John-John Williams IV
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Karyl Leggio, professor of finance at Loyola University Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business says “The WELL provides an invaluable service to Black women.”… “It is a marvelous resource for Baltimore and Black-owned businesses.”
It was the death of someone she admired from afar that prompted Nakeia Drummond to finally launch The WELL, a support network for Black businesswomen.
Drummond was initially drawn to the style of fashion blogger Kyrzayda Rodriguez, then closely followed her near-yearlong battle with cancer. When Rodriguez died in 2018, Drummond said she resolved to make her own dream a reality.
“She lived out loud and she died that way too,” Drummond said. “If there is something you want to do, do it now.”
Drummond, a 39-year-old Randallstown resident, said that a year earlier, some business industry leaders had questioned her plans.
“I was met with so much of, ‘Why just Black women?’ The confusion around how that was truly a business need and a business case for it,” she said. “I didn’t have confidence in starting it right away.”
But a month after Rodriguez’s death, she started The WELL (the name is an acronym of Women Entrepreneur Leadership Lab).
Since the launch, The WELL has blossomed into 70 members with chapters in Washington, D.C.; Milwaukee; Detroit; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta; New York and Los Angeles. Members meet regularly, exchange ideas, and support one another.