Small Business Giving Back to Underserved Communities

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  • Both Brittanie and Luper used to do volunteer work for the local community, so they have always been involved and showcased a desire to lend a helping hand to the surrounding area.
  • Luper launched his entrepreneurial career in 2012 when he opened his first insurance agency. Starting with zero clients and a will to succeed, Luper grew his business into a profitable endeavor, allowing him to explore other revenue sources.
  • Midlands African Chamber, is a membership-based organization that exists to enhance the robust African and African American business climate in Nebraska and across the Midwest.

While working hard to expand their business ownership profile, this duo also had a desire to help their community. By using their own experiences and tools, Luper and Brittanie Akough focus on creating small business opportunities for the black and brown communities of their home state, Nebraska. 

Through his board seat on the Midlands African Chamber, Greater Omaha Chamber, and previous roles with the Family Housing Advisory services, NE Children and Families Foundation, and many others, Luper understands the challenges faced by young black and brown community members who want an opportunity for small business ownership. “We saw a need to help fill the gap, and there is still so much more work to be done. We just want to do our part,” Luper said. 

Planting the Seeds for Growth

Both Brittanie and Luper used to do volunteer work for the local community, so they have always been involved and showcased a desire to lend a helping hand to the surrounding area. In 2018, they pivoted and focused more of their time on becoming entrepreneurs — but that did not stop their volunteer work. Even to this day, the duo offers free advice to other aspiring business owners, teaching them how to grow and pushing them in the right directions. 

“We mentor a lot of our staff, who eventually leave us and get better jobs that they probably would not have gotten if they had not been with us,” Luper said. “A manager who used to work for us started his own trucking company recently, which is fantastic, and we like to believe that we nudged him a little and showed him the ropes on how to run a good company. It sounds so simple, but unfortunately the black community is not a huge business class, so being a business owner in a black community is a huge thing.”

The Perseverance to Help Underserved Communities

Luper launched his entrepreneurial career in 2012 when he opened his first insurance agency. Starting with zero clients and a will to succeed, Luper grew his business into a profitable endeavor, allowing him to explore other revenue sources. When Luper launched into building a real estate portfolio and flipping houses, he found further success professionally and personally when he met Brittanie. The two would get married and build a family with two children while continuing to diversify into other business opportunities. 

Most recently, the duo announced their purchase of a Master Franchise level commercial cleaning business, Anago Cleaning Systems, that they will use to continue creating viable pathways to small business ownership for Nebraskans. The Anago expansion will provide access to entrepreneurial pathways that are reasonable and profitable for underserved communities. 

“We have to find cleaning companies for the contracts that we get, and so we work with companies that are already existing, as well as those who want to start a cleaning business but are not sure where to start or are having trouble finding a cleaning contract. We help with that, and they are partnerships where we both win,” Brittanie said. 

Providing a Bright Future for Small Businesses

On top of offering free advice to entrepreneurs, Luper is also the Vice President of Fundraising at the Midlands African Chamber, a membership-based organization that exists to enhance the robust African and African American business climate in Nebraska and across the Midwest. Founded in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, this organization gives funding to businesses that have just recently started their venture so that they can continue to grow despite the economic downfalls. At a time when the federal government was not funding recently-established businesses, Luper saw this as an opportunity to lend another helping hand. 

Luper and Brittannie’s list of community involvement demonstrates their deep commitment to helping the black and brown communities of Nebraska. These are just some of their latest developments in helping small businesses grow, but the future holds many more promising ventures.

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