Philadelphia Entrepreneurs Host Inaugural Small Business Basketball Tournament

Tari Wright and Roneece Dent have started a small business basketball tournament in Philadelphia to support Black businesses.

Philadelphia Entrepreneurs Host Inaugural Small Business Basketball Tournament

Tari Wright, the creator and owner of Not Wright Brand LLC., which sells shorts, socks, bags and other basketball apparel, said he used to spend too much time worrying he could only do wrong.

“I had no confidence in myself, especially being like a Black man in Philadelphia,” Wright told ABC6. “Like, we don’t get that push, we don’t get that support. So just like, I always thought I was gonna fail.”

When Wright began his business he was unsure of himself, but a chance meeting with Roneece Dent at a pop-up event changed everything and caused a spark in his entrepreneurial spirit. According to Wright, meeting and speaking with Dent, who started her own business during the COVID-19 pandemic, gave him a confidence boost to go out and achieve his dreams.

Now Wright and Dent organized a small business basketball tournament in Philadelphia that doubled as a pop-up networking environment to help other small businesses in the City of Brotherly Love.

“I wanted to put a spotlight on Black-owned and small businesses in the Philadelphia area.” Wright tells BLACK ENTERPRISE. “We don’t get that recognition or that support, so I felt this was a great way to get that support, so I thought a basketball tournament was a great way to support local businesses in a positive way.”

The six team basketball tournament was held at City Athletics and each team was sponsored by a small Black business in Philadelphia. Each business also had a pop-up shop at the tournament to promote their products.

In addition to Wright’s team, which was sponsored by his apparel line, and Dent’s team (sponsored by her hair company) the other four teams were sponsored by Urban Youth Kings and Queens, Give and Go Athletics and 95 Company. Every game in the tournament was played with the basketball Wright designed and sells as part of his business.

Drexel University and Peirce College also participated in the tournament, which Wright said he wants to expand next year to include more teams and a bigger venue.

“Everyone loved it and supported it,” Wright says. “The teams came to me and said they loved it. They didn’t know it was going to be this exciting. A lot of vendors also enjoyed themselves and were able to network with Peirce and Drexel to help build their companies and brands.”