Black Women are Driving the Growth in Women-Owned Businesses

iStock/monkeybusinessimages
By Charlene Rhinehart

There’s no shortage of news about the evolution of women-owned businesses in the past few decades. More women are diving into entrepreneurship and earning a bigger piece of the financial pie that keeps the economy moving. According to the 2018 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express, the number of women-owned businesses increased by nearly 3,000% since 1972. The report examines trends in women businesses, including black women-owned businesses, based on the 2012 Survey of Business owners and annual gross domestic product estimates.

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Meet Kelechi Anyadiegwu, the Young Entrepreneur Who Turned Down a Deal on Shark Tank



By Winnie Gaturu

When entrepreneurs present their businesses and ideas to the sharks on Shark tank, they all wish for one thing, to get a much needed boost. Some end up getting what they wanted or better, while others walk away disappointed. However, there are a select few who turn down offers made to them by the sharks and walk away determined to make it on their own. Kelechi Anyadiegwu is one such individual.

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The Problem with Career Envy


By Kaila Kea

For many women of color, working hard is nothing new. Balancing love, life, and career is natural to you. In fact, you don’t know how to walk away from a challenge without giving it your all. Although this sense of determination can serve us well, it can also drive us toward career envy.

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"Code Switching" Is Part of Our Daily Routines Without Us Realizing It

Screenshot via Refinery 29 IG Video
By Brenda Alexander

“I need to find something for my hair to lay my edges down before this TV interview tomorrow. I cannot be on camera with fuzzy edges,” I say to my aunt, who looked at me in shock before she proceeded to preach about my edges and camera time being unrelated. She then scolded me about what I felt was a need to appear "presentable," considering I donned faux locs, a hairstyle that many consider the opposite of societal norms. And, I never opt to tame my edges any other time. Surely, in her eyes, that was contradictory. To her, not only was my intelligence enough to handle the interview, but I was beautiful regardless of how rough I thought my edges looked.

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The Real Reason It's Important Pat McGrath's 1 Billion Dollar Makeup Co. Surpasses Kylie's

Pat McGrath & Kylie Jenner
By Erickka Sy Savané

Chances are, a lot of you have never heard the name Pat McGrath, the British-born makeup artist born to a single mother of Jamaican decent, who grew up loving makeup and got her start in the 80's with designers John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. Since then, she's worked just about every major fashion show in every major market, with every major photographer for every major magazine before starting her own makeup line, Pat McGrath Labs, in 2015, following her mom's advice. Today, her line is sold at PatMcGrathLabs.com, Sephora.com and its stores, and will be expanding to even more stores and will soon include merch and apparel with the 60 million dollar investment deal she just secured with a New York-based investment firm. Everything said, her company has just been valued at 1 billion dollars.

Now what do we know about Kylie? 

Review: I Tried the Mega Popular Teeth Whitener Owned By This Multi-Millionaire Mom

Amber Rose and Ramon Griggie of Express Smile Atlanta
By Erickka Sy Savané

When it comes to teeth whitening, the mother of all teeth whitening, at least as far as instagram is concerned, is Express Smile Atlanta (ESA). Go to their page and celebrities like Amber Rose, Kylie Jenner and even Teyana Taylor and hubby Iman Shumpert are packed like sardines, big-upping the product for making their teeth pearly white. At some point, it starts looking suspicious because we all know that stars be getting PAID to endorse products!

So honesty, while the celeb endorsements did peak my interest, what tipped me over the edge was getting the opportunity to interview the owner of the company, a black housewife from Atlanta named Ramona Griggie who started selling the product out of her kitchen and is now a multi-millionaire. When it comes to housewives-turned-entrepreneurs it don’t get no realer than that! I mean, she might be the original housewife of Atlanta.

So now I’m super curious to find out if this product really works or if it’s just the latest instagimmick? After all, teeth whitening made an estimated 11 billion in 2016 alone, according to statistics. Only one way to find out, I order a kit...

