Thursday, December 10, 2020

Black Founder Wins $25K From American Express

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Nationwide  Samia Bingham, founder of Flavors, a member-based, commercial kitchen and workplace incubator with a focus on elevating culinary entrepreneurs in underserved minority communities, has been awarded a grant for $25,000 by American Express and IFundWomen of Color. “We feel especially grateful this holiday season to be recognized by IFundWomen of Color and American Express. This grant will help Flavors to get that much closer to executing on our vision to open our culinary complex while supporting the hardest-hit industry due to COVID-19 which is food and beverage,” Samia says.

In 2021, Flavors will open their first shared commercial kitchen space as a service to food entrepreneurs large and small throughout the Washington DC region. The Flavors concept blossomed from Samia’s real estate career and her husband’s love for the culinary arts and his shift to a plant-based lifestyle.

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The pandemic has caused Flavors to seek alternative funding sources and delayed the build-out of the facility. They have pivoted a bit. Flavors is investing more in their virtual community.

“Particularly through this volatile economic period, we must continue to support our 50+ members, by providing more resources and putting more work into developing our culinary incubator content and connecting our members to new business opportunities through our proprietary e-platform," Samia remarks.

“As a Black woman founder, it’s been very challenging getting access to funding. The pandemic intensified the search for creative financing as previous funding programs were shifting their priorities to COVID emergency funding, while our founding culinary membership enrollment increased substantially during this same period. We are led by our mission and we will continue to serve our culinary members and are committed to opening our facility in 2021,” Samia reassures.

Flavors will open the largest culinary complex in Prince George’s County in 2021 to include multiple commercial kitchen work stations in separate savory and confectionery kitchens. They have plans to continue to grow their culinary incubator programming and virtual community through partnerships with food and beverage industry leaders.

They will use the $25K grant towards the build-out of the commercial kitchen facility and the development of the propriety e-learning platform exclusive to the Flavors members.

Learn more about Flavors at

About Flavors
Flavors is the creator of tech-enabled food & beverage workplaces + services + concepts for culinary entrepreneurs, government agencies and other corporate entities based in Prince George’s County, MD. Their mission is to elevate the culinary arts industry in underserved communities. They endeavor to optimize access to kitchens and continuing education through the development of technology-centered food spaces and online platforms.

About the program
American Express and IFundWomen of Color created the 100 for 100 program to support Black women-owned businesses who showcase innovation through crisis. 100 Black-women owned businesses in a variety of industries located across the US will receive $25,000 in funding and 100 days of business education beginning in January 2021. This program is designed to jumpstart black female founder business ventures.

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

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