Black History Month - 9 Rising Black Entrepreneurs You Should Know
February 22, 2016
Did you know that the number of black-owned businesses increased at triple the rate of businesses overall from 2002 to 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners? As Black History Month, February is a great time to honor some up and coming black entrepreneurs. The number of companies owned by black women has risen more than 300% is the last ten years, according to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express Open. About half of all businesses owned by African-Americans are owned by women, compared to the 30% of businesses nationwide owned by women. All of these successful black entrepreneurs have one thing in common: they believed in themselves and they took the chance to start their own business, which are among the top ten characteristics of entrepreneurs. They may have gotten help from family, friends or even strangers, but they had an idea, they planned it out and they executed on that plan Keep an eye on these game changing black entrepreneurs. Hiscox Business Insurance salutes all of these entrepreneurs and recognizes the courage and persistence they all have had in order to achieve their dreams.
Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker and Company is 30 years old, and already a serial entrepreneur. He was head of business development at Foursquare, until he left in 2012 to start Walker and Company Brands. He just raised $6.9m in funding for Bevel, his line of men’s grooming products designed specifically for men of color.
Patrice C. Washington is CEO of Seek Wisdom, Find Wealth a boutique personal finance firm headquartered in Atlanta. As a nationally recognized personal finance columnist, television commentator, radio host, author, speaker and leading authority on personal finance, entrepreneurship and success for women and youth, Patrice has been making money fun since 2003. Check her out at Real Money Answers.
Natalia Allen founded Design Futurist, a product design firm that consults with clients like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Proctor & Gamble, and more. Allen started her firm with a vision to do things differently and now focuses on innovation, quality and sustainability in fashion.
Darnell Henderson is founder and CEO of H.I.Mistry Skin Care, Inc., a specialized skincare line for men. Henderson started out selling exclusively online, but his products are now sold by Target, Macy’s and other major retailers. His advice for new entrepreneurs is to get educated, and find someone who has already done it. Finding someone who has already been there to help you navigate your course will help you overcome a lot of challenges.
Benjamin Young, shot to fame this year when he became Black Enterprise's Techpreneur of the year for his company, Nexercise, The company's latest product, Sworkit is a fitness mobile app that provides personalized video workouts on any device. Since it's launch, the app has achieved more than 12 million downloads and has been ranked among the top 10 Health and Fitness app store brands.
Angela Benton is CEO of NewME Accelerator, an incubator for minority- and woman-owned tech startups. Benton has started a number of design and digital media businesses during her career, including Cued and BlackWeb 2.0. Her advice to those who want to start a business is to follow their passion, but don’t get caught up in planning every detail. Take the leap and execute.
Tamiko Kelly is a Hiscox customer who found the courage to leave her comfortable 9-to-5 corporate job to start her dream job, "Sleep Well. Wake Happy." a child sleep consulting business. Find out more about how she was bitten by the entrepreneur bug early and her biggest risk in our MyStartUpStory Series.
Teenager Entrepreneurs Proving that it’s never too early to start on the entrepreneurial path, these two teenagers are well on their way to success already.
Moziah Bridges is founder and president of Mo’s Bows Memphis, a manufacturer of colorful, handmade bow ties. He started the company at the age of nine, and now sells his ties on his website and in retail stores. Bridges counts President Barack Obama among his customers. After an appearance on Shark Tank, Mo is now mentored by fashion guru Daymond John.
Maya Penn is a 15-year-old designer, animator and philanthropist. She designs clothing and accessories made from organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and recycled vintage materials. She donates 10 to 20 percent of her profit to local and global charities. Her book, You Got This, offering advice to budding agents of change, comes out April 12.