Even Beyoncé is a fan of her work—how one local program helped Comedienne Joy’s biz soar


comedienne joy
Birmingham’s star, Joy King. Photo via YWCA Central Alabama, Melissa Newton of J&M Photography & Design

Comedienne Joy King’s businesses have taken flight, and she’s crediting YWCA Central Alabama‘s WE360 program. The organization will support and empower even more women like Joy with the second cohort of their wildly successful entrepreneurship program, launching today.

The epic success story of Joy King

Joy King is a testament to the incredible opportunities WE360 provides. Photo via Joy King, Melissa Newton of J&M Photography & Design

If you haven’t had the privilege of meeting Joy yet, allow me to introduce her. She’s a local tour guide, food blogger, TV host, entrepreneur and so much more. Even Beyoncé herself is a fan of her work. Yep, I said Beyoncé.

Joy was a participant in YWCA Central Alabama‘s WE360 program and the training, mentorship and grant access were game changers in continuing her successful empire. And she didn’t stop there. Joy went on to place second in YWCA’s national “Start it Up” pitch competition!

“The WE360 Program is excellent for businesses already established as it is the next level of training I had been looking for. The one-on-one mentorship gave me great business tips to push my business forward. It was like having a big sister to give you some sound business advice. I really would love to see more entrepreneurs participate in the program.”

— Joy King

What is YWCA Central Alabama?

ywca women empowering
Latasha Humphrey and Ty Jackson are ready to welcome the fall cohort. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

ICYMI, YWCA Central Alabama has been going above and beyond to serve the community since its founding in 1903. That’s 118 years of promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all across our city and throughout Jefferson, Blount and St. Clair counties.

Their overall mission is to eliminate racism and empower women in our community. To accomplish this, they offer programs like community housing, domestic violence services and much more.

YWCA Central Alabama’s WE360 Program

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YWCA Family Resource Center is home base for the WE360 program. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

YWCA Central Alabama launched their WE360 program last spring, with an inaugural cohort of 37 women (including Joy). Throughout the program, these women built up their businesses through professional skills and support from national business experts they would not otherwise have access to.

During the six-week course, the entrepreneurs received personalized coaching and mentorship, while learning tangible skills like marketing, scaling a business and raising capital. Upon completion of the program, they received access to seed money to get things moving. Bonus? They were also eligible to apply for additional grants for even more funding.

“This program is life-changing! I have been so impressed and inspired by the women and girls who have shared their dreams and passions with us. I am equally proud of the support our YW team has provided to help these entrepreneurs take their businesses and ideas to the next level. This is exactly the kind of intentional support for women and girls our community needs to thrive and flourish.”

— Dr. LaRhonda Magras, CEO, YWCA Central Alabama

YWCA Central Alabama’s WE360 Returns

empowering women
The wildly successful program returns this fall. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Due to the incredible success of the program last spring, YWCA Central Alabama has brought it back! It kicks off today, September 9, with a promising cohort of budding businesswomen and entrepreneurs.

Space is still available for YWCA Central Alabama WE360. Interested entrepreneurs or women who want to start a business should apply now or contact frc@ywcabham.org.

Feeling inspired? Get involved with YWCA Central Alabama today.

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Madison Croxson
Madison Croxson
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