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Business History

Prior to 1960, downtown Rock Hill had a very thriving African-American Business District. During the 1960’s & 1970’s, those businesses were torn down as part of the federally funded Urban Renewal program. Since then, not many African-American owned businesses have re-emerged in the downtown area.


Thanks to a new initiative created by BELL of Rock Hill, community leaders, and business owners, the BELL-Prize program will help re-establish a strong and diverse small business community, by offering individuals the opportunity to compete for capital to start their business. Check out this video to learn more about the mission behind this initiative.

Watch the Video!

Audio Archive

WRHI 9/16/2019: BELL Prepares for Entrepreneur Pitches WRHI Radio
00:00 / 00:47
WRHI - Palmetto Mornings 12/13/2019: Announce BELL-Prize WinnersWRHI Radio
00:00 / 07:55
WRHI Straight Talk - Interviews Dawn JohnsonWRHI Radio
00:00 / 27:08

Inaugural BELL-Prize Videos

2019 BELL Boot Camp Overview

2019 BELL Workshops Overview


What if I cannot attend a session?

You are being assessed for each session and attendance is a factor. However, notifying us in advance will decrease the impact of you not being there. In addition: If you know anyone in the session, please reach out to them to get notes and feedback. We would like to create a networking business community, so engaging with others in the program is encouraged. You can submit a one page summary per assignment of your lessons learned from the assignments (one page is the maximum); in this case it would be the video on Business Model Canvas and the Black Wall street video. Please submit to: If we are able to record the sessions and make all or part of it available to you, we will let you know.

Will the boot camp always be from 6pm to 10pm on Tuesdays? If that time frame does not work, will there be other sessions in the future on different times and days?

Currently, the sessions are scheduled for every other Tuesday, July 2nd – September 10th @ 6pm – 10pm. Based on the doodle poll done with those interested in the program, that was the most chosen day and time. We hope that the program is super successful and that we would be able to do it again at some point. However, we don’t have any current plans established. Please continue to monitor the website and keep an eye open for communications from us.

If I am not able to attend, does that automatically disqualify me from the workshops?

Yes, you do have to attend the boot camp sessions to be considered for the workshops.