Local entrepreneur Quontay Turner is creating spaces to shop black in Boston
YW Boston’s Senior Coordinator for InclusionBoston Quontay Turner has been working to build supportive spaces for black entrepreneurs in Boston ever since launching the monthly Boston’s Black Owned Business Market (BBOB) in 2017. As the creator of Q Made It and an organizer of YBP (Boston Young Black Professionals), Quontay was well acquainted with the challenges faced by small business owners and entrepreneurs in Boston.
Early on, Quontay identified a need for additional spaces that would give folks an opportunity to support black-owned small businesses. A partnership with District Hall proved a valuable opportunity to diversify Boston’s Seaport commercial and cultural landscape while providing a low cost opportunity for businesses to sell their wares and services. Her participation in the Fairmount Innovation Lab Launchpad Accelerator, helped Quontay build a formal business plan for the BBOB Market and better advertise the affordable opportunity to more small business owners.
Now in its second year, Boston’s Black Owned Business Market brings together local business owners of color one Saturday each month. Several entrepreneurs have harnessed the mentorship and community-building benefits of the BBOB market. As a result, many have gone on to launch and debut their own businesses at the Market.
What’s next for Boston’s Black Owned Business Market?
As the Market season comes to an end and the future of two now vacant parking lots adjacent to District Hall hang in limbo as new buildings are planned for those spaces, Quontay hopes to find a new home for the BBOB market that will be more accessible to vendors and patrons alike:
“My hope for the BBOB market is for it to reflect our community in its location and content. My goal is to expand the concept beyond retail and into food, art, and activities in order to create a full experience.”
Catch the next Boston’s Black Owned Business Market at District Hall on Saturday, December 14, 2019 from 12:00 – 6:00 PM.
Quontay Turner joined YW Boston in September 2019 as the InclusionBoston Senior Coordinator. She received her Bachelors in Civil Engineering and Environmental Studies from Worcester Polytechnic Institute where she returned shortly after graduating to begin a new career in access and education. Prior to joining the YW Boston, Quontay worked in higher education on recruiting, retaining and supporting diverse students, faculty, and staff. She has over eight years of experience in community organizing, event management, and facilitating conversations and trainings around diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her spare time, Quontay runs her own creative business, Q Made It, and serves as the lead organizer for the Boston Young Black Professionals (YBP) whose mission is to curate more space for professionals of color to fully enjoy all that Boston has to offer. She is a native of Mattapan and is passionate about creating a more inclusive and connected Boston.
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