Lakeysha Hallmon is founder and CEO of the Village Market, which connects Black entrepreneurs to much-needed investors, resources and customers.
Inspired by the self-determination of entrepreneurship in Tulsa, Oklahoma's Black Wall Street, Lakeysha Hallmon founded Village Market to be an ecosystem that supports Black businesses through cooperative economics. Since 2016, the Village Market has driven over $5 million directly to Black-owned businesses. After 15 years of experience in education, Hallmon knew elevating Black businesses would require revenue as much as resources, mentorship, and professional development. To maintain the integrity and control of her Black-owned vision, she launched the organization without any investor money. The Village's community-driven mission and track record of helping sales skyrocket have attracted businesses in 38 states and four countries. "Support is a verb" is both a guiding principle for Hallmon's work and a fundraising partner launched to support the Village Market community. In 2020, Hallmon pivoted online with a State of Black series on Instagram Live and the Village Retail, a collective retail space with 30 rotating spots for Black-owned businesses. She continues to educate and empower entrepreneurs with her latest project, the ELEVATE small business incubator, which focuses on wellness and mental healthcare for Black business owners and entrepreneurs.