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Meet Lauren Simmons, the Only Full-Time Female Stockbroker on Wall St.

 Photo of Lauren Simmons: BBC video screenshot
By Adedamola Agboola

Lauren Simmons is the only full-time female employee currently working as a stockbroker on the floor of the New York Exchange. She is also one of a few women in history to occupy a trading role, and according to the BBC, she joins a short list of women who have signed their names in the book containing the constitution of the New York Stock Exchange alongside the likes of John D. Rockefeller.

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Meet the Powerhouse Exec Behind ESSENCE Music Festival’s Empowerment Experience

Gina Charbonnet via BlackEnterprise
By Mwabi Kaira

Within the minutes of talking to Gina Charbonnet, her love for New Orleans is apparent. Sure it’s home but her love goes beyond that; Gina is committed to showing the world New Orleans' rich culture, contributing to its economy, encouraging young people to create businesses and continuing the cultural traditions important to the city. Gina is an industry veteran and the woman behind GeChar Inc., the New Orleans booking agency, event marketing, and production company that provides turn key services for major events happening in the city, including the upcoming Essence Music Festival Empowerment Experience, which features conversations from influential leaders, artists and innovators ranging from media to politics. I caught up with Gina days before the festival, (July 5-8), to chat with her about how she makes the magic happen.

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Neighbor Calls Police on a 12-year-old Boy for Mowing the Wrong Lawn & Now His Business is on Fiyah!

Reggie Fields of 'Mr Reggie's Lawn Cutting Service'
By Erickka Sy Savané

Another day, another person calling the police on someone black for no good reason. There was 'BBQ Becky' who called the police on some black folks who were chefing it up with a grill in the park. 'Permit Patty' who got her fingers in a tizzy and called the police on an 8-year-old who was selling water on the sidewalk, and now there's the 'Lawnmower Lunatic' who called the police on 12-year-old entrepreneur, Reggie Fields of Cleveland, who was cutting grass and accidentally cut a piece of their lawn. Now, let me be fair by saying that there's been no footage confirming the color of the neighbors, but usually when there's no mention of color, the perpetrators are white. I'll take the heat if later we see that the Lawnmower Lunatic was actually a cranky old man of color with 10 cats. That said, things have turned out pretty well for Reggie...

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The Obamas & The Carters: True Love vs. Business Strategy?


By Devon Mac

As I type these words I'm already tired of talking about Jay Z and Beyoncé so please forgive this post. But I was sitting here in the cloud of their media hype and most recently an article about how their joint album, Everything is Love, did not debut at number 1, and a few quandaries began to surface for me.

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And the Winners of the 24 Shades of Business Adult Coloring Book Are...

 24 Shades of Business Coloring Book
We asked you to comment on articles on the site and you ladies showed up, blessing us with your insight, hilarity and wisdom! And to show our appreciation, 7 awesome women will receive a 24 Shades of Business Adult Coloring book, delivered right to your door! Color yourselves silly and share the love with your friends. They make perfect gifts and you'll be supporting a black-owned business and you know how we love that. So without further ado, the winners are...

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Why I Started Rocking Box Braids in the Boardroom


By Chantal Kai-Lewis

Last week, Malia Obama was spotted out and about in NYC sporting box braids. That "event" made it to a Harper's Bazaar headline.

The blog and media flurry surrounding Malia's departure from her straight hairstyles brought me back to a conversation I had several summers ago on a balmy late-July day in the bustling café of my local Wegmann's. That day, I had a lunch meeting - not unlike many others I've had in recent years.

It was with a newly minted college graduate seeking career advice. In walks Lindsay, an incredibly bright, poised and (I soon learned) ambitious young lady. We talked about the ups and downs of college, our similar upbringings and, of course, plans for the future.

