She emerged from West Baltimore and have become a enterprise stalwart. Now, she’s exhibiting others they will do the identical

A younger Tammira Lucas’ household was puzzled by what the owner of their residence in Baltimore’s Penn North neighborhood informed them.

The landlord had entered the household’s title into an adopt-a-family program that the native church organized round Christmas. It turned out {that a} famend professional athlete can be “adopting” the Lucas household: Baltimore Ravens tight finish Todd Heap.

Seeing the thrill on her members of the family’ faces as Heap visited and showered them with vacation presents resonated with Lucas, inspiring her to do no matter she may to offer that very same happiness.

“I remember that bringing joy to my siblings, so I decided that any opportunity I get as an adult to give back or do more to help provide opportunities for others, I’m going to do that,” she informed “So that’s what I’ve committed myself to doing,”

Lucas lived in Baltimore neighborhoods like Penn North, Park Heights, and the Gilmor Homes all through her childhood. Poverty was a throughline for every of those areas, however the communities had been so close-knit that Lucas was unaware of their situations till she grew older.

“I didn’t realize we were living in poverty because we were such a family,” she mentioned. “I recognized, as I got older, that poverty did exist and people weren’t living the status quo. I knew that was something I didn’t want to do, so that was my motivation to get to where I am today.”

First, second and third steps

Lucas’ first enterprise into entrepreneurship got here throughout her senior yr at Coppin State University (CSU) in 2008. A good friend was seeking to begin a cellular youngsters spa and wished Lucas concerned within the undertaking.

The enterprise carried out nicely initially, however the two cofounders struggled to determine a strong sufficient basis to correctly develop it. Plus, the opposite founder’s obligations as a mom ate into the time she had accessible to run the enterprise, Lucas recalled.

The following yr, they dissolved the enterprise and Lucas graduated. But that small style of success was sufficient to persuade her she may obtain her mission of giving again and setting an instance by entrepreneurial pursuits.

“Stepping out and becoming a full-time entrepreneur wasn’t something that people, especially in my community, were really thinking about at that time,” Lucas mentioned. “I saw how my mother struggled and knew that education was my key to the path of being successful. I wanted my family to see the possibilities of what was not in front of them.”

Lucas’ enterprise along with her good friend made her notice that there was an enormous hole in Maryland’s strong enterprise ecosystem. Entrepreneurs who had been additionally moms had no blueprint for easy methods to juggle their work with their parental obligations.

That’s why, in 2016, she cofounded the National Association of Mom Entrepreneurs, an eight-session program that gives entrepreneurship coaching for moms. And now, this system is engaged on making a fund for investing in mother-owned companies

That similar yr, Lucas and her sister TaKesha Jamison cofounded The Cube, a coworking house that gives a staffed play space so entrepreneurs can deliver their kids and nonetheless get work finished. Keeping the enterprise within the household not solely permits them to prosper collectively, but in addition supplies up-and-coming minority founders a traditionally grounded instance of easy methods to construct wealth inside one’s group.

“When you look at the history of Black-owned businesses in Baltimore, families put their resources together to create something of their own,” Lucas mentioned. “That’s the most exciting thing for me. I’m taking what our culture does and bringing it to light in today’s world. It’s not my business. It’s our business.”

Lucas and Williams. (Courtesy photograph)

“I want to change that narrative so bad”

Dr. Ron Williams, an assistant professor at CSU who taught Lucas and finally grew to become her mentor, acknowledged early on that she would excel at group empowerment.

“Tammira, just from a very human place, believes in people,” Williams mentioned. “She believes in the people that she grew up around. She knows their greatness. She knows their underrepresentation is not from a lack of ability, so that’s what she’s fighting for. She’s seen what it’s done for her and knows what it can do for those around her.”

Lucas is a licensed realtor and actual property investor as nicely. In the long run, she appears to be like to amass residential properties in Baltimore that she will flip into sources for the neighboring communities.

“My life has been dedicated to helping people access opportunity to live the life they desire,” Lucas mentioned. “I grew up in poverty and watched my mother struggle. I watched people around us struggle, especially as single mothers. The mindset in our communities is so thick in terms of what we can’t do and I want to change that narrative so bad that it’s kind of obsessive.”