Black Women Who Are Blazing a Trail

Despite the odds stacked against Black women, according to Harvard Business Review, about 17% of Black women are starting or running new businesses compared to just 10% of white women and 15% of white men, and that number continues growing. Here is a list of eight entrepreneurs blazing a trail for other Black women to start their businesses.

Madam C.J Walker

Madame C.J. Walker is best known as America’s first Black female self-made millionaire, and her inspiring story and the beauty niche she ventured into created an indelible legacy. Although she started her business in 1910, her legacy is one of the most prominent blueprints for Black women-owned companies even today.

Lisa Price 

Photo Credit: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for BlogHer

The beauty industry has always had significant assets within it, so when Price started Carol’s Daughter, she was able to build her multimillion-dollar business Carol’s Daughter out of her kitchen. Her business has grown and expanded over the years and inspires other Black women to take a step toward building their empires.

Yve-Car Momperousse 

When Momperousse started Kreyol Essence, it was on the heels of the earthquake that rocked Haiti. After some encouragement from her mother, she decided to take the bold step toward starting the brand. Before long, she started working with farmers and other workers in Haiti to source her products’ key ingredients. She has been able to inspire many people in her hometown of Haiti while also inspiring Black women to believe in themselves.

Amber Williams

Through her self-named branding consultancy, Williams has been able to help a lot of business owners attract more sales by connecting to potential customers through stories, not sales pitches. Her business strategy has inspired other people of color to solidify their brand voice. She also encourages Black women entrepreneurs, in particular, to authentically include their stories in their businesses’ narratives.

Shonda Rhimes

Photo Credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Although we always view business as buying and selling, Rhimes is an example of a businesswoman in the creative space. She is the first African-American woman to create and executive-produce a top 10 primetime television series and is arguably one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. Rhimes inspires people, Black women, in the creative space to pursue their dreams.

Tracy Reese

Reese’s venture into entrepreneurship shows that Black women can still bounce back after failure in business. Before she became a successful fashion designer, her first attempt at entrepreneurship was unsuccessful, so she regrouped and relaunched in 1996. She now owns a variety of fashion lines and continues to inspire Black women to try again after failure.

Beatrice Dixon

Photo Credit: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Beatrice Dixon is the founder of The Honey Pot Company, an all-natural, feminine care product line. Dixon has grown the business into a multimillion-dollar company sold online and at retail stores like Target, Urban Outfitters, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Walgreens, and Whole Foods.

KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson

KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson founded Mented Cosmetics because they were convinced that every woman needed to feel represented in the world of beauty, no matter her skin tone. The vegan, paraben-free cosmetic products are thoughtfully created with different skin tones in mind.