It’s hard to imagine two people with more different experiences than Andy Lo and Birley Gipson. Yet the two serial entrepreneurs in the Mississippi Delta both articulate a commitment to serving the Mississippi Delta in their own way – with investment in small business. Both also attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Hearing their stories and their perspectives, a reader can understand both the unique challenges and opportunities a rural area like the Delta present for a small business owner. Often the unsung leaders in a community, small business owners provide unique services and value to their communities. From food service to electronics repair, these two entrepreneurs are invaluable parts of their Delta communities.
Where do you live and where are you from? I was born in Hong Kong. I moved to this country when I was 12, to Chicago. I moved [from]Chicago to Mississippi when I was 17. Now here I am. Back when we were in Chicago, my parents moved us to Mississippi because we bought a grocery business. It was the American dream, like, keep trying; try different things. I still work at the grocery. In Chicago my dad worked as a chef. I was a waiter. Then we saved money and then we were like: OK, my mom’s friend said they have a grocery store in Greenwood, Mississippi, for sale. Andy Lo.