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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Virginia's Last Black-Owned Bank Is Gone After Nearly 100 Years in Business -- What Happened?

Founding members of Black-owned bank, First State Bank in Virginia
Founding directors of First State Bank in Danville, Virginia
Photo credit: Virginia Center for Digital History
First State Bank was formed by a group of African-Americans in rural Virginia in 1919. Almost hundred years later, First State Bank is the last Black-owned bank in Virginia to disappear. What happened? And, what has happened to all of the Black-owned banks across the nation?

Monday, August 14, 2017

8-Year Old Entrepreneur Writes Best Selling Book -- About Her "Annoying Little Brother"

8-year old Nia Mya Reese
8-year old entrepreneur and author, Nia Mya Reese
Most 8-years old are in the third grade, and many of them are still struggling to read and write. But 8-year old Nia Mya Reese from Birmingham, Alabama has already written a best-selling book!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Couple Opens First Black-Owned Gas Station in This Town; Local Residents Are Inspired

Colisha Hicks and Fatz, first Black-owned gas station in Jonesboro

Jonesboro, Georgia may be a small town, but they have a lot to celebrate. The town has welcomed its first ever Black-owned gas station owned by local entrepreneurs Colisha Hicks and her fiancé Fatz. Their Citgo gas station, located on Tara Boulevard, is the first Black-owned gas station not just in the city of Jonesboro -- but in all of Clayton County, and its opening has inspired local residents!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

In Just 12 Years, This Black-Owned Company Has Produced 300 Films and TV Specials -- and Made $750 Million in Revenue!

Jeff Clanagan, founder of CodeBlack Entertainment
Jeff Clanagan, founder of CodeBlack Entertainment
Film companies targeting African-American audiences are making a big name for themselves, and at the top of the list is CodeBlack Entertainment. It is the first independent, vertically integrated film studio owned by an African American entrepreneur, producing $750 million in home entertainment revenue.

Monday, August 7, 2017

This Black Entrepreneur Owns -- Not 1 or 2 -- But 5 Pizza Franchises... And He's Planning to Open 20 More!

Leo Thomas, owner of 5 Marcos Pizza franchises
Leo Thomas, owner of 5 Marcos Pizza franchises
If you own one or two franchises, you're doing pretty good. But when you own 5, you are on your way to building an empire. And that's exactly what entrepreneur Leo Thomas is doing!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

10-Year Old Entrepreneur, Bullied for Her Dark Skin, Launches "Flexin' in My Complexion" Apparel Line

Kheris Rogers, founder of Flexin' in My Complexion
Kheris Rogers, founder of Flexin' in My Complexion
Photo Credit: Creative Soul Photography
Kheris Rogers, a 10-year old girl who was being bullied for her darker skin, has turned the opportunity into a smart and successful business idea. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Kheris has recently launched her very own unapologetic clothing line called Flexin’ in My Complexion. Her mission now is to boost the self-esteem of other dark skin girls.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

App Features World's First Black Emojis -- An Idea That Could Potentially Generate $1 Million Per Day!

Black and African emojis

Back in 2014, an innovative app company called Oju Africa, based in the country of Mauritius, has introduced a set of African/Black emojis as a solution to the lack of diversity on Apple's popular set of emojis used around the world. The unique emojis can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, and are designed to work on all Android platforms.

Aunt Jemima Was a Real Person, But the Brand Was Never Black-Owned -- What Happened?

Few people in America would not instantly recognize the name Aunt Jemima. The brand has been around for 125 years, has been a welcomed face at the breakfast table in the homes of millions of Americans, and her products generate more than $300 million a year in revenue. But Aunt Jemima is not a Black-owned brand!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Oprah Used to Be The World's Richest Black Woman... Until This Woman Came Along!

Folorunsho Alakija, founder of The Rose of Sharon Group and Famfa Oil 
Back in 2014, both Forbes and Time magazines confirmed that Oprah Winfrey, the popular talk show host and television mogul, is no longer the richest Black woman in the world. She had been unseated by an oil baroness named Folorunsho Alakija.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

There Are Very Few Black-Owned Beauty Supply Stores, But This One is Celebrating 30 Years in Business!

