Atlanta’s 'Water Boyz ‘N The Hood” Turn Their Childhood Hustle Into Business

Atlanta’s 'Water Boyz ‘N The Hood” Turn Their Childhood Hustle Into Business

In Atlanta, warmer weather brings positive prospects for young entrepreneurs known as "water boys" who sell water to sustain themselves. Three of these industrious individuals,, successfully transformed their street vending into a legitimate enterprise, courtesy of the Helping Empower Youth (Hey!) program.


Mekhi Wilson, a 19-year-old co-founder of Water Boyz ‘N The Hood, embarked on this path to improve his and his family's future. Raised in a large single-parent household, financial difficulties spurred him to find ways to support his education. With just a case of water and determination, Wilson launched his entrepreneurial venture on Northside Drive.

As competition among water vendors intensified and the "water boy" culture expanded citywide, some regarded these youths as a nuisance. However, the intervention of the Hey! program provided guidance and assistance, enabling them to transition into legitimate business owners. Through Hey!'s workshops, the participants gained valuable knowledge in business fundamentals like LLCs, C Corps, budgeting, and financial management, leading to the official registration of their businesses with state and city authorities.

KaCey Venning, Hey!'s co-founder, highlighted the creation of Hey! Hydrate! aimed at helping water boys legally expand their businesses. Four years into the program, 18 participants have successfully obtained LLC status.

For Mekhi, the Hey! program not only facilitated his transition into entrepreneurship but also supported his educational pursuits, enabling him to earn a high school diploma. Today, he proudly manages his own business, which includes branded water, distributing orders to various retail outlets in and around Atlanta. This journey underscores the significance of mentorship and support in shaping young lives beyond mere business success.


Source: 11Alive

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