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Air Force Academy graduates use their entrepreneurship to serve community, inspire others

Air Force Academy graduates hope to inspire entrepreneurship in others
Posted at 10:45 AM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 12:45:11-05

DENVER — After spending four years in Colorado, a group of Air Force Academy graduates were inspired to embark on a business venture that would keep them connected to the state for years to come.

"The Colorado community is very tight knit," Loyd Bradley said. "It's rewarding to serve."

Bradley is a 2014 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, located just north of Colorado Springs. Two years before graduation, he and three other cadets started the real estate holding company Diversity Capital Partners — a name they come up with because they're all from different backgrounds.

"Coming out of the Air Force Academy, we say it's a leadership laboratory," Bradley said. "The Air Force Academy is cadet run... So, very early on, at the age of 19 or 20 years old, we were able to really get our hands on [running] organizations."

The company has continued to grow and thrive over the years. In 2021, the partners purchased three Spavia franchises in the state — two in Westminster and another in Boulder.

Bradley says his love for Colorado inspired him and his partners to pursue the venture.

"I mean, people come in, they're very happy... they leave even happier after they receive a service," he said. "I think it all starts with our team. Our team is amazing. If you come here, you see everyone's happy. Everyone's happy to work here. The spa industry just gave us an opportunity to serve the community."

Bradley and his counterparts at Diversity Capital Partners are also Black men, each in their early thirties. He says he is well aware that his background may be seen as unique to some.

"Growing up in the African American community, there's not many people that look like us that are raising capital and investing in companies," he said. "We want to be that example to inspire the next generation of future investors."

According to the latest data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, people of color make up only 7.4% of Colorado's small business ownership.

"Because there's not many people in the space that look like us... there are times where we have to make sure that we are very diligent in the things that we're doing," Bradley said.

The diligence has paid off, according to the young businessman. Bradley says Coloradans continue to embrace him, his partners and Spavia staff time and time again.

"It's very uplifting," he said. "And we realize, at that moment, we are in the right business."