Rebecca Opong, founder of African Image Beauty Supply Salon
Rebecca Opong, founder of African Image Beauty Supply Salon
Rebecca Opong is the founder and owner of African Image Beauty Supply Salon (AIBSS) located in the Los Angeles, California area. She opened her shop back in 1987, and is one of the few Black-owned beauty supply stores in the area. This year, she is celebrating her 30th year in business!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Women-Owned Auto Repair Shop Lets Customers Get Their Hair and Nails Done While Waiting For Their Cars

Patrice Banks, founder of Girls Auto Clinic in Philadelphia
Patrice Banks, founder of Girls Auto Clinic in Philadelphia
Patrice Banks is the genius entrepreneur who is also the owner of Girls Auto Clinic in Philadelphia, PA. In response to a national problem of women being taking advantage of at many auto repair shops owned by men, Patrice launched her company to give women a better and more comfortable experience.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Truth About Essence Magazine -- And Why Time Inc Wants to Sell it Off

Essence Magazine covers

You may have heard already that Time Inc, who bought a major stake in Essence Magazine 12 years ago, now wants to get rid of it. But it's not because the magazine is failing! In fact, the magazine, it's web site, and their annual festival in New Orleans are thriving.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Only Two Black-Owned Auto Dealerships That Have Ever Broken the $1 Billion Dollar Barrier

Bob Johnson and Gregory Jackson, Black owners of auto dealerships
Bob Johnson, founder of RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Holdings; and Gregory Jackson, founder of Prestige Automotive Group are the only two Black-owned auto dealerships that have ever generated more than $1 billion dollars in annual sales

Being a Black entrepreneur that owns an auto dealership is a big accomplishment in and of itself, but surpassing $1 billion dollars in sales is truly a milestone! In 2005, Michigan-based Prestige Automotive Group, founded by Gregory Jackson, became the first Black auto dealer to surpass the billion-dollar revenue mark. In fact, their revenue that year was $1.67 billion in sales.

Monday, July 24, 2017

12-Year Old Entrepreneur Convinces Ten NFL Players to Invest $810K into Her Lemonade Business

Mikaila Ulmer, founder of Me & the Bees Lemonade

Mikaila Ulmer was only 4-years old when she started branding her Bee Sweet Lemonade. Now she is 12-years old and has just convinced ten NFL players to invest $810K in her lemonade business, now called Me & the Bees Lemonade.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tyler Perry to Split From Oprah's OWN -- Signs Major TV/Film Deal With Viacom and BET

Writer, director, producer, playwright and actor Tyler Perry has recently signed a long-term deal with Viacom that is certain to make the media conglomerate a stronger and more competitive television network for African-American programming. Industry experts say the move represents a huge loss to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Meet the Mother and Two Daughters Who Own 13 McDonald’s Franchises

Three black women owners of 13 McDonald's franchises

Patricia Williams and her daughters, Nicole Enearu and Kerri Harper-Howie, have built an empire of McDonald’s franchises in the Los Angeles, California area. Combined, they employ more than 700 people in the community and generate annual revenues of almost $50 million. In April 2017, they opened their 13th franchise location.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Black Mom Makes $1 Million in First 60 Days By Starting This Business

Black-owned Business Express Smile Atlanta

Ramona Griggie grew up in Section 8 housing in St. Croix, and later moved to Atlanta, GA where she got married, had a child, and became a housewife. One day, she decided to give her son, who was graduating from Duke University, a gift of teeth whitening.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Program Offering $40K in Funding to Black-Owned Tech Startups in Maryland

TEDCO employees McKeever E. “Mac” Conwell II, deal team coordinator and Angela Singleton, deal team member/ portfolio manager
TEDCO employees McKeever E. “Mac” Conwell II, deal team coordinator and Angela Singleton, deal team member/ portfolio manager. 

