Today, let's take a look at some of the most successful black entrepreneurs and be inspired by their drive, contributions, and accomplishments.
There are many African-American influential business founders today. And that is great news. Throughout history, black businessmen have faced various challenges in America. They have experienced a lack of access to capital which gives life to new ideas. Yes, this kind of problem is still there. However, black entrepreneurs continue to fight and start new businesses despite the odds. No wonder why these amazing people of color have built empires across industries and they are now inspiring millions. Today, let's take a look at some of the most successful black entrepreneurs and be inspired by their drive, contributions, and accomplishments.
The ever-fascinating Daymond John is a multi-millionaire marketing mogul and an ABC Shark Tank investor who launched his clothing line, Fubu, in 1989. If you have been purchasing Fubu items, then you should be proud for supporting a black-owned business. Daymond had to close his business three times, though, as he found out the ropes of the business. To inspire those who are still starting or planning to start their business, did you know that Daymond sold customized pencils to his friends in his first-grade class? Then in his teens, he came up with the idea to open an apparel company.
Also known as Puff Daddy or P. Diddy, Sean "Diddy" Combs is known for his Grammy-award-winning album No Way Out. But he became more famous when he inspired many people by entering the business world. In 1993, he launched his own record label, Bad Boy Entertainment after working his way up to an executive role at Uptown Records. He signed major acts like Notorious B.I.G. In 1998, he founded the apparel line, Sean John. And Diddy won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2014. Wait, there's more. In 2014, he launched Revolt, a cable music network. Diddy also owned restaurants. Did you know that Forbes labeled Diddy as the richest person in hip-hop in 2017, with an estimated net worth of $820 million? Just wow.
In 2008, Andre Young, also known as Dr. Dre, partnered with Jimmy Iovine in 2008 to release Beats by Dre headphones. The brand then got collaborations and endorsement deals with many artists, designers, and even athletes. They then expanded the product line to include speakers, earbuds, and music streaming services. Later in 2014, it was acquired by Apple for $3 billion. The brand is now known as Beats Electronics, and Beats Music morphed into Apple Music. This all happened before Dr. Dre started his musical career. He became a member of N.W.A. and performed solo too. He also co-created Death Row Records, which put out albums with Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle and 2Pac's All Eyez On Me. Then, he founded Aftermath and partnered with Iovine on Interscope Records, which signed Eminem.
Of course, we cannot exclude the ever-amazing Oprah Winfrey on the list. Oprah Winfrey was popularly fired early in her career from a television news anchor job at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV. She was labeled as “unfit for television news” by her boss. But that did not stop our queen from reaching her dreams. She persevered and proved that label wrong. She went on to host and produce her own talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and become the chairman and CEO of Harpo, Inc. She later launched a magazine, O, and TV network, OWN. Winfrey is not only a talk-show host, she is also a philanthropist, actor, brand ambassador for Weight Watchers (where she owns a ten percent stake in the weight loss company), and 60 Minutes contributor. Oprah Winfrey's net worth is $2.8 billion, according to Forbes.
This strong and powerful woman of color is the founder and CEO of Act 1 Group, an employment agency, and consultancy. According to The Los Angeles Times, in 1976, Janice Bryant Howroyd moved to Los Angeles from her hometown of Tarboro, N.C., with only $900 to her name. After two years, she founded Act 1 despite not even owning a fax machine. Janice grew the company through word of mouth and by including new types of servi
ces based on client needs.
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