• NYUL

$5000 Winner Proves a Non-Profit Means Business

Updated: Sep 16


We are thrilled to announce the winner of the 2022 Black Business Matters business plan intensive: Dr. Erica Otoo, founder of Eye Care About Sickle Cell. Dr. Otoo will receive $5000.00 courtesy of the UP Foundation, a proud sponsor of the program. The intensive was the first of its kind for our Small Business Solutions Center.

Eye Care About Sickle Cell is a community-based non-profit organization that fills a void in the Black community with eye care resources regarding sickle cell retinopathy. Few organizations solely address the complications sickle cell has on vision and overall eye care.


Eye Care About Sickle Cell is poised to service primarily low-income individuals of African descent domestically with an eye on future global expansion.

Dr. Otoo’s business plan won against a highly competitive cohort of ten individuals. Her excellent business plan also underscores, Non-Profits mean business. The business plan acknowledges the social impact of nonprofits and infuses core business practices that reinforce the value created to maximize impact.

Each business-minded individuals presented business models that challenged the points grading system to mimic the Olympic scoring, often within a point or two. Honorable mention goes to Jemar Ward, co-founder of Sow Real Farms, a cannabis company, and Angela Crumdy, Ph.D., founder of Grad Girl Wellness, a digital wellness platform for women pursuing higher education.


The inaugural BBM cohort participants attended 3-hour weekly sessions over ten weeks, supported with 1-1 and mini group instruction. The New York Urban League Small Business Solutions Center will launch the second Black Business Matters cohort on October 10, 2022.

In 2021 the New York Urban League launched the NYUL Small Business Solutions Center (SBSC). Our center provides curated programming for emerging and existing businesses and 1-1 consultation. We are also a member of the SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program. If you are interested in learning how we can partner in assisting your business, please visit the Small Business SOLUTIONS Center

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