By Chris Olsen
Black female founders are launching and growing small businesses at an unprecedented rate. In 2019, there were 2.7 million black women-owned businesses in the United States. And while that number continues to rise, the money those businesses make is disproportionately less. Last year, the average annual revenue for all women-owned businesses was $143,000. The average annual revenue for black women-owned businesses was $24,000. That’s not a typo and it bears repeating. Annual revenue for black women-owned businesses was $24,000 compared to $143,000 for non-black women-owned businesses.
This disparity must be addressed. It’s time to close the gap. Now more than ever, we must support black women-owned businesses. Buy these products. Use these services. Show your support by liking, sharing, following and recommending black women-owned businesses online.
Since launching in 2018, My Founder Story has elevated the stories of several incredible black women-owned businesses. These women are innovating in every category. Coco and Breezy is designing eyewear coveted by celebrities and their fans. Clare is revolutionizing paint shopping by creating an online experience that hasn’t previously existed in the home improvement industry. Uncharted Power is harnessing energy from everyday objects like baby strollers to create portable generators.
Many black women-owned businesses are fueled by purpose, committed to social good and making the world a better place. Coach Val is addressing health disparities in black communities by making fitness fun and accessible. ForHerCosmetics is an all-natural and inclusive beauty brand committed to empowering women and girls of color. Girls Are Powerful is supporting young women in developing the confidence and skills they need to succeed in today’s world. Junita’s Jar is helping put an end to domestic violence. Matriarch Digital Media is on a mission to elevate the voices of all women. Sleep Health Specialists is educating individuals and organizations on the importance of a good night’s sleep.
My Founder Story is committed to amplifying the voices of black female founders and we are boosting efforts to support black women-owned businesses. Here are just a few of the more than 2 million black women-owned businesses we encourage you to support:
AFRICA ON MY BACK: A social enterprise that brings authentic, durable and lightweight Kente-print backpacks and accessories from artisanal markets in Ghana, West Africa to the rest of world; founded by Shanette Prince. AfricaOnMyBack.com
BEAUTY LOUNGE MINNEAPOLIS: A Minneapolis, Minnesota-based multicultural hair destination; founded by Melissa Taylor. MplsBeautyLounge.com
CHEESECAKE FUNK: A Minnesota-based cheesecake company revered by legendary musician Prince and featured in restaurants everywhere; founded by Vanessa Drews. CheesecakeFunk.com
CHELLES’ KITCHEN CATERING: A Twin Cities, Minnesota-based catering company normalizing healthy eating and celebrating food culture centered on soul food history, nutritional healing and social justice; founded by Lachelle Cunningham. LachelleCunningham.com
CLARE: A paint shopping experience with designer-curated colors, technology to guide users, mess-free paint swatches, and the highest-quality paint and supplies, delivered to your door; founded by Nicole Gibbons. Clare.com
COACH VAL: A Zumba instructor and lifestyle coach on a mission to create a fitness and well-being movement in underserved communities; founded by Val Fleurantin Turner. Facebook.com/VFCoachVal
COCO AND BREEZY: A New York City-based eyewear company creating fashion-forward frames for celebrities and their fans; founded by twin sisters Corianna and Brianna Dotson. CocoAndBreezy.com
CULTUREBROKERS: A Minnesota-based consultancy that partners with businesses, nonprofits and government organizations to help them get immediate, measurable and valuable results from their diversity, inclusion and equity efforts; founded by Lisa Tabor. CultureBrokers.com
THE ENTREPRENISTA: A Florida-based business coach and consultant to women-owned businesses who uses her personal experiences to empower her clients; founded by Lena Graham-Morris. IAmEntreprenista.com
FEARLESS COMMERCE: A nationally recognized company that elevates black women business owners through the production of books and live events; founded by Shawntera Hardy and Camille Thomas. FearlessCommerce.com
FORHERCOSMETICS: An all-natural and inclusive beauty brand committed to empowering women and girls of color; founded by Alyssa Space. ForHerCosmetics.com
