The Zell Lurie Institute’s campus-wide business plan competition, the Michigan Business Challenge (MBC), concludes on March 15. ZLI will be highlighting each student team competing at the MBC Finals.

MBC Seigle Impact Track Finalist:

Dear Black Women – Florence Noel

How did you come up with your team name?

Dear Black Women is grounded in Black women’s affirmations to themselves. “Dear Black Women” was the perfect way to symbolize our love and care for ourselves.

Tell us briefly about your venture. 

Dear Black Women is an affirmation movement and network for Black women to heal, connect and grow. We specialize in curating offline and online spaces that create community and increase the social capital of Black women in the movement. The Dear Black Women’s dream is to be present in every major city in the United States where Black women want us and to change the lives of the Black women in this movement.

How has the MBC experience helped transform your approach to business strategy?

MBC has helped me in so many ways. One of my favorite ways is in helping me refine Dear Black Women’s value proposition and strategies for attracting and delivering value to Black women in our movement.

What do you think will be the long-term impact of the implementation of this venture?

Simply put: Black women will save their own lives. In community.

What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?

Keep. Going. It’s scary and overwhelming and without guarantee, but all your hard work and vision is worth the leap. Keep. Going.

If you win, what will you do immediately following the competition?

Alert the 1,000s of Black women in the movement and tell them to tell everyone they love! Then, party with Dear Black Women in the area. Then, cry. Then, sleep. Then, begin reinvesting in the business. Order may vary.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

I dedicate this to every Black woman before me whose life made mine possible. And every Black woman alongside me and after me whose life reflects the best in us. All of their journeys offer me examples of love, strength, courage and wisdom. I follow them. I thank them. I am them.

Learn more about this great student startup by attending the Michigan Business Challenge Semi-Finals and Finals on March 15, and root for your favorite teams as they earn cash prizes!

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