In the spirit of #AmplifyBlackVoices, we feature black female entrepreneurs who are true examples of resilience.
Editor’s Note: We are re-publishing this post, which originally appeared on our site in 2019, in light of current news events.
First, the good news: Black women are starting up at higher rates than any other demographic group.
The 2012 Survey of Business Owners published by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that black women ran 1.5 million firms in the 5-year stretch it monitored. This accounted for 60 percent of all black-owned ventures and 29 percent of women-run firms in existence during that time. Additional research also revealed the reason: These entrepreneurs sought to forge professional pathways free of discrimination — to open doors not only for themselves, but others as well.
But systemic bigotry still harms them, making it difficult for them to grow their ventures. Indeed, black women (and men) have a harder time accessing economic, educational and health resources than their white counterparts, according to the National Urban League’s 2017 “State of Black America” report. Sexism and racism, unfortunately, still play a role in creating that gap — especially when it comes to accessing capital, which many business owners need to expand.
In the spirit of Black History Month, we’ve put together a list of black women entrepreneurs we know and love, whose businesses and nonprofits are showing signs of sustainability and growth — despite the statistics. Many of the women featured below have taken chances and picked themselves up after a fall, becoming true examples of resilience for others to follow.
These black women entrepreneurs inspire us. Learn more about them now.
Yve-Car Momperousse: Kreyol Essence
The founder of Kreyol Essence lifts up others by partnering with farmers and other workers in Haiti to source her products’ key ingredients. For her, the success and stability of the company is about much more than personal profit. “Social businesses have to be real businesses in order to have an impact,” she asserts.