Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) recently closed $275,000 in leverage loans to support two companies – Brown Toy Box and Beautiful Curly Me – both of which are focused on representation in children’s play, boost confidence and reduce America’s racial wealth gap.
Brown Toy Box is an educational toy company featuring STEAM toys, media and experiences that celebrate Black children. Since receiving its first AEMI funding, Brown Toy Box has secured a contract with Target in 2021 and was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s 2022 “Favorite Things List.” This latest round of financing in partnership with AEMI and Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs will provide Brown Toy Box with working capital and support inventory purchases to fulfill demand generated by the Oprah Winfrey announcement and the holiday season.
Beautiful Curly Me is a social impact toy and media company that is inspiring confidence in young Black and Brown girls through dolls, puzzles, books and more. Founded by a mother-daughter duo, the idea for Beautiful Curly Me was sparked by now 10-year-old CEO and co-founder, Zoe, who writes the empowering books herself. All products foster self-confidence and love through representation in play. And, for every doll purchased, Beautiful Curly Me gives another doll to an underprivileged girl. AEMI financing will support the company’s inventory production, increased marketing and an additional part-time operations employee.
AEMI was created in 2006 by Invest Atlanta, the City’s official economic development agency, to utilize federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to attract private capital to fund neighborhood revitalization and job creation projects. AEMI is committed to funding community development projects that are part of holistic development initiatives or promote healthy neighborhoods, as well as provide increased access to jobs and services for underserved residents.