7 Black Entrepreneurs Moving the Culture Forward [BLACK HISTORY MONTH EDITION]
Black entrepreneurs have to battle considerable odds to reach the pinnacle of success and influence. Not only do we have to go against stiff competition, but also a business and cultural environment that is set against us.People who reach success despite these odds are an inspiration to all, especially to young black people of color who are still finding their way. That's why I decided to curate another list for black history month! You can pull up the last one we did below:7 Ambitious, Black Entrepreneurs Moving the Culture ForwardHere’s a list of 7 of my favorite black entrepreneurs of all time:
- Madam C. J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker is a LEGENDShe was one of the first American women to become a millionaire. Her business was based on hair care designed specifically for African-American hair.She traveled across the country to introduce the Walker Method to the black community.She also taught hair care through a series of lectures and demonstrations that became very popular. Eventually,Madam Walker established Madam C.J. Walker Laboratories and expanded into cosmetology. She still remains an inspiration for black entrepreneurs in 2018.
- Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is a household name with millions of admirers scattered across the world.She went from being homeless and sleeping in her car to a woman worth $2.8 billion. The Oprah Winfrey Show is one of the most popular talk shows on television.She is the CEO of Harpo, Inc. and owns O Magazine, OWN TV network, and invests in several other businesses. She is arguably one of the most successful black entrepreneurs in history and an inspiration to us all.
- Michael Jordan
If there’s one black entrepreneur who is just as famous as Oprah Winfrey, it is Michael Jordan.The NBA Hall of Fame member almost didn’t make it as he was declared too short for the game as a young athlete.Michael overcame all odds and set out to play in 15 seasons of the NBA. He is one of the most recognized athletes in the sport.But that’s not the only reason behind his success and recognition. Michael Jordan built a brand around himself to sustain him even after he retired from the sport. The Air Jordan line from Nike, which features his branding, is one of the most coveted lines of sneakers today.Michael Jordan also has several endorsement deals from big companies like Coca Cola, McDonald’s, and Gatorade. The legendary athlete has built an empire and a personal fortune of $1.65 billion.While Mike has his controversies on giving back to the community, a few of his recent ventures have started to sway the community thoughts on the basketball legend.
- Morgan DeBaun
Modern black youth need to see someone closer to them in circumstances make it big.Morgan DeBaun is the perfect person for the younger generation to look up to. She is one of the most successful black entrepreneurs under 30 and the co-founder of Blavity.Morgan understands what representation means to the youth of today. There’s a drought of black stories and narratives in media, and she sought to replenish it through Blavity.The website receives more than 1 million fresh visitors every month.
- Kezia Williams
Kezia is one of the most notable black female entrepreneurs in 2018. She is based in D.C. and runs The United Negro College Fund, a nationwide program to help African-American entrepreneurs.She goes a step further with The Black upStart, which is an establishment that trains aspiring black entrepreneurs.She firmly believes that restrictive policies and institutionalized racism don’t allow black people to reach their full earning potential. Kezia believes the solution lies in entrepreneurship, which doesn’t just place the power back in the black person’s hands, but also helps create more employment with fair wages.
- Jay Z and Beyonce
Jay Z’s rap career is just the tip of the iceberg.Shawn Carter has been an entrepreneur from the get go. He has established several thriving businesses and made smart investments that have taken his net worth to $810 million.Jay Z has launched several successful artists and co-owns Tidal, a successful music streaming service.Beyonce is a powerhouse of an artist.She has transformed the music industry, won Grammies, and hosts sold-out concerts all over the world.She is one of the most hardworking black creative entrepreneurs in the industry.
- Daymond John
John is a marketing mogul and an investor in ABC’s hit series, The Shark Tank.He started his entrepreneurial journey back in his first grade class and he stayed on that path ever since. He came up with the idea to start an apparel company and eventually went on to create FUBU, which went on to become a HUGE global brand.Daymond John also runs a popular black entrepreneurs podcast Rise and Grind with Daymond John.Who would you like to add to the list?