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Arlo Change Makers: Danielle McGee

Starting a business is not for the faint hearted. Entrepreneurs face many challenges, obstacles and uncertainty. Black entrepreneurs face even more – having to deal with negative stereotypes, limited funding, perceptions of poor quality products and bad customer service, just to name a few.

Danielle McGee experienced all of these challenges first hand when her own entrepreneurial journey led her to declare bankruptcy. Steadfast and determined, Danielle turned her experience into a business that helps other black businesses succeed.

“I decided that I would turn what I learned from being a “failure” in business, into a way to give back and pour into other black business owners,” says Danielle.

That company is called Black Business Boom and it does exactly what it says on the tin. 

Founded by Danielle in 2018 in Nashville, the company originally started as the “Groupon for black-owned businesses”. In the first six months they had coupons for over 400 hundred businesses in 24 states. Since then, the company has pivoted many times over – all with the goal of educating, supporting and driving revenue to black-owned businesses.

Now, it’s a complete business support system for black entrepreneurs with multiple companies under the Black Business Boom umbrella – Boomin’ University, Boomin’ to the Bank, and Black Owned Nashville. 

Many entrepreneurs are solopreneurs and, as such, must be well-versed in a diverse range of business practices. It can be overwhelming to understand all the things that need to be done, how to do them, and how to prioritize them. That’s where Boomin’ University comes in. 

As a non-profit, Boomín’ University offers free training, coaching, and mentorship to Black-owned small businesses. Their signature courses include Boomin’ Marketing – to help entrepreneurs master the art of marketing from content creation to social media. And Boomin’ to the Bank – a capital readiness program to learn the art of budgeting, investing and wealth creation. The course offers both group learning and one-on-one coaching, and participants will come away with a solid financial action plan.

But the financial support doesn’t stop there. Black-owned businesses typically have less access to funding, which consequently limits their ability to spend money on marketing and other initiatives to drive business growth. 

Boomin’ to the Bank is a funding program that helps Black-owned businesses access the capital they need to thrive by connecting them with microloan opportunities. This one was inspired by Danielle’s grandmother who was the president of a bank on the west side of Chicago and spent much of her life supporting and providing capital to black communities.

“It’s not just about loans; it’s about creating opportunities, fostering innovation, and nurturing the dreams of countless Black entrepreneurs who have the potential to change their communities.” Says Danielle, who still seeks advice and mentorship from her beloved grandmother, and hopes to achieve the same vision her grandmother had all those years ago.

The fourth company under Danielle’s belt is Black Owned Nashville – an established directory of over 1,500 Black-owned businesses that promotes spending within the community.

Danielle is the founder, CEO and visionary for all four brands. Her daily work involves connecting Black-owned businesses with corporate contracts, providing essential training and development, and promoting them to help facilitate growth and success. She also works to scale and expand their operations and build a reliable team.

And with Danielle at the helm, these businesses are boomin’.

An incredible feat considering the odds were never in Danielle’s favour. 90% of all start-up businesses fail. The statistics for black businesses is even higher. 

Danielle’s built not one, but four successful businesses and has overcome hurdles that many black entrepreneurs don’t. And she’s done all of that while also breaking down societal norms, championing other black businesses, supporting black communities and paving the way for future black entrepreneurs. 

A true changemaker.

“I wake up every day and get to be a champion for Black business owners. I get to offer them opportunities to learn and grow free of charge through Boomin University. I know this is where I am supposed to be. I know I am living my purpose”. – says Danielle.

Danielle + Arlo

Before Danielle discovered Arlo, they were using Google Forms for applications for Boomin’ University courses and then manually inputting that data into a spreadsheet to review and approve and sync registrations. Danielle was personally doing a lot of the administrative work – including transferring that data, as well as manually sending email communications and calendar invites. 

It was a piecemeal, disjointed process in-house, and not a great experience for their customers either.

With so many manual steps in the registration process, scalability was a major problem for Boomin’ University and Danielle decided that something had to change. She had no idea that training management software like Arlo existed but set out on a Google search for a “better way to manage training registrations”. 

Multiple trials and product demonstrations later and Danielle decided that Arlo was the solution for them. An all-in-one system for managing registrations, sending email communications, a CRM to eliminate the need for spreadsheets, robust integrations with WordPress and Survey Monkey, and intelligent reporting features, Arlo ticked all of the boxes on their wishlist. But ultimately it was the competitive price and the helpfulness and responsiveness of Arlo’s consultants that Danielle says got them across the line.

We are proud to be the platform behind Danielle and Boomin’ University, helping them streamline, scale their business and deliver more impactful training.

“Arlo is an all in one end to end software solution for training providers that help to consolidate a lot of the different tools you may have been using to run programs. It makes it so much easier to have everything in one place”. Says Danielle.

Connect with Danielle on LinkedIn, check out Black Business Boom or Boomín’ University.

Arlo Change Makers is a series that highlights the passionate people behind training organizations that are changing people’s lives. 

We are proud to be the platform behind Danielle and Boomin’ University, helping them streamline, scale their business and deliver more impactful training.

Want to learn more?

Find out how Arlo can transform your training business.