Candice Price is the ultimate role model in entrepreneurship: a woman of color who has successfully launched and grown multiple businesses, some in heavily male-dominated fields.
“I’ve always liked sales, I’ve always liked selling things since I was a little girl,” she said of her childhood in Florida.
Entrepreneur in Waiting
Price knew at a young age that she’d one day own her own business and lead others.
“Even when I worked for someone else, I also always worked for myself, as a kid and while in college,” she said. “I always did multiple things at the same time. Getting to the point where I was working solely for myself was something I always wanted to accomplish.”
After moving to Omaha, Price found guidance and mentors to match her boundless ambition and her entrepreneurial spirit shifted into high gear.
“The greatest thing about Nebraska is access. Everyone is accessible,” she said. “We literally have one degree of separation to anyone you want to talk with, and everyone shares what they know. I think that’s just the greatest thing that we have here in Omaha … our people. My mentors are all right here.”
On this strength, Price launched three successful companies, the first being Home Team Auto Sales five years ago.
“There’s over 19,000 franchise dealerships in the country; only 219 are Black-owned and less than 1% are Black woman-owned,” she said.
In 2019, she followed that with Sapphire Grill, a food truck she deploys to large events including the Nebraska State Fair and the NCAA Men’s College World Series. HT Towing & Repair launched in 2021.
She said the most difficult thing for any entrepreneur to learn is business fundamentals, namely the financial side of things.
“Being a small, minority- and woman-owned business owner, it’s all about how to get access to capital, figuring out that part and figuring out the financials overall,” she said. “Typically, you find people know what to do for the business they are in; it’s the business of the business that people struggle with, trying to ask the right questions even when you don’t know what to ask.”
Paying it Back
For everything she’s had to learn, the leadership and mentoring aspect has always come naturally.
“I make sure I am accessible,” she said. “Weekly, sometimes daily, I receive a message from someone who’s either starting a business or they have a family member starting a business and they want someone to walk them through some things. I do that, and not just for individuals here in Nebraska, but all over.
“Outside of work, I do what I can to volunteer in those spaces to make sure people who need someone to talk with get connected to someone to help them grow. That’s always been my thing, being a community connector.”
As for the future of her enterprise, Price is as ambitious as ever. The car lot is in the midst of expansion, and she has even bigger dreams on the horizon.
“I’d love to be on the Forbes list one day and Black Enterprise 100 list. Those are the goals,” she said. “If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, then what you want becomes the sacrifice. Either way, you’re giving up something; just don’t let it be your dream.”