Historically, African American entrepreneurs have faced many challenges in the U.S, including lack of access to capital and fundamental rights. In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement continues to showcase us that we have much to learn about economic and social injustice.
Despite those unjust facts, there are now more than 2 million black-owned businesses in the United States–according to fundera.com. Today, we’re showcasing 5 influential African American Entrepreneurs who are making waves for minorities everywhere.
5 African American Entrepreneurs Climbing to the Top
Check out these entrepreneurs are paving the way for the future and putting a stamp on history!
Aisha Bowe – STEMBoard
Aisha Bowe is a former NASA aerospace engineer, serial entrepreneur, and co-founder of STEMBoard. Founded in 2013, STEMBoard is a minority-owned technology solutions company committed to closing the achievement gap by empowering minority youth in STEM.
This Michigan native graduated from the University of Michigan with an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s degree in space systems engineering. Aisha has received numerous awards including the National Society of Black Engineers award for Outstanding Technical Contribution, US Women’s Chamber of Commerce “Emerging Star” Award, NASA Engineering Honor Award, and the Silicon Valley’s National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Women in Technology of the Year Award.
Max Maxwell – Venture Atlas
Max Maxwell is a first-generation Jamaican-American who found most of his success as a real estate investor, developer, and influencer. Before he became the rising real estate mogul and host of the “ Wholesaling Houses Elite” podcast, he was a bail bondsman and traveled the world for marketing and events.
In addition to his real estate ventures, Max is also a part-owner of a talent agency and software company. When Max isn’t helping others achieve financial freedom through real estate, you can find him taking flight as a private pilot and aircraft owner.
Ade Hassan, MBE – Nubian Skin
Ade Hassan first started in finance after she earned a degree from Duke University and a master’s degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. After years in the corporate world, she took time off to live in Paris and learn French and sewing in search of her creative place in the world.
Frustrated by the lack of color appropriate undergarments that catered to women of color, Ade decided it was time to redefine nude and Nubian Skin was born. Almost instantly, Nubian Skin was getting noticed by the likes of ASOS, Nordstrom, and Beyonce–whom she collaborated with on her global Formation tour. In 2017, Ade was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her innovative and inclusive contribution to fashion.
Dana Jackson – Beneath Your Mask
In 2011, Dana Jackson thought she was living her dream life working in Atlanta as an entertainment manager for some of the biggest celebrities in the music industry. Until just after her 30th birthday when she was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). As her health declined, as did her personal and professional life. Refusing to give up on life, Dana took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles to seek life-saving medical attention.
After a year of healing and soul searching, Dana founded Beneath Your Mask as an expression of self-acceptance. She wanted to repair her damaged skin from the effect of Lupus and chemotherapy without the harsh chemicals that weaken the immune system. In 2012, Beneath Your Mask’s first product Heal Whipped Skin Soufflé was born offering high-quality, non-toxic all-natural, organic and vegan products for everyone to enjoy.
Diishan Imira – Mayvenn
Diishan Imira is the CEO and Founder of Mayven–the largest black-owned venture-backed tech company in the hair and beauty industry. The idea of Mayvenn stemmed from Imira wanting to help his hairstylist sister make a commission on the hair extensions she used on clients. With his master’s degree in International studies, background in supply chain management, and foreign direct investment he knew he could close the gap between the African American hair product market and technology.
Traditionally, clients would buy their hair products at brick and mortar stores and bring them to their hairstylist for installation. Using Mayvenn, hair stylists can create an online store, offer direct sales to their clients with high-quality products at affordable prices–without needing to hold inventory. It’s also a marketplace for clients to find hair stylists in their area.
Mayvenn’s success spans nationwide with over 50,000 stylists, hundreds of thousands of customers, and millions invested back into salons in black neighborhoods.
Imira’s mission is clear: put ownership and entrepreneurship back into the hands of African American hair stylists.
African American Financial Freedom with dfree®
The importance of African American entrepreneurship and financial literacy is paramount in a progressive world. Studies have shown that businesses owned by black entrepreneurs typically hire in their communities and empower their community’s youth to understand the importance of business ownership, finances, and creativity.
In partnership with MoneyLion, dfree® offers virtual financial literacy providing practical strategies for minorities’ financial wellness including debt and credit management, banking, saving, and investing. Head over to dfree® today and find out more about how you can reach financial freedom.