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October 31, 2023 | Katelyn Keenehan

Meet the founders in 100Knoxville’s ninth cohort

100Knoxville is a program dedicated to helping Black-owned businesses in Knoxville grow by $10,000,000 in five years through investment of time and talent, and access to social, political, and financial capital.

The Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC) announced its ninth cohort of 100Knoxville founders. This initiative is dedicated to growing Black-owned businesses in Knoxville. It pairs promising entrepreneurs with a team of mentors who facilitate a transformation in five weeks. Some of those transformations include: refining their business strategies, establishing a network, optimizing their operations, and boosting sales. According to the press release, partners of this cohort include Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Schaad Companies.

Ryan McGrew, owner of RightWay Insurance, 100Knoxville mentor

This program has become a driving force behind the success of numerous businesses in the Knoxville area. Ryan McGrew, Founder of RightWay Insurance and a mentor for the current cohort, said the program was critical to scaling his business.

“Without 100Knoxville, my business would’ve continued on, and we would’ve been OK. But, because of 100Knoxville, I was able to take a giant leap forward in scaling my business and seeing my vision come to fruition.” McGrew said in the press release.

Meet the Founders

Deahna Moore – Deahna Joi LLC (Mentor: Ryan McGrew)

Budgets Deahna Joi LLC specializes in helping individuals and business owners overcome financial anxiety, building a solid financial foundation. They help increase savings accounts by 20-30 percent. The company provides resources for businesses and non-profits to promote financial literacy for long-term stability. Their mission is to make financial literacy accessible to all.

Genesis Howard – Ink and Oil LLC (Mentor: Monty Howard) Ink and Oil LLC Tattoos and Massage Therapy combines the artistry of tattooing with the therapeutic benefits of massage. Tattoo artists and licensed massage therapists provide a holistic experience where clients can express themselves through body art while finding relaxation and relief through expert massage techniques.

Andrea Yancey – Silbeauty (Mentor: Damon Rawls) Established in 2010, Silbeauty offers salon services, classes, and supplies in West Knoxville. Voted “Best Hair Colorist in Knoxville” and “Best Hair Extension Specialist Knoxville,” Silbeauty is dedicated to empowering its clients to look and feel their best.

Stephanie Blue – Steph Bee Creative (Mentor: Dr. Angelique Adams) Steph Bee Creative collaborates with roughly 100 brands each year in various capacities to support their marketing efforts as an influencer. With London influence, Stephanie brings a fresh perspective to wellness practices and caring for the mind, body, and spirit.

Candice Halbert – YOSTEM (Mentor: Jerry Askew) Youth Outreach in STEM (YO-STEM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering underserved students nationally by providing hands-on STEM experiences. YO-STEM aims to help students gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, build wealth, and positively impact society through projects like 3D design and printing, robotics, coding, and various chemistry and engineering initiatives.

Susan Hubbard, Deputy for Science and Technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Support for the Founders

In addition to mentorship, each company in the cohort will receive $5,000 to aid in growing their business.

Susan Hubbard, the Deputy for Science and Technology at ORNL, emphasized the lab’s commitment to supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in East Tennessee.

“We’re supporting 100Knoxville because we understand how access to expertise and mentorship can help new businesses and entrepreneurs flourish,” she said.

To learn more about 100Knoxville, apply for the next cohort, or support this vital initiative, please visit


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