A new program called Minority Business Pre-Seed Fund (MBPF) is promising to make investments of up to $40,000 to qualifying tech start-ups owned by African American entrepreneurs. The funding, provided by Columbia, MD-based TEDCO (Technology Development Corporation), will allow these entrepreneurs to reach a critical development milestone, and advance their ideas to the next level.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ray J Takes Off With His New E-Bike Company

Electronic biking has taken off on a whole new level, thanks to Ray J's new E-Bike company, Raytroniks, which produces the Scoot-E-Bike. This two-wheeled electric bike has everything you need, including Bluetooth connectivity for music, a wireless key lock, and the ability to charge your smartphone via a USB port. Wow!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Black-Owned Construction Company Owned By Twin Brothers Now on Track to Make $4.5 Million This Year!

Jonathan and Jarrett Logan, founders of Castle Black Construction

Twin brothers, Jonathan and Jarrett Logan, are the owners of Castle Black Construction in Memphis, Tennessee. One of few Black-owned construction companies in the country, they launched their company back in 2005, and after re-branding themselves, they have tripled in size.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Woman Buys 100 Hats Then Decides to Buy the Whole Hat Factory For $100K

Georgiette Morgan-Thomas, owner of American Hats LLC
Georgiette Morgan-Thomas, owner of American Hats LLC

What do you do when you own 100 hats? You start your own hat business! That's what Georgiette Morgan-Thomas did when she bought the S & S Hat Company in Philadelphia in 2015. The hat manufacturer is now called American Hats.

Monday, July 3, 2017

This 7-Year Old Entrepreneur From Arkansas is Running Her Own Food Truck

Kyleigh McGee, 7-year old girl running her own food truck

Kyleigh McGee, a 7-year old African American girl from Little Rock, Arkansas is running and operating her very own food truck. The second grader told ABC News that she started out with a lemonade stand, but decided last year to expand her business to be more mobile and serve more refreshments such as fresh pineapple juice and snow cones.

Black Family-Owned Restaurant Finds Success Serving Up Super Delicious BBQ Favorites

Founders of The BBQ Restaurant in Baltimore, MD
Marcus Bradford and Maurice Bradford Jr., founders of The BBQ
Who doesn't love a good barbecue? The next time you're in Baltimore, Maryland, be sure to check out this new Black-owned family restaurant. It's called The BBQ and they serve delicious barbecue favorites like ribs, pulled pork, pit turkey, baked beans, and their infamous BBQ Sandwich.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Woman Opens First Ever Black-Owned Grocery Store in Compton

Kia Patterson, owner of first Black-owned grocery store in Compton
Entrepreneur Kia Patterson in her Grocery Outlet franchise
36-year old Kia Patterson is the owner of the first ever Black-owned grocery story in Compton, California. She is an independent owner of a Grocery Outlet franchise, and the whole city is celebrating her success. But she didn't do it just for the money; she says wants to provide fresh and better food choices at affordable prices for people who live in predominately Black and low income neighborhoods.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Her First Novel Sold 8 Million Copies and is Available in 42 Languages -- How She Did It

Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy is a political activist, human rights advocate, and a best-selling author. In 1997, she published a book entitled, The God of Small Things. Within months, it had sold 400,000 copies and won the Booker Prize. Fast forward 20 years later, and the book has sold more than 8 million copies and is available in 42 languages.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Two Sisters Launch New Sunscreen Product Line Specifically For Black Skin

Chinelo Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa, founders of Bolden skincare products

Many people believe that if you are Black, you are not susceptible to sun burn and skin damage. But the truth is that the sun affects Black skin as much as white skin. That is why two Nigerian sisters, Chinelo Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa, have introduced a new skincare product line called Bolden USA - made specifically for people of color.

Monday, June 26, 2017

This Black-Owned Resort in Barbados Will Blow Your Mind

It took six years for African American husband and wife entrepreneurs Michelle and Guy Jenkins to open their luxury resort in the Caribbean. Located on the west coast of Barbados, Villa La Maison Michelle is the only Black American-owned private luxury resort in Barbados.

Monday, June 19, 2017

This