GFA Opinion

Black Women And Entrepreneurship

One might conclude from this topic that we may want to devise dozens of concepts to encourage Black women to venture into entrepreneurship or list all the obstacles that a Black woman experiences in the business world. 

Although such roadblocks exist and have not been completely eradicated, this is not that kind of article. Black women have been killing it as CEOs and businesswomen, and this is a brief expose of their activities, locations, what they do, and who they are. 

In today’s world, opportunity has become less unequal, and the scales have edged. Even if not perfectly, we have come a long way since women were granted the right to vote under the 19th amendment in 1920. Black women have blossomed and are competing at every level, in every location, in every market, and they are doing a fantastic job at being businesswomen. 

“The face of female entrepreneurship overall is becoming a lot less white. Black women represent 42% of new women-owned businesses—three times their share of the female population—and 36% of all Black-owned employer businesses.” 

Ruth Umoh, FORBES

Black Women Advancing Into Entrepreneurship 

With the election of the first Black female vice president and the widespread call for change embodied in the Movement for Black Lives, Black women are poised to play a more visible and significant role in the political and economic future of the United States and the world. Never has there been such an opportunity for Black women to advance their voices and careers, as well as achieve social and economic equality. One way to realize this dream is through the benefits provided by entrepreneurship. 

However, this dream will not be complete without targeted efforts that enable Black women entrepreneurs to grow and sustain their businesses. This will require conscious efforts by the government and private sector to uncover and address gaps and biases in entrepreneurial ecosystems in a way that provides inclusivity and support for the diversity of entrepreneurs that bring economic and social value to society. 

In the United States, an astounding 17% of Black women are in the process of starting or running new businesses. That’s compared to just 10% of white women and 15% of white men. These numbers speak for themselves. Black female-owned businesses are the fastest growing economic force in the U.S. According to the US Census Bureau, the number of Black women-owned businesses increased by 67 percent between 2007 and 2012, outpacing the 27 percent growth rate for female-owned businesses.  

As shown in the 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, the number of Black women-owned businesses increased by a record high 605 percent between 1997 and 2017, outpacing every other demographic group. According to additional research, 17 percent of all Black women own or operate their own businesses. 

The rapid growth is particularly impressive and heavy considering the challenges that Black women face as entrepreneurs, such as a lack of start-up capital, resources, and loans, as well as racial and gender discrimination within the largely white, male-dominated sectors of finance and technology. 

Some issues may take longer to resolve, but Black women continue to lead the start-up charge. 

Let us look at some female African entrepreneurs and 10 Black women who are setting records and breaking boundaries in their business careers. 

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Six Outstanding Female Entrepreneurs In Africa

1. Mosunmola Abudu (Mo Abudu) – Nigeria 

MO ABUDU

Mosunmola Abudu is a media professional who worked for several reputable companies before launching the first global Pan-African television network, EbonyLife TV, in July 2013. 

Mo is passionate about Afro-sensitive issues that influence the living conditions of African middle-class communities. Her goal is to help Africans accept themselves and their diverse culture. She believes that no one can tell an African story better than the people who live it. As a result, she has provided them with a platform dubbed “Giving Africa a Voice.” 

Her secret to success is her famous mantra, “if you can think it, you can do it.” 

2. Tabitha Karanja – Kenya 

TABITHA KARANJA

Tabitha Karanja is the founder of Keroche Breweries, which first started operating in 1997. Her resilience and determination, on the other hand, have empowered her to keep growing. 

The Kenyan market has embraced her beer brand, Summit, which is sold by many distributors, an issue she has struggled with for many years because, for more than 90 years, an international company, East African Breweries Limited (EABL), had already dominated this territory and monopolized the market. 

Tabitha plans to expand to neighbouring countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania. 

3. Divine Ndhlukuka – Zimbabwe 

DIVINE NDHLUKUKA

Divine Ndhlukuka is the founder of Securico, a Zimbabwe-certified security company. She began her journey into the world of security with four employees working at her cottage, but today she is a highly respected entrepreneur. 

Securico has excellent electronic features and a large team of over 3,500 employees, including some women. Divine intends to expand into Mozambique, Zambia, and other African countries. 

A global women’s empowerment movement selected her as an influential female leader who has empowered a billion women by 2020. 

4. Folorunsho Alakija – Nigeria 

FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA

Folorunsho Alakija is a self-made Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist. Her career began in 1974 as a secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, progressed to banking, fashion, and now the oil industry. 

Folorunsho’s prowess in the world of fashion and has been using fashion and style to promote Nigeria. She serves as the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) trustee.  

Continuing to follow her successful fashion career, Folorunsho applied for an oil license. She owns Famfa Oil Limited, which has provided her with wealth as well as real estate investments. 

She is a philanthropist who helps widows and orphans through the Rose of Sharon Foundation. 

5. Isabel do Santos – Angola 

ISABEL DO SANTOS

Isabel do Santos is the daughter of Angola’s President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and one of the wealthiest women in Africa. Her entrepreneurial journey began when she used her savings to open an expensive nightclub called Miami Beach Club in Luanda, as well as a trucking company to deliver supplies to her club and other customers. 

Isabel ventured into the diamonds, oil, banking, and communication industry. For instance, she is the chairwoman of Angola’s largest mobile network company, Unitel SA, a shareholder in Portuguese energy firms and banks like Energies de Portugal and Banco Portugues de Investimento, and others. 

6. Saran Kaba Jones – Liberia 

SARAN KABA JONES

Saran Kaba Jones is passionate about improving the living conditions of the local communities ravaged by war in the Sub-Saharan region. Through her U.S.-based non-profit organization, Face Africa, Saran has a project to supply clean water to remote communities in Liberia.  

The organisation aims to construct over 200 wells in local districts, thus improving the community’s health and well-being. The civil war in Liberia left most places dilapidated and wrecked, but Saran is passionate about revamping them.  

Many others include Julian Adyeri Omalla (Uganda), Salwa Akhannouch (Morocco), Sibongile Sambo (South Africa), Hajia Bola Shagaya (Nigeria) etc.  

CONCLUSION 

When small businesses flourish, so do their communities, and Black business owners often unintentionally serve as catalysts in the communities, sparking growth and development contributing their quota to the success of their community. 

There are tons and tons of such women and businesses. Naturally, not every single one could be earmarked in this article, but every one of them deserves their flowers. 

Silas Ugochi

Silas Ugochi is a Staff Writer and Content Creator at GetFundedAfrica. Ugochi is an educated content writer who relishes using her skills to help GetFundedAfrica's Media Team achieve the goal of sharing the success stories of African entrepreneurs. When she isn't writing articles, she can be found listening to music, reading, or DJing.

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