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The Up and Coming Young Black Entrepreneurs Making Changes

The black community has a lot of people to thank when it comes to entrepreneurship. From innovating new businesses to creating jobs, the black community has been instrumental in shaping our current economic landscape. As the black community becomes more prosperous, so does its role as entrepreneurs.

These up-and-coming young entrepreneurs prove that black businesses can significantly impact their communities and the world. Here are five great examples of young black entrepreneurs making changes.

Black Entrepreneurship

The most well-known black entrepreneurs are often found at the top of the economic ladder. Oprah Winfrey, for example, is a black female entrepreneur who has built an empire with over two billion dollars in annual revenue. There are also some famous black entrepreneurs that came from humble beginnings and turned their businesses into huge success stories. For instance, Oprah’s former boss and mentor, Bob Greene, became a millionaire when he was only 22 years old. These top wealthy black entrepreneurs have done a lot for the African American community and society as a whole. They have proved that anything is possible no matter where you come from; if you work hard enough.

However, these wealthy businessmen and women aren’t the only ones impacting our society as small-scale business owners also have made vast contributions to our economy, especially in communities of color. In fact, one study found that more than half of all businesses in America are owned by people of color, with almost 90% being owned by blacks or Hispanics. The statistics show us that there is immense power in small businesses, leading to improvements in local neighborhoods and greater wealth for those communities.


Kid-preneurs are an important part of the black community and our society. With more than 15 million kids either owning a business or wanting to own one, it’s clear that entrepreneurship is in their blood. Kids are also more likely to get entrepreneurial support from their parents and communities.

Many of them have been inspired by their parents, who were entrepreneurs themselves. They’re passing on the entrepreneurial spirit they received from their parents to future generations, with some even opening businesses with their younger siblings!

One kid-preneur, Shayna, is a 12-year-old who created her nonprofit organization called “The Shayna Foundation.” She donates all proceeds from sales of her apparel line to help feed children in Africa.

Gabby – Gabby’s Bows

Gabby is a young entrepreneur who has created her own company, Gabby’s Bows. She started her business at the age of 12 and now employs 20 people to make headbands.

Mikaila Ulmer – BeeSweet Lemonade

Mikaila Ulmer created her own lemonade stand when she was just seven years old. She wanted to help raise money for bees because she loves them and is worried about the declining bee population.

BeeSweet Lemonade has expanded from a one-time lemonade stand to a full-blown business raising $1 million for endangered bees in just two years! Mikaila and her brother Justin prove that all you need is a good idea and some determination to make it in business!

Ethan & Collier – E & C Popcorn Company

Ethan Stevens and Collier Stevens are the founders of E & C Popcorn Company, a business that specializes in gourmet popcorn. When Ethan and Collier started their company, they knew they wanted to make a difference. They made it their mission to create a brand that would help provide relief for victims of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and abuse. They donate 10% of the profits from every sale to one or more organizations partnered with the United Nations.

E&C Popcorn takes pride in giving back to those in need. While their product is delicious, Ethan and Collier know that popcorn can’t solve every problem in the world. Instead, they make sure to give back with what they’re good at business.

Asia Newson – Super Business Girl

As a child, Asia Newson would spend hours watching her mother work as an event coordinator, and through this, she learned the importance of building relationships with people. This understanding has led to a successful business venture for Newson in the form of her own boutique, “Super Business Girl”.

Newson began by hosting networking events for professional women who wanted to connect with one another. She eventually expanded her business in 2011 when she opened up her own store. It is now located in Los Angeles and carries clothing, shoes, accessories, and other fashion goodies from brands like Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch, and more.

The Super Business Girl Store has also become a destination for young girls who are looking to explore their career options through workshops and mentorship opportunities.

Asia Newson is definitely someone that all young black female entrepreneurs should look up to!

