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Emerging entrepreneur: Danielle Barbee

by Paula Anderson

Becoming an entrepreneur was not the goal for a math coach who works with students in Jackson, Tennessee.

Danielle Barbee, founder of The Math Success Coach, worked as a teacher at Jackson Merry Central High School.

Through teaching and tutoring, she was encouraged to pursue a business.

“A lady said to me, you know you can start your own thing, I am a tutor,” said Barbee.

That conversation led Barbee to establishing a clientele and a quest to make a difference.

Barbee offers ACT Prep and math tutoring for K3 - 12 and a Summer Jumpstart program for students.

Danielle Barbee | Trunetta Atwater Photography

Starting a new business can be a ‘side-hustle’ and Barbee realized that more work was needed for her business.

“I did not have enough time to grow my business. I was working 13 to 14 hours per day and I didn’t think I was serving my purpose,” said Barbee.

For five years, she contemplated the shift and decided to ‘take a leap of faith.’

Most entrepreneurs need assistance and Barbee sought the help of TheCO., an entrepreneurial hub and innovation center, during the pandemic.

“My mom told me about a place that supports entrepreneurs and offers space for business owners,” said Barbee.

She had a conversation with Lisa Garner, executive director of TheCO.. and learned about the resources available.

Following that exchange, she was introduced to the SOUL COLLECTIVE - a subsidiary of TheCO.

SOUL COLLECTIVE is a business incubator for Black entrepreneurs in Jackson, Tennessee. According to the website, it offers programs to help entrepreneurs with marketing, branding and business coaching.

Having a consistent workday is not the same for most entrepreneurs.

Barbee starts her day at 7:30 a.m. in the morning and works with students throughout the day.

She provides 45 minute- and 90 minute- sessions to students. This takes up most of her day as she focuses on building her business.

Learning new things and working on your business is one aspect of entrepreneurship.

Barbee said, “I learned how to develop a system, build a brand and show up confidently.”

“I learned about marketing campaigns and a target market,” said Barbee. "Knowing your numbers to make decisions."

The culminating event of the CO. Starters Program - "Pitch Night" is a formal presentation for entrepreneurs to tell their story, explain their business model and ask for investors.

One of the challenges of entrepreneurship is staying motivated.

“I wanted to go back to working a full-time job," said Barbee. "Showing up every week helped me to stay focused."

Barbee has relied on Trunetta Atwater, executive director of the SOUL COLLECTIVE, for support.

She has taught me lessons on “launching a business, having an email list and setting up systems.”

As an emerging entrepreneur, she has learned from others and offers advice.

“Having ideas is not enough, you have to execute and make things happen,” said Barbee.

“Showing up consistently is another aspect of owning a business.”

To learn more about Danielle Barbee, email or visit

To share your entrepreneurial journey, send email to

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