President's Showcase

Raven Joseph

Poster Presentation, Ballroom D
Navigating the Digital Divide: Exploring the Impact of a Lack of Social Media Marketing Education on Young Black-Owned Service-Based Small Businesses
Supervising Professor: David Montez
Raven is a senior majoring in Marketing and minoring in Religion. Her on-campus involvements include Caribbean Student Association (CSA), as she has Haitian and Jamaican heritage. She served as Dance Team Captain for CSA’s Category 5 Dance Troupe for the 2022-23 school year, where she exhibited both her love for dance and Caribbean Culture. While currently working as a Copywriter for CherishingFlo Media, she’s under mentorship of her boss in planning to open her own Social Media Marketing Firm in the near future. Her other passion is ministry, and she also serves on the e-board of the FWPC Collegiate Prayer Group. Following graduation, she plans on furthering her education in seminary while also studying for the LSATs and applying to law schools.


This qualitative research paper investigates the journeys of young Black entrepreneurs in the service-based industry and how the influx of social media marketing in the past decade affects their businesses. This study analyzes the lack of adequate entrepreneurial and social media marketing education on service-based small businesses. This study draws on in-depth qualitative interviews with seven young, Black, small business owners regarding their lived experiences throughout their journeys of entrepreneurship. The subjects were picked by purposeful sampling. Content analysis of relevant literature from past research paired with the responses in this study reveal critical insight into the challenges faced by the subjects. Findings indicate that the lack of formal education in entrepreneurship and social media marketing leaves service-based small business owners ill-equipped to navigate the ever-changing business landscape and trends, leaving them to resort to trial-and-error tactics. These tactics result in a great deal of lost capital, potential revenue and opportunities they would have been able to take advantage of with the proper resources prior to launching their businesses. Participants reported difficulties in establishing an online presence, connecting with their target audience, and adapting to marketing trends and dynamic social media algorithms. Moreover, the absence of these educational resources hindered their ability to innovate, compete effectively, and sustain growth in their service-based businesses and respective industries as young black entrepreneurs.

Presentation Materials

Project Materials

Project Documents and Links