- Business and Employment
Famous Black Female Entrepreneurs
They say behind every successful man there is a woman. But what if those successful women either had a man behind them or not any at all? It doesn't take a man to be a rocket scientist to realize that women are just as intellectually intelligent as men. For the women who strive for success, fame and fortune are around the corner. All of the women listed have created a business and have been quite accomplished Black women today leading the way for the next generation.
Drive, determination, education and the willingness to work diligently fashions them as trailblazers of our time. Women have came a long way. With change comes empowerment; black women are now able to achieve what there families in the past were not empowered to attain. Throughout there own individual struggles, all of the African American women overcame the obstacles and let nothing stand in their way.
Maggie Lena Walker
Founder of the St. Luke's Penny Savings Bank/Consolidated Bank and Trust, Maggie Lena Walker was the first African American woman to found a bank. In 1903 Maggie gathered $9,403 in deposits from the members of the Independent Order of St. Luke, benevolent society. Becoming the societies executive secretary. Once she became the secretary she had noticed that the members began to dwindle. Walker persevered and reinvigorated the institution to over 100,000 members. The bank was established because there wasn't a white bank that would accept deposits from black citizens. The bank became the Independent Order's financial arm.
By 1913 the bank had deposits of over $300,000. Initiating loans for Black businesses, new homeowners and college loans for students. In the next 17 years, the bank continued to flourish. When the great depression came, many black owned banks folded, but St. Luke's Penny Savings Bank survived. Merging with two smaller black owned banks, it was re-named Consolidated Bank & Trust.
Maggie was quoted as saying, " Let us put our money's together. Let us put our money out as usury for ourselves, and reap the benefit ourselves, Let us have a bank that will take our nickels and turn them into dollars."
With over $116 million in assets, Consolidated Bank & Trust still exists today, with the majority of its share holders still being black Americans.
Maggie Lena Walker also founded the St. Luke's Herald which she edited and a department store which subsequently failed, because white Americans boycotted it and its suppliers.
Sarah Breedlove Walker (Madam C.J. Walker)
Born to freed slaves in 1867, Sarah Breedlove Walker was the founder of Madam CJ Walker manufacturing company. She created a cosmetic and hair care line for Black Women.
Sarah Breedlove Walker transformed prejudice, illiteracy and poverty to become one of the most acclaimed businesswomen in America. She was the first woman from all races to become a self-made millionaire.
Combining her own unique formula with heated combs and brushes, she created a scalp conditioning and healing formula selling Madame Walker's Wonderful Hair Grower and found her own business in 1905. She would go door-door across the Country selling her own products, giving demonstrations and developing new products. She eventually expanded to the Caribbean as her company grew.
Sarah's corporation at one time employed over 3,000 employees which offered a wide range of cosmetics, licensed Walker agents and Walker Schools. Sarah Walker provided meaningful employment and personal enlightment to thousands of Black women.
Sarah Breedlove Walker was quoted as saying, " I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into manufacturing hair goods and preparations.... I have built my own factory on my own ground."
Catherine L. Hughes
Born in 1947 Catherine L. Hughes is the Founder and Chairman of Radio One Inc. A single mother of a son struggled in the beginning, cooking on a hotplate and taking baths in the bathroom at the office. It was rumored that Catherine was turned down by 32 banks before securing a loan for her first radio station in the 1980s. With a blend of political commentary, talk and activism she transcended into a $287 million dollar company with 65 radio station throughout the Country. She was the first Black woman to lead a public traded company.
Catherine L. Hughes has excelled and work at many capacities within her company. Including President, General Manager, Talk show host and General sales manager.
One of the youngest most Famous Black Female Entrepreneurs is Tyra Banks. President and Chief Creative Officer, Tyra embarked on a new business adventure creating Bankable Productions in 2003. Establishing her first film and television production company,Tyra Banks is one of the youngest Black female entrepreneurs in our Country.
Her company Bankable Productions created the prime-time hit America's next Top Model and the talk show hit The Tyra Banks Show. Since its debut the Tyra Banks show has been seen by over 5 million viewers, between the ages of 18-34. She is currently a judge for Mexico's next top model and Vietnam's next top model.
Tyra Banks was also the first top supermodel to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, Victoria's Secret Catalogue and GQ magazine.
President and CEO of V&J Foods Inc., Valerie Daniels-Carter created her company with her brother John. With over 100 restaurants in 4 states, V&J is the largest African-American owned franchise in the United States.
Determined to accomplish success Valerie and her brother John opened their first Burger King restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1984. Valerie Daniels-Carter currently serves as President of the Minority Franchise Association of Burger King Corporation. She is also an executive board member of the National Franchisee Association; Diversity Action Council of Burger King Corporation; Board of Directors for the Auto Club Group & AAA Association; Board of Directors of Holy Redeemer Church of God In Christ; board member of US Bank and Christian Stewardship Foundation; and CFO for Auxiliaries in Ministries of the Church of God In Christ. Amongst other accomplishments and achievements since 1984, Valerie Daniels-Carter is a role model of millions of young women.
Born January 29, 1954 Oprah Winfrey has shared her sorrows, joys and pain, with millions of viewers since she first aired her talk show in the early 1980s. Now the owner of the television network OWN which launched on January 1, 2011. Oprah is the only black female billionaire and the richest African American in the United States.
Oprah Winfrey is also co-founder of Oxygen Media which aired on February 2, 2000. Now airing in over 48 million homes across the Country, she has earned the most prestigious awards in broadcasting, including the IRTS Gold Medal Award (1996) and the George Foster Peabody Individual Achievement Award in (1996). The Oprah Winfrey show and Oprah have received 39 Daytime Time Emmy Awards to date.
Oprah has been recognized for her extraordinary contributions and achievements, receiving the highest industry acknowledgments and prestigious awards in history.The most recent awards were The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences-Crystal Pillar Award. and Time Magazines 100 Most Influential People in the World. She is the only person in the history of Tine magazine to be recognized 8 consecutive times from 2004-2011.
Harpo productions also owns and produces the Rachel Ray Show and Dr. Phil. Oprah and Hearst Magazines also produced O magazine in 2000. It is one of the most successful magazines in the history of publication, with an audience of over two million readers each month.
From yesterday to today all of these women were confronted with some type of obstacle. But instead of allowing barriers to stand in their way of success, they overcame with perseverance and achievement. They are the pioneers who have paved the paths for millions of young black women to accomplish and become all they can be. With all of those strong role models, how can you fail?
Martin Luther King Jr's speech priceless! What a premonition for the Black women of today, who are shakers and movers in our Country.
Paragraph From I Had A Dream Speech
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.