Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, especially as a minority, given all of the competition. In fact, it takes diligence, perseverance, follow through, hard work, and a lot of it to be successful in any business. The thought of pursuing your dream is nice, but putting action behind that thought is just the preliminary phase, and where the hard work begins. And, the going doesn’t actually get tough until you start building your business with your blood, sweat, and your tears. As a fellow entrepreneur, I know about all of this a little too well, but in the end, it’s worth it, because dreaming isn’t just something that we do at night, dreams are meant to be lived.
Black-owned businesses have progressed rapidly over the years, and according to the most updated figures in 2007, provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 1.9 million companies owned by black entrepreneurs, so imagine how many more there are to date. Supporting these businesses not only helps the entrepreneurs but also puts money back into the black community. BOBs are depending on the support of their community in order to survive and to thrive. With so many competitors in each industry, things can take a turn for the worst quickly if a business is not careful, therefore, we must be there for each other, diligently supporting. There is power in the black dollar, so why not put that power into assisting a community that understands your heritage and history, and values your life in general. While doing all of this, you should expect a quality product or service in return, and it becomes a win-win for both parties involved.
I’ve made it easy by compiling this list. Included are 11 black entrepreneurs that I highly recommend supporting, along with detailed information on each of their businesses. The majority are online businesses and the others that aren’t, be sure to recommend to both friends and family located in the respective areas.
LeShawnda Fitzgerald is director of Ready For Spanish of Nashville, Tennessee. Fitzgerald created Ready For Spanish to meet parent demands for quality language instruction in her city. She has since expanded her program online with a training program for Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers and schools that want to teach Spanish to their students as well as an online program for adult learners who want to speak Spanish quickly and easily. Her business prepares children and adults to live and work in a global society. hwww.readyforspanish.com
Marvette Cofield, Realtor of Berkshire Hathaway Home Service, Select Realty is located in Dumfries, Virginia. As a Realtor, Cofield’s desire is that each and every client has a hassle-free real estate experience, as she partners with and helps them to attain their goal. Through communication, education, and information, she assists in locating the perfect home for her client’s lifestyle. Cofield’s clients are in good hands when working with her! www.homeofyourdreamz.com
Latorie Walker, owner & CEO of Aspire Early Learning Academy I & II located in West Columbia and Lexington, South Carolina, offers a boutique-style learning environment where children are taught with individualized developmental plans and a curriculum that adequately prepares each child for kindergarten. AspireELA, strives for excellence while preparing their students for a bright future in a safe, loving, and fun environment that focuses on academics. The teaching team at AspireELA are patient with all of their students and are well experienced in the field of Early Childhood. They are committed to ensuring that every child receives the best opportunity to produce the foundation for a fruitful, educational, and life-long experience. www.aspireearlylearningacademy.com
Brittney S. Carter, CEO of B. Carter Solutions L.L.C. located in the Washington, DC metro area was launched in April 2015. Carter decided that she wanted to start a company that offers “solutions” to a consumer’s problem under one umbrella. As a one-stop shop for public relations, social media management, and professional development needs, she relishes the opportunity to provide consumers with operational convenience. B. Carter Solutions is committed to elevate imaginative solutions by focusing on the mission behind the vision. They desire to measure the success for their clients through awareness, innovation, and out-of-the-box strategies sticking to their mantra, “Where Vision Meets Strategy.” www.bcartersolutions.com
Shanta Johnson, the owner of Designed by Shanta L.L.C. is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Johnson offers web design and development services to entrepreneurs and businesses of all sorts. She is passionate about her craft and enjoys making websites to fit her clients’ needs. When choosing to work with Johnson, you are guaranteed not only a website that serves a purpose but a positive experience that exceeds your expectations. She is professional, experienced, and committed to going above and beyond for her clients. www.designedbyshanta.com.
Dyron J. Stephens, DrPH, CPH is president and senior partner, along with Richard Stephens II, MBA, who is the vice president and managing partner of Pierian Spring Innovations, L.L.C., located in Decatur, G.A. Pierian Spring Innovations, L.L.C. is the premier management consultancy and health innovations firm, which is founded in and on the belief that improving the well-being of others is the greatest enterprise any entity could embark upon. As a result of this, every action and initiative taken by the firm reflects this dedication to bettering the health-related quality of life of all individuals. The firm operates globally with a professional network of offices throughout the United States and Nigeria.
Keli N. Burke of East Lansdowne, P.A. is the independent business owner of Total Life Changes, which has been around for the past 16 years. The results-driven company has products that include all natural ingredients, which allows gradual weight loss, detoxification, and improved digestive system, and that is just a few of many benefits. Keli is committed to the health and wellness of her clients, and she goes above and beyond to ensure that her clients receive one-on-one care and attention based on their personal needs and goals.
Shade Adu of Savvy Solutions Consulting, L.L.C., located in Union, N.J., believes that entrepreneurs benefit from leveraging social media and live-streaming. Savvy Solutions aims to create digital branding and online marketing solutions for women entrepreneurs who need support. Savvy Solutions is here to provide strategic solutions for coaches and creatives online. Social media isn’t going anywhere, and small businesses that learn how to strategically leverage these platforms will have a competitive advantage. Entrepreneurs should support Savvy Solutions because our goal is to serve women entrepreneurs who want to turn their idea into a profitable online brand.
Ahesha Catalano and her team at Profitable Retreats in Burbank, C.A., assist individuals, couples, speakers, entrepreneurs, health and fitness professionals, organizations, and corporations plan and execute profitable retreats. They give clients a step-by-step guide to ensure the retreat is a wonderful experience for all, and of course, profitable. Anyone who has been thinking of planning a retreat or traveling with a group of friends or family owes it to themselves to see just how profitable their trip can be.
Chantilly Oliver-Cross is CEO of Elegant Cuisines, located in Fredericksburg, V.A. Elegant Cuisines, L.L.C. is a personal chef and catering company with over fourteen years of phenomenal service, and has been in business for two years. Their services are available for all business, private, and social events. When choosing Elegant Cuisines for a special event, it’s the marriage of southern hospitality with a touch of elegance. Elegant Cuisines has been voted a locally renowned, best personal chef and catering company in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area.
Melodie Narain, CEO and founder of Sole Savers, located in Maryland, launched her business in September 2015. Melodie realized that she could no longer wear heels for more than a few hours. After discussing this for a few months with her mother, Teresa Thomas, who could no longer wear heels due to numerous knee surgeries, she realized that there had to be others who faced these same challenges when it came to fashion and comfort. After months of studying trends, Melodie developed a product that she believed would be a perfect remedy which would be a stylish, affordable, and convenient alternative to their fabulous heels.
Given all of this “black magic,” which black-owned businesses will you commit to supporting today?