Cory’s – Mr. Cory’s Cookies

Cory’s has a mission to “help black people be their best selves.” They have been in the cookie business for over thirty years and are now the fastest-growing bakery company in the country. They have created a movement that is inspiring black entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

Mr. Cory himself started with nothing but turned his passion into a great success story. He was able to turn this company around, and now he wants to help other people who may not know how to get started on entrepreneurship. Cory believes that entrepreneurship is not just about making money but also about enriching lives and breaking down barriers that happen within communities of color.

Funded Startups

In 2017, there were 11.3 million black-owned businesses in the U.S., generating  $153 billion in sales. This is a significant number of businesses, and unsurprisingly, this has also translated to an increase in the number of startups that are owned by people of color.

According to the 2018 State of Black Entrepreneurship report, there are currently 11 black-owned startups that have raised over $1 million in venture capital funding since 2012. This venture capital funding has gone to help fund these companies and their innovative inventions and ideas.

One company getting lots of attention is Keep It 100 Girl, a female hair care line based in Atlanta that uses natural ingredients in its products without any harmful chemicals. Another company getting some recognition recently is Thread & Twine, which is an organic skincare line for men who experience irritation from shaving products for sensitive skin.

These two examples alone show how black entrepreneurs have taken innovative ideas and turned them into successful companies with impressive success stories.

Asmau Ahmed, Founder of Plum Perfect

Asmau Ahmed is the founder of Plum Perfect, a company that strives to make clothes that are different and more fashionable. From hand-dyed jeans to brightly colored blazers, Ahmed hopes her clothes will help people reinvent themselves and their wardrobes.

“If you have an opportunity to change your life, why wouldn’t you?” She says.

Adelanwa Adesanya, President & Co-Founder of Moving Analytics

Adelanwa Adesanya is the President and Co-Founder of Moving Analytics. She’s been in the United Nations, working with refugees and migrants. And now, she travels the world to meet people who are trying to relocate. She aims to help them find jobs and build new lives in their new countries – like a digital matchmaker.

Amari Ruff, Founder & CEO of Sudu

Ruff is the founder and CEO of SuduLife. SuduLife is a company that specializes in lifestyle organizing, with a focus on black culture. Ruff believes that there needs to be a stronger dialogue around black culture and that we need to “create better conversations around what it means to be black.” She has been featured in Forbes and made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016.

Angela Benton, Founder & CEO of Streamlytics

Streamlytics is a data analytics company that provides data on streaming services.

Streamlytics founder and CEO Angela Benton said, “Streaming has been a major disruptor to traditional television viewing habits. We saw this disruption as an opportunity to create the first-ever analytical tool for live streaming.”

Benton’s goal with Streamlytics is to clarify the shifting entertainment landscape by providing viewers with detailed insights about streaming services. Benton’s business is based in Oakland, California, but she plans to expand internationally soon.

Ashifi Gogo, Founder & CEO of Sproxil

Ashifi Gogo started Sproxil in 2005 with a group of friends who had an idea for a product that could help people find missing items. The company developed the world’s first anti-counterfeiting label for products. They use the label on everything from prescription drugs to perfumes – which helps deter counterfeiting, reduces product losses, and saves consumers millions of dollars each year.

Kimberly Bryant, Founder & Executive Director of Black Girls CODE

Born in Chicago, Bryant’s family moved to the suburbs when she was eight years old. “My mom had a 3-hour commute, and I would take the bus,” she says. Growing up in a mostly white community, Bryant found herself feeling like an outsider. “I saw my parents struggling with this idea of being black and successful,” she says.

Bryant founded Black Girls CODE to help young girls understand that computers can be used for something other than just games or Facebook. She started by teaching a summer camp at Stanford University where she was a computer science undergraduate student. Her goal is to develop a pipeline of female coders, so that one day, tech companies have more women on their teams, and black girls are not only seeing themselves in pop culture as engineers but also in their communities as innovators and leaders.

Bryant’s desire for change has led her to create a company that changes the world one girl at a time.