Roughly an hour had passed when Lindsay took a glance at my wind-strewn wash-and-go curls and after a brief pause said:
"Okay, so…this is my last question for you: How do you deal with wearing your natural hair at work?"
Admittedly, and with a tinge of embarrassment, I came to the realization that I was not qualified to answer. I never wore my natural hair to work.

Mellody Hobson
By Adedamola Agboola

Mellody Hobson, one of the most respected and knowledgeable black business leaders, will move up to the role of vice chair at Starbucks when longtime chairman Howard Schultz steps down at the end of the month.

24 Shades of Business: A Coloring Book for the Black Entrepreneur's Soul


Book illustration by Shakira Rivers

By Michelby Coco-Whitehead

As a single 30-something with no children, I sometimes feel like I’m in my second childhood. I still watch cartoons and collect baby dolls that exude black girl magic with absolutely no shame. But coloring has never excited me as a kid, and it didn’t appeal to me in adulthood when my cousin mentioned her coloring book for women. I thought to myself: I ain’t THAT bored! But according to Psychology Today, there is power in coloring. Researchers say that coloring can be used to aid with therapy and as an intervention to relieve stress and anxiety. Taking this into consideration, I can now see why coloring books are the new wave. When I found the one created by Latoya Nicole, I was ecstatic.

North Carolina mover and shaker Latoya is a mental health professional, entrepreneur, and the brains behind 24 Shades of Business: An Adult Coloring Book, which features images of beautiful, boss women who are bloggers, doctors, makeup artists, teachers, yoga instructors, etc. It also contains mazes and motivational quotes. Recently, Latoya chatted with us about the inspiration behind her coloring book and why they're great therapy for black women, especially entrepreneurs!

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This Harlem Woman Loved Hats So Much She Bought a Hat Factory

Photo of Georgiette Morgan-Thomas by Hillary Swift for TheNewYorkTimes
By Winnie Gaturu

Georgiette Morgan-Thomas is a woman who wears many hats, literally. She is a pastor, an entrepreneur and a pretty good manager. Over the years, Georgiette has been able to seamlessly incorporate hats into her daily lifestyle, and has a hat for every occasion and wears them just about everywhere. Due to her "hat obsession," she currently owns more than 100 of them. That's not all. She also owns a hat factory called American Hats LLC.

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Everything You Need to Know About PR From Publicist Deidre Palode

Deidre Palode
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

A publicist’s job is quite fascinating, especially as it relates to the beauty industry. From your favorite hair care commercials and even the infamous Dove and Shea Moisture ads that made consumers of color say “Girl, bye!” you can bet your good wig that a publicist was involved somewhere in the process. Having a PR expert on your team is an invaluable investment, but before hiring someone, there are several things to consider. Atlanta-based PR pro Deidre Palode shared some insight on what it’s like to work in the industry, as well as what beauty professionals should consider before hiring someone to leverage media coverage for their brand.

Tattoo Artist & Entrepreneur Lauren is Naturally Glam!

 Lauren Findley
By Erickka Sy Savané

Jamaican living in South Florida, Lauren Findley has been natural for four years after doing the big chop in 2014. To say that she's been making the most of that natural glow would be an understatement. See why she's our naturally glam pick!

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7 Things To Know Before Starting Your Own Business


By Michelby Coco Whitehead

January is all about new beginnings and executing ideas. For many women, that means finally saying bye-bye to the 9 to 5 and starting their own business. The National Women’s Business Council reports that there are over 1,500,000 black-owned female businesses in the United States. While sisters have always been capable of doing it for themselves, every new business owner will discover entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. Here are seven things to consider before you fire your boss!

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Black Friday Fact: This Could Be Why Your Small Business Is Failing.

By Michelby Whitehead

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It takes expertise in your industry, patience, tough skin, and excellent time management skills to see the profits you desire. If you are putting these things into practice but still haven’t garnered desirable outcomes in your small business, I have a question for you. Do you support other women with small businesses?

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