top of page



Over the past decade, the number of people who own small businesses has grown exponentially, which is evident here in Cincinnati, but we believe that foundational work begins before adulthood.

H.U.S.T.L.E. Academy is a first of its kind entrepreneurship training and internship program designed to offer some of Cincinnati’s most at-risk youth the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship as a post-secondary career option. ‘H.U.S.T.L.E.’ represents an acronym for what this program is all about: Helping Usher Students Towards Leadership & Entrepreneurship.

H.U.S.T.L.E. Academy aims to show what is possible when young people are supported and allowed to dream big. The brainchild of a Black women-led collaborative effort between HAAH, MORTAR Cincinnati, Cincinnati High Schoolers, and the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative’s (CYC) Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). 

It is our hope that our unique combination of training, work experience, resources and support, will help to motivate Black high school students to explore and develop an interest and foundational application of entrepreneurship, providing a learning environment to explore small business ownership as a career option, and ultimately giving them the keys to obtain financial freedom. 


Ky’Asia Butts, creator of Create & Paint. Winner of Judges Choice and Entrepreneurial Light Award

We can’t thank all of our partners enough! A special thank you to our facilitator Tracy Stokes, the mentoring business: The Confetti Room, A’dash Hair Studio, Hunn’s Construction, and A Song for Fight, the judges, and of course Mortar, CYC, and United Way!

Congratulations to Ky’Asia Butts, creator of Create & Paint, on winning the Judges Choice and Entrepreneurial Light Award in HAAH’s 1st HUSTLE Academy. Ky’Asia not only wowed the judges with her innovative ideas & plans, but she also won the votes of her peers and staff as the most vibrant, encouraging personality during the 5 weeks of the program. 

We would also like to congratulate Monifah Allah, creator of Mo Money Mo Bundles, in winning the People’s Choice Award. Her spunk and tenacity on the stage, won over the votes of the crowd in attendance during the P!tch Day Celebration. 

bottom of page