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Professor  Kez

CEO, The Black upStart

Ms. Williams is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Business Coach of The Black upStart – a national training initiative serving African-American innovators interested in starting successful and scaling small businesses.   Through the administration of an accelerator program, the Black upstart administers a culturally-sensitive, innovative curriculum that integrates experiential learning methods, lean startup methodology and business case studies featuring African-American entrepreneurs.  To date, the organization has trained over 200 African-American entrepreneurs in the District of Columbia; Brooklyn; NY, Raleigh; NC, Durham; NC; Charlotte, NC and Baltimore, MD.  Black upstart graduates have launched ventures in 12 cities and some have been featured in the Washington Post, Good Morning Washington, Essence, Netflix and Black Enterprise.  Additionally, they have pitched to compete in Shark Tank and won financial investments from the Carolina Small Business Development Fund, National Urban League and Piranha Tank.  

The influence of the Black upstart continues to grow as their online network touches 75,000 people across the country interested in business creation. 

Ms. Williams also successfully launched a $25 million national entrepreneurship initiative for the United Negro College Fund and led the program for five years.  In this capacity, she  administered curricula, lead an online entrepreneurship educational community and designed business development programs for 500+ African-American undergraduate student entrepreneurs enrolled at 98 college campuses across the country. 

Ms. Williams has been recognized by Black Enterprise, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Good Morning Washington, CNN, CNBC, and The Root 100 as a thought leader in entrepreneurship and philanthropy.  

Ms. Williams is also a proud alum of Christopher Newport University, daughter of Gail Elaine Davis and a native of Richmond, Virginia.

Meet Her
Faculty: Team Members
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