Thought Leaders

The founders of Thought Leaders are two friends, Kevin and Marcus. They’re a dynamic duo that doesn’t just have their fingers in one pot – they have their hands in several.

Kevin and Marcus have spent the last few years trying to figure out how to make it as African Americans in business. And in that time, they’ve come up with what they believe is the answer – Thought Leaders. Thought Leaders is a website that features discussions from African American leaders on topics like race, culture, politics, entrepreneurship, and more. It aims to foster dialogue within the black community while also educating others about it.

Marcus and Kevin are innovators who are always looking for new ways to expand Thought Leaders into different mediums. They’re creators of content who want to explore all aspects of society through innovative projects such as films and TV series. They’ve already had great success with “The Big Interview,” which was released earlier this year on HBO Go. This first-of-its-kind series featured Andrew Young talking about his life experiences with MLK Jr., John Lewis, and more influential figures during America’s civil rights movement. The show is an insightful look at what it was like for black people living through segregation and racism in the South during the 1960s.

Vimbayi Kajese, Founder of #Adtags

Vimbayi Kajese is the founder of Adtags, which is a fashion and lifestyle blog that features all things African.

Kajese, who is 21 years old, started her blog in 2012 while studying business at Hofstra University. Her goal was to create a space where modern African culture could be shared with the world. The site now has over 55k followers on social media and 100k monthly visitors.

Joakim Noah and Angela Yee, #CIROCStandsWithYou

#CIROCStandsWithYou is a social media campaign started by Joakim Noah and Angela Yee, both Ciroc brand ambassadors. The campaign’s goal was to raise awareness for the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri- specifically, the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Dara Aaron Kennedy, TV/Radio Host, Business Entrepreneur

Dara Aaron Kennedy is a TV and radio personality who’s also a business entrepreneur. Dara got her start in business early on, opening her first company at the age of nine. According to her mom, she was a natural from the get-go who said she would always have an interest in being a businesswoman. Dara got her start in business early on, opening her first company at the age of nine. By the time she graduated high school, she had already started four different companies.

Dara’s latest venture is as an author. Her book “Your Roadmap Starts Here: The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business” is geared towards aspiring entrepreneurs in their teens and twenties. Dara wants to provide young people with the tools they need for success so that they can reach their full potential and become successful entrepreneurs as well.

Young Paris, Musician, Fashion Icon & NFT Entrepreneur

Young Paris is an up-and-coming entrepreneur who has made waves in the fashion industry. Born and raised in Chicago, the young entrepreneur creates unisex streetwear with a socially conscious message. The company is committed to giving back to the communities through its  1% for Change program.

Young Paris has also been committed to building bridges in the music industry, which led him to form NFT Company, his own record label. He’s helped launch the careers of some of today’s most respected artists, including Tink and Ravyn Lenae.

Legacy of Black Entrepreneurship

The black community has a lot of people to thank when it comes to entrepreneurship. From innovating new businesses to creating jobs, the black community has been instrumental in shaping our current economic landscape. As the black community becomes more prosperous, so does its role as entrepreneurs.

These up-and-coming young entrepreneurs prove that black businesses can have a significant impact on their communities and the world. Here are five great examples of the young black entrepreneurs that are making changes.


As we celebrate Black History and the many contributions of African Americans to the American economy, it is crucial to recognize that entrepreneurship and business ownership is a pillar of Black history. In the spirit of Black History Month, we honor these incredible young entrepreneurs who are making a positive difference in their communities.

With the world as their playing field and the sky as the limit, these young entrepreneurs are making a huge difference in their communities and in the world.

Young Black Entrepreneurs are a powerful force that is changing the game. The numbers don’t lie; of the 2.1 million black-owned businesses in America, 1.9 million are owned by African Americans under the age of 40.

These young entrepreneurs are inspirational change-makers, challenging the status quo and showing us that business is not just a job—it’s a lifestyle.

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