GABBY BOWS: Innovative double-faced, double-snap hair barrettes featuring a patented design that stays put; founded by Gabrielle Goodwin and her mom, Rosalyn. GabbyBows.com
GIRLS ARE POWERFUL: A Minnesota-based organization that empowers girls to foster strength of character through educational workshops and special events; founded by Shawntan Howell. GirlsArePowerful.org
HERE’S THE SCOOP: Hand-dipped ice cream and dessert shop located in the lower Georgia Avenue corridor of northwest Washington, D.C.; founded by Karin Sellers. HeresTheScoopDC.com
JUNITA’S JAR: A Minneapolis, Minnesota-based social enterprise on a mission to bake hope into every cookie purchase, helping women live their best lives; founded by Junita Flowers. JunitasJar.com
KREYÒL ESSENCE: A Florida-based social enterprise committed to creating ethical beauty products formulated especially for dry hair and skin, made with all-natural ingredients naturally harvested by farmers in Haiti; founded by Yve-Car Momperousse. KreyolEssence.com
LIBERTÉ: Luxury everyday lingerie designed for support and comfort; founded by Amber Tolliver. Liberte.co
LIVE CYCLE DELIGHT FITNESS STUDIOS: A Detroit, Michigan-based cycling studio and inclusive community welcoming fitness practitioners of all levels joining together to train, sweat and restore through body-focused work and shared energy; founded by Amina Daniels. LiveCycleDelight.com
LT SQUARED: Creators of personalized printed invitations and paper goods, plus a line of scented skin care and home products; founded by twin sisters Laeh Stringer and Leah Hampton. LTSquared.com
LUNCH ON ME: A California-based nonprofit dedicated to ending starvation while providing opportunities to enrich the mind, body and spirit of Los Angeles’ homeless community; founded by Larayia Gaston. LunchOnMe.org
MARJORIE’S BEEF JERKY: A delectable selection of beef jerky made from fine cuts of beef; founded by Michelle Timberlake. MarjoriesBeefJerky.com
MATRIARCH DIGITAL MEDIA: A Twin Cities, Minnesota-based podcasting network and community where women are appreciated and celebrated exactly as they are, no matter what stage of life they’re in; founded by Twila Dang. MatriarchDM.com
ME AND THE BEES LEMONADE: A Texas-based lemonade company that uses a portion of proceeds to fund nonprofits dedicated to bee preservation and education; founded by Mikaila Ulmer. MeAndTheBees.com
MY FAB FINANCE: A financial and lifestyle blog designed to educate millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love; founded by Tonya Rapley. MyFabFinance.com
NEAREST GREEN DISTILLERY: The first distillery in U.S. history to honor African-American Nathan “Nearest” Green, the “Godfather of Tennessee Whiskey”; founded by Fawn Weaver. UncleNearest.com
ROOTS COMMUNITY BIRTH CENTER: A Minneapolis-based birth center offering prenatal care, water birth, natural birth, VBAC and extensive postpartum care, plus a doula internship program; founded by Rebecca Polston. RootsBirthCenter.com
SHEA YELEEN: A Washington, D.C.-based social enterprise offering shea butter products and financially empowering women in Africa by providing them with living-wage jobs; founded by Rahama Wright. SheaYeleen.com
SLEEP HEALTH SPECIALISTS: A Minnesota-based consultancy that partners with business owners and corporations to educate their workforce about sleep health; founded by Sarah Moe. SleepHS.com
SOCA YACHT CHARTERS: A U.S.-based boutique travel agency coordinating personalized, stress-free, all-inclusive yacht vacations to a Caribbean oasis; founded by Sheila Ruffin. SocaYachtCharters.com
SORELLA: A Los Angeles, California-based clothing company representing strong women, working women and independent women of all ages, colors and sizes, inspiring them to be confident and have a vision; founded by Heather Sanders and Brittney Turner. Sorella.com
SIDNEY’S ESSENCE: A Brooklyn, New York-based candlemaker creating hand-poured candles from all natural ingredients and donating a portion of proceeds to causes close to her heart; founded by Syd McLeod. SidneysEssence.com
UNCHARTED POWER: A New York-based full-service power infrastructure technology company that builds, owns and operates power infrastructures that provide communities with clean, low-cost energy; founded by Jessica Matthews. u-pwr.co
VEGANEIK: A New Jersey-based catering company specializing in vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian dishes that flavor the heart and capture the soul. Veganeik.com
Photo: Coco and Breezy
About the author: Chris Olsen is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support womxn-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.