Our Roots


HUSTLE Winston-Salem originally launched as a prototype of the Inclusive Entrepreneurship cluster, a part of the EmcArts Community Innovation Lab convened by the Kenan Institute for the Arts, the Winston-Salem Foundation, and the Arts Council of WS/FC. At the end of the lab it was determined by cluster participants that due to the tremendous response from the community and a continuing need, the work of HUSTLE Winston-Salem should and would continue.

Inclusive Entrepreneurship: Systems, Stories, & Solutions

From 2016-2017, we sought out and identified a diverse group of passionate and dedicated entrepreneurs that are hustling to make their ventures a success. The faces you see and the voices you hear are just a handful of the many everyday entrepreneurial heroes throughout our city. Here we celebrate their successes, give a platform for sharing their challenges, and recognize their true and immense value to our community and local ecosystem. We know that these are the first of many to come in our Featured Entrepreneur Series.

Do systems of race, class, and power play a role in entrepreneurial opportunity and economic growth? What can each of us do to make a difference in our community? Let’s find the answers together that will ensure an equitable and abundant future for all.

Shayla Herndon-Edmunds: Herbal Artist

"Hustle is the only thing that I know. It is movement. It is being poised and positioned to respond to opportunities when they come but, also, to always be in the process of making the next step. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

Adriana Granados: World Changer “An entrepreneur is a person that has a lot of hope even though things look very dark as some moments. They are crazy enough to devote as many hours are needed to overcome all the obstacles and a make something happen. Also, it’s a person that has an idealistic way of thinking that we can make a change for ourselves and for others.”
Bobbie Shrivastav: Tech Wiz “I feel like an entrepreneur is someone that creates ideas and can execute those ideas. That’s what entrepreneurs do. They have ideas. They make things happen.”
Cameron Evans: Financial Fixer “Hustle is knowing that no matter where you are, you’ll be successful. No matter what the difficulty, you’ll come out on top. No matter the disbelief from others, you gotta believe in yourself. I think that’s hustle. Hustle is the heart. Hustle is within.”
Candace McCorkle: The Soulful Stylist “People go through so many things. The salon is like a getaway. And so I try to make sure the atmosphere is cleared, that I am humble, that I am grateful. You just want to make people feel beautiful. And I just feel so much pride when I turn people around in the chair and the feeling of it never gets old.”
Erin Copeland: Hands-On Healer “The word entrepreneur, to me, means doing what you love and what you passionate about. And taking bold actions to be able to do it and be successful at it. Absolutely there is fear, but I think what it takes is a really deep faith and trust in my ability to do what I need to do when I need to do it.”
Justin Sizemore: Urban Winemaker “People have been making wine for thousands of years. But my vineyard is also designed to improve the environment. So my wine is a product that is sustainable for not just the next generation but the next and the next.”
Monique Johnson: Inspirational Force “Look at what’s going on in our society today. We are in need of some powerful leaders. We have to have someone that is strong enough to lead for positivity and change. And if I’ve gotta roll to Timbuktu or wherever to inspire change and make my positive mark on this earth, then that’s what I will do.”
Sal Bravo, Senor Bravo “The challenges are out there. Just don’t give up. Just knock on doors. And make sure they are open. Don’t shut any, because if you fail, they are locked forever. Make sure you’re brave enough 1) to say ‘I don’t have it’, 2) to say ‘I will get it to you’, 3) to say ‘I failed’. If you do those three, you’ll be OK.”



Entrepreneurial Education: We provide education and training resources to help our target entrepreneurs navigate existing systemic barriers-to-entry into the entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote their sustainable growth.

Community Funding: We create unique non-equity funding vehicles that allow local communities to support and invest in local businesses that are helmed by under-resourced founders.
Affordable Spaces: We partner with local real estate stakeholders to identify and provide accessible and low-cost office and pop-up space for startups and growing businesses.

Media Content: We develop dynamic video, web and social media content that informs, inspires, and motivates entrepreneurs, as well as helps them connect to local resources.
Stakeholder Education: We help community leaders and stakeholders grow the innovation economy by teaching them to shape and integrate inclusive culture practices to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, with a goal removing exclusionary barriers which may be inhibiting their economic growth and community growth.
Programming Services: We work with local organizations to develop impactful entrepreneurial programming and events for both inclusive and targeted populations. We also provide program development and managements services to other organizations, allowing them to increase the capacity for diverse and inclusive programming, operations, and marketing.

Content Development:
We develop dynamic and inclusive media and digital content that represents, engages and informs a diverse ecosystem.