wow! Wow! Wow! I am so honored and blessed to have my company, C.I.D.Y Makeup, be a part of this series! Honestly words cannot describe the joy I have! One of the most challenging things about being an entrepreneur is lack of support. It amazes me that there are organizations, companies and people who don't necessarily know you, but see the vision, goal and drive in you and in turn decide to pour into you. Again, I am tremendously honored to have been a part of this great series as well as being a client of Communities Unlimited – God bless all of you. Please visit to purchase our products and help continue my journey of entrepreneurship.

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