Bolstering small businesses in Baltimore

October 12, 2021

The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Community Impact Fund was created to help small minority business owners in the Baltimore area by providing funding and other resources. The goal is to give small business owners the tools they need to grow their business and make a difference in their communities.


“The Community Impact Fund is the Carey Business School’s direct investment into the greater Baltimore economic system by the way of small business owners,” explains Tracy Akinade, the fund’s committee chair.

The program brings together Carey faculty, staff, alumni, and students that are operating in the spaces of diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurship, finance, and investment. Grant recipients are paired with student consultants and other small business colleagues. The inaugural cohort was named earlier this year. A committee made up of faculty, students, and alumni received more than 30 applications from local small business owners and funded 16 at three levels: $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500.

“Being a small business owner, that involves a lot of risk,” says Chardae’ Farabee, founder and CEO of Ge’lor House and a Community Impact Fund grant recipient. “There have been small financial struggles. The Community Impact Fund has allowed me to provide two students with summer jobs, purchase inventory, and rebrand my business.”

Philanthropy in business can be vital to growth, says Guy DeWeever II, Bus ’22 (MBA), and a Community Impact Fund Board member.

“No one in business ever got to where they are by themselves,” he says. “It always took an investment. It always took a belief. So to have that on the other side and to receive that can be a blessing.”

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Topics: Carey Business School, Strengthening Partnerships