Minority Business Accelerator: The Queen Photographers, Latoya Dixon

Posted by: Nika White on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) is a program of the Greenville Chamber which actively seeks to improve the capacity of minority owned firms by increasing recognition of the value of minority businesses as suppliers, strategic partners, and, ultimately, as effective engines for job growth, economic development and wealth creation. MBA prepares high potential minority-owned businesses for accelerated growth and expansion through business development services, mentoring, targeted training, access to large corporations for partnership opportunities and custom roadmap to sustainable growth. MBA helps MBEs overcome growth barriers creates access to new opportunities for ethnic diverse businesses, connecting them with the right resources and results-driven strategies to fuel their growth and build capacity.

 

MBA Facts:

  • 1 of 6 Chambers in the country to offer a Minority Business Accelerator program
  • Approximately $15.5 MIL in contracts awarded since inception
  • Approximately 203 jobs created since inception

 

The Queen Photographers

The Queen Photographers was founded by Latoya Dixon in 2016. Latoya wanted to create an experience she wished she had when establishing herself as a professional photographer. Latoya recalls that when she was a hobbyist photographer, she didn't have a network or know any other photographers that she could turn to for mentorship, general advice, or guidance. The Queen Photographers is the only network and business association of Black women photographers that encourages in-person networking by providing connections to local leaders, hosting monthly events, and partnering with local vendors.

The Queen Photographers essentially was the solution to Latoya’s own need.  They offer business tools and resources via an online education platfrm, in-person events, and membership opportunities. When asked where she sees her business in five years, Latoya said, “The Queen Photographers will have over 300 paying members in our association and in partner relationships with corporate sponsors for our membership program and events. This will continue to help Black women photographers build and grow their businesses.”

What makes Latoya so passionate about The Queen Photographers is her love of hearing success stories from the women in their membership program. The women become ecstatic when they begin to see the success in their own businesses. The members credit their connections made within the Queen Photographers as a key factor for their prosperity. Latoya is most excited about creating a more viable and sustainable business model in the MBA program. With the tools she will learn from the instructors, other participants, and her coach. Latoya aspires to improve her business acumen to catapult The Queen Photographers to the next level especially concerning matters of logistics and metrics.

Latoya’s advice to entrepreneurs is, “Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right. You have to be your biggest supporter and believer in what you're doing because mindset is the soft skill of entrepreneurship that can make or break you.”

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