At Ugonma Fontaine Wellness, we are on a mission to empower individuals seeking growth and a deeper connection with spirituality on their transformative journey. Led by Ugonma Fontaine, Yogi, Healing Ally, and Modern Day Medicine Woman, our offerings encompass dynamic energy work, soul-nourishing workshops, and insightful trainings. Our commitment is to guide students towards profound inner harmony, fostering excitement, and tangible spiritual transformation that resonates in every facet of life.

Who are your biggest inspirations/role models?
My grandma Marie Alice Mesir, was a Haitian immigrant to America who taught me what strength and love looked like. Susan Mondi Bowen, owner of Thrive Yoga LLC and a former MWBC scholarship winner, taught me the business of wellness and gave me the opportunity to grow. Shanda Rhimes, as a living example of creativity and being a strong black voice in artistry and diversity.

How does your business contribute to the empowerment of the Black community?
I’m part of a growing network of black and brown holistic wellness practitioners in Rockville MD. I’ve been at it for over a decade and I’m proud to say I’ve trained several wellness practitioners in the black community who are now spreading these modalities locally. For me it is about creating a legacy, giving back to and empowering Black communities while also being a representative of and a safe space for black and brown students who are called into wellness.

How long have you been working with MWBC?
I’ve been working with MWBC since August of 2023 and to say I’m thrilled with their services is an understatement. Roneka in particular has been part Business Coach, Problem Solver, Accountability Holder, and Resource Guide. She’s made the exciting and somewhat overwhelming world of entrepreneurship more accessible and easy to traverse. With her encouragement, I was able to take the first steps in setting up the grounded parts of my business ( bookkeeping, websites, taxes, and payroll).

How has MWBC helped you in your business journey?
MWBC has been a wellspring of resources, opportunity, and community. It’s been wonderful to connect to others in a similar position and to also receive coaching and resources for setting up a strong foundation and sustainable resources.

What advice to you have for aspiring Black women entrepreneurs?
Surround yourself with a community that believes in your vision and can reflect it back to you on the days it’s challenging for you to see it yourself.

We asked Roneka Samalenge, Ugonma’s MWBC business counselor, what Ugonma has accomplished that makes her stand out.
She’s determined and when faced with challenges, she simply pivots instead of allowing it to crumble her plans. I also appreciate her boundaries – it is so hard to have boundaries in life and especially in business, but Ugonma has stayed grounded and protected her time, efforts and energy. As a counselor, I am always encouraging my clients to stay true to their vision but by keeping boundaries around that to not burnt out and/or sell yourself short. Ugonma has excelled in that and her business is flourishing as a response to that. I’m so proud of her!

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Happy Black History Month! At the Maryland Women’s Business Center, we take pride in leveling the playing field for women and minorities. We are here to support Black-owned businesses every month of the year.