7th and 8th Ward Entrepreneur Cohort

Posted on Jul 12, 2017 in entrepreneurs

This summer, as part of our 7th and 8th ward entrepreneurial programming, Fund 17 is working with a cohort of  eight businesses looking to grow. Each has a unique product and plan of action. The cohort is led by our new Business Case Managers, Tyler and Walter. Read more about them here. Entrepreneurs in the cohort were identified through our community research effort in a particular area of the 7th and 8th wards. These entrepreneurs will receive weekly, one-on-one assistance through August. Workshops will also be held throughout July and August.

Want to learn more about getting involved in this summer’s cohort? Write our Business Case Managers at tyler@fund17.org or walter@fund17.org

Meet our cohort!

Reina David

Reina started RoPar Designs, an environmentally friendly clothing and accessory line that reuses fabric and other materials to create unique, original products. Reina has experience making items for family and friends and is looking to expand distribution in the New Orleans community.










Dyunna Taylor

Dyunna  is an entrepreneur from the ninth ward who goes to festivals and sells useful items like water, rain boots, umbrellas, towels, and binoculars. She purchases her merchandise wholesale online and distributes it to the New Orleans community. 

dyunna attemptjazz fest ew yee









Keith Poree

Keith is a musician and artist who wants to merchandise his work. His long term goal is to incorporate his artwork and tie it into his music to develop a co-brand of art and music.

keith artkeith art (2)










Daphne Elly and Victoria Wilson

Daphne and Victoria are cousins who lost their home in New Orleans East earlier this year due to a tornado and are currently running their business out of their grandmothers home in the 7th ward. They make high-end desserts like dipped fruits, cupcakes, pies, cheesecakes, and decorative cakes. They currently sell to friends, family, and co-workers, and have done retail sales through Fleur Deliciouz Apples.

Daphnesaints cake









Josh Davis

Josh is starting Bluu Herbs LLC, an all-natural, herb-based product line. He is looking to open up a business bank account, create a startup budget and secure a Kiva loan.

josh 4strawberries







Monica Barallon

Monica founded Nona Moca, a food vending business that prepares Middle Eastern and New Orleans cuisine. Some menu items include crawfish pie and chicken kabobs. She is looking to expand her business by setting up financial operations and improving her branding.

nona mocaIMG95201706309509564695408

Kaleb Hill and Jon Menyon

Kaleb and Jon are the owners of OkoVue Produce, a multi-farmer produce market. They also have a garden in Hollygrove and started Agrowtopia at Xavier College. Their fresh, organic produce feeds local residents, restaurants and hospitals. This summer they will be working on bringing OkoVue to market.

k and j 1 k and j 2







Denice Spurlock

Denice makes unique art out of recycled Mardi Gras beads. Her art began as a hobby and has turned into a marketable practice. She is looking to create branding and distribute her products to the New Orleans community.

da bead lady New Orleans art


This summer’s 7th and 8th ward cohort programming is made possible by the WK Kellogg Foundation. This is phase two of our project partnered with Forward Cities, which focuses on researching and empowering the entrepreneurial community within the neighborhoods bordered by Gentilly Blvd, Franklin Ave, St. Claude and St Bernard. Read more about phase one here.