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Social media helps spark increase of black women-owned businesses in Beloit

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ROCKFORD(WREX)-- For Vicki Lynn, the start of her business came from a unique experience.

"It started when I accidentally went vegan. I started learning all the chemicals that were in food, and I started reading labels and I was like, I can't pronounce that," said Lynn, owner of Noni Lynn's Naturals.

After realizing what type of chemicals Lynn says she was putting in her body, she decided to make skin products for herself.

In 2018, her world was shattered when her mother died. But during this time of grief, an idea sparked in her head.

"I was brushing my teeth and my friend was like, you should sell that. And I thought, maybe somebody will buy this," said Lynn.

The business bug bit Lynn and it's still biting others.

The number of black women-owned businesses is rising in the city of Beloit.

According to Rock County Jump Start, of the 65 black women-run businesses, 32 of them popped up in Beloit in the last two years.

"For me, I had a little girl last year and a little boy this year and I want to be able to be there for them but still be able to do something to provide for my family and bring enrichment to my life," said Courtney Scott, owner of the Alkeme Wellness.

Business owners say black women getting their start in areas they don't traditionally gravitate to came in part thanks to social media.

"I think now with social media and this visibility now of black women in tech, black women in marketing, I think now is when they staring to believe they can do something," said Exec. Director of Rock County Jump Start, Gina Stevens.

"It's also opening it up for people to say, oh she did it, she is a black women, I can open my own business," said Lexi Payton with the Black Women in Business Expo.

Lynn says if you want to start your own business, you should not make excuses and bloom where you are planted.

You can learn more about black women-owned businesses in Beloit at the Black Women in Business Expo. It's at the Beloit Historical Society on February 8.