Frequently Asked Questions

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Our businesses are called “Stakeholders” in order to build a sense of ownership, covenant and belonging. RICE stakeholders represent a swath of Main Street and tech companies at various stages, from ideation to more seasoned revenue-generating companies.

4 Info Sessions are held a year to provide potential applicants with an overview of the stakeholder experience. Prospective stakeholders are required to attend one info session to be eligible to apply. Once you join an info session, you’ll be invited to apply to join the RICE stakeholder community. Join our mailing list to be notified about the next info session. Learn more

The Russell Center has a number of lectures, networking opportunities, and resources available for all Black small businesses owners and entrepreneurs.  Through our SBA Navigator Program we are increasing the support of training and technical assistance to underserved small businesses in Georgia regardless of membership.  We can assist with general business development, strategic planning, accessing capital and marketing help – with no cost to you. So while it is not our Stakeholder program, it is an important RICE resource. This program has the potential for supporting and readying your business for its next phase. 

There are two ways for businesses to engage with the Russell Center. Each year we have a call for applications for businesses to become Stakeholders of the Center. These 100+ Stakeholder companies receive the full suite of RICE services. The Russell Center also has a number of lectures, networking opportunities, and resources available for all Black small businesses owners and entrepreneurs. Sign up at to join our 4500 + member network.

RICE works with any type of company – whether they are just starting out with their first idea, or trying to scale an existing business. We have solo-preneurs and companies with growing employee bases. We support all industries and possibilities. Current Stakeholder
Companies are concentrated in consulting, tech, food & beverage, film & media, and education.

The proprietary curriculum is the Center’s Big IDEAS platform – a continuous, experiential and individualized model that leads companies from INSPIRE to DEVELOP to EXECUTE to ACCELERATE to SCALE. Big IDEAS is the key to RICE’s action plans for Stakeholder companies allowing our Stakeholders to work through their ideas, test them with customers, discard, change and build stronger business models that will systematically move the business forward.

Two of RICE’s defining features are the level of talent we harness for our Stakeholder Companies and the network of experts that we surround them with. We are always looking for volunteers who can help reach, teach, mentor and motivate our business owners. Email us at to get involved.

RICE is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Contributions of support are deductible to the extent allowed by law. Our expanded RICE website ( now accepts online donations. Other questions: Please email our Director of Development, Brittany Saadiq at to discuss how you can fund the dreams of Atlanta’s Black Entrepreneurs.”

Many of Atlanta’s top companies are investing in RICE (visit to view the full list of donors). You can join them in financial support, employee volunteerism, and executive engagement. Email us at to learn how your company’s time, treasure, and talent can help. Our Donors – Atlanta’s Home for Black Entrepreneurs

The COVID-19 crisis has hit this community hard, and with mounting evidence that the pandemic will expand America’s racial wealth gap, the impact to Atlanta’s Black business community is significant. RICE is providing informational webinars, strategy huddle sessions, virtual classrooms and individualized coaching sessions through our suite of business resources. There are over 4500 Black-owned small businesses in our network, and we’re providing our entrepreneurs with the world-class expertise and resources they’ll need to survive this crisis, keep their businesses afloat, and give them the tools for true economic mobility.

We have a number of positions currently open. If you’re qualified, passionate, fun to work with, and interested in joining the team at RICE in support of Atlanta’s Black entrepreneurs, email us at

Terri-Nichelle Bradley

Terri-Nichelle Bradley is the Founder and CEO of Play at Brown Toy Box. Bradley believes that Black children should see themselves positively represented in every space the experience regularly, starting with their toybox and the toy aisle. Bradley, an equity in play advocate, is on a mission to disrupt the $27B toy industry by creating a brand that reflects the world we live in today. Launched in 2017 as a STEAM kit, Brown Toy Box evolved into a full-scale educational toy company producing and curating STEAM toys, media, and experiences for centering and celebrating Black children in a manner all children can enjoy, learn, and have fun. Prior to starting Brown Toy Box, Bradley led a communications consultancy working with Fortune 500 companies in campaigns designed to connect with the African American community. Prior to that, Bradley served as the VP of Corporate, Crisis, and Public Affairs for the world’s largest global PR agency. Bradley has been awarded the Civic Impact Award, was recognized as a 2019 Atlanta’s Top 100 Businesswomen of Influence by the Atlanta Business League, acknowledged on the 2020 Who’s Who in Black Atlanta list of influential leaders and most recently named to Inc. Magazine’s 2020 Female Founders 100 list. Brown Toy Box is sold in Target stores nationwide, with Amazon, over 30 museums including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, as well as other independent specialty toy stores and retailers. Learn more at

Stefan Miller

Stefan Miller is the Co-Founder and CMO for Young King Hair Care, which launched in December 2019. Young King Hair Care is a multicultural grooming and lifestyle brand company with tailored offerings catering to specific needs of young men of color. Stefan is a marketing professional with 15+ years of experience across marketing, sales and consulting in the CPG and tech industries. At Young King, Stefan has been featured in over 75+ national publications, was recognized by Mintel as one of the top US brand innovations of 2021, partnered with Disney and Marvel Studios for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and was a participant on Season 13 of ABC’s Shark Tank. Currently Young King Hair Care is available in multiple retail partners, including Target, Walmart, and CVS, selling in over 3,000 stores across the US. Prior to founding Young King Hair Care, he led business strategy and marketing communications, while launching innovations across multiple billion-dollar brands and categories at IBM, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Coca-Cola, and Red Bull. Stefan L. Miller Bio Stefan holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with concentrations in Brand Marketing, Media Management and Management in Organizations, and is a proud HBCU alum of Morehouse College with a BA in Business Administration. He currently lives with his wife and co-founder Cora and 2 kids, Kade and Cree in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more at

Ceata E. Lash

Ceata E. Lash, CEO and founder of PuffCuff has emerged as a pioneering figure in the natural hair accessory industry, holding the distinction of being the first African-American woman to secure four US patents in this domain. Her journey to entrepreneurship was built upon a 30-year career as a graphic designer, which laid the foundation for launching PuffCuff in 2013. Ceata’s innovative leadership has earned her prestigious accolades, including the President’s Innovation Award from Sally Beauty and the New Voices + Barefoot Wine Beauty Business Grant. These achievements have placed her among the top female founders featured in Inc. Magazine. Committed to lifelong learning and growth, Ceata has completed the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses National Cohort and was part of the inaugural Amazon Black Business Accelerator Cohort. Her recent completion of the “Building a Successful Diverse Business” program at Tuck Executive Education, Dartmouth, further underscores her dedication to continuous improvement and leadership in the business world. Learn more at