Downtown Diveristy Initiative

The Downtown Diversity Initiative (DDI) is an entrepreneurship program that provides resources, training, and support to African American entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses in Downtown Macon. Through the program, participants gain access to industry experts, mentorship, and funding opportunities, all with the goal of helping them achieve long-term success and contribute to a more diverse and thriving downtown community.


In 2018, NewTown Macon and the Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages won a grant from the Downtown Challenge Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia to launch the Downtown Diversity Initiative, with the goal of attracting more African American business owners and customers to downtown Macon. Currently, only 27% of downtown businesses are owned by African Americans, despite the fact that half of Macon's population is African American.

About the Downtown Diversity Initiative

The Downtown Diversity Initiative (DDI) is a business development program designed to support the growth of Black-owned businesses in downtown Macon. DDI is a six-week program that covers a wide range of topics, including business planning, marketing, financial management, and customer service. Participants also receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Sessions of the Downtown Diversity Initiative are designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective business plans and marketing strategies, and connect with mentors. Participants learn how to effectively pitch their concepts to a panel of local judges and are eligible to compete for a prize package at the end of the program. By supporting Black-owned businesses and fostering a more inclusive downtown, NewTown Macon is working to create a stronger, more vibrant community for everyone.

Who Should Apply

The Downtown Diversity Initiative is open to Black entrepreneurs and business owners who are interested in starting or growing a business in downtown Macon. Applicants should have a strong business concept or existing business, and be committed to building a successful and sustainable enterprise.


By participating in the Downtown Diversity Initiative, entrepreneurs gain valuable skills and knowledge that can help them succeed in the competitive downtown environment. In addition, participants have the opportunity to network with other business owners and community leaders, and receive ongoing support and resources from NewTown Macon.

2022 Winners

Tedra Huston, MJM Consolidated Services: a consulting service that educates local Maconites on how to acquire and develop property in the community

Geleesa Denton, Manicured: an upscale men’s grooming spa that offers progressive gentlemen a haven to relax and experience the art of grooming and spa services in an atmosphere that is both masculine and therapeutic

Materra Drafts, Niche 385: an open-concept venue that allows customers to “create their niche”

ShaBrea Duffy, Perfect Party Solutions (better known as Triple P): a staffing agency that educates, trains, and partners with local business owners to supply emergency staff for local clubs and lounges

Dr. Anissa Jones & Deon Aiken, Total Fuze Apothecary: a Georgia-based retailer of essential oils, candles, body scrubs, and custom blended oils. Our products are doctor formulated and 100 percent organically sourced from certified growers in the U.S.A.

“Academy Interest Form” currently on the website: Elevate your business with NewTown Macon's cutting-edge academies!

Stay ahead of the curve by joining our VIP list and receive priority access to upcoming application releases. Unleash your full potential, forge invaluable connections, and soar to new heights of success. Enroll today and ignite a transformative journey for your business!

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