ATLANTA - You can find a lot of things to spice up your cocktails at 1821 Bitters.
"We make cocktail mixers. bitters, shrubs, which are drinking vinegars, beer, tonic water, basically everything you need to craft an amazing cocktail except the alcohol,” said CEO Missy Koefod.
Koefod is proud to own the first interior shop that opened inside Atlanta’s Ponce City Market in 2015 and she's grateful the shop is still open despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She credits her success to funding from a program called EnrichHER.
"That funding really has enabled us to continue our business, grow our business, keep jobs, and keep the cocktails flowing. We would've had to shut down our retail portion of the business which would've meant the loss of six jobs," Koefod told FOX 5's Portia Bruner.
EnrichHER is a platform that provides financing, networking, and coaching to women-owned and Black-owned businesses. Dr. Roshawnna Novellus is the founder.
"We just started in 2019, so we were able to get a lot of support. We allow investors with different pockets of money to funnel into our platforms, which means if you have philanthropic funds, we have a way for you to get the 501c3 tax deduction," Dr. Novellus said.
Investors have poured into the program which allows EnricHER to pour that capital back into businesses Black-owned and women-owned companies across the country. That includes $3 million into 71 businesses in just the first year, which has kept many businesses afloat despite the downturn in the economy. She said 3,000 companies have applied, 1,500 have been approved.
"They have great cash flow, they have customers, they have supporters. They just need money to stay in business," said the CEO.
The loans and grants range from $10,000 to $90,000 and are extended businesses that already have a strong foundation. Novellus said it's important to connect the businesses and donors who have funds to spare with entrepreneurs who don't always get the funding they need.
"I live for this. I wake up for this. It makes me extremely happy and extremely grateful that I was put on this earth for this purpose," said Novellus, who holds a PH.D. in Systems Engineering.
For information about grants, loans, and investing with EnrichHER, visit enrichher.com.