In honor of Black Business Month and Workforce Development Month, The Workforce Connection decided to promote black-owned businesses in our region by connecting with them for a short interview. KIKIFER’s Entrepreneurial Academy is owned by Keishonda Williamson and Henry McDavid. 

What is KIKIFER’s Entrepreneurial Academy?

Established in June of 2019, KIKIFER’S Entrepreneurial Academy (KEA) is very unique in that it is 1 of only 3 Black owned and operated schools in Illinois that are recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education. It is also the only school of its type in the country where students from kindergarten to seniors in high school are required to start small businesses that generate revenue and publish a minimum of one book per year. KEA also has a virtual component that includes students from California, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Idaho, Michigan, Illinois and New York and growing.

What is your favorite part of being a business owner?

My favorite part about being a business owner is having the ability to positively affect lives and make money using my creativity on a daily basis.

How did you get on this career path?

We were tired of complaining about how terrible the local public schools were. We decided instead of pointing the finger and blaming others for not doing a good job we would create the solution to the problem we saw.

What or who was your biggest support or resource?

Our biggest resource was the community. Successful students and participating families helped us to grow our business quicker and stronger than most others within our industry.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Learn to use the law of attraction and practice it every day. Anything you wish to be in life or have, you can, if you just believe in yourself.

To learn more about KEA, visit or call 779-232-9571.

The Workforce Connection is committed to providing a workforce that meets the needs of the business community now and in the future. To learn how our business services team can help advance the growth and stability of your organization, contact us via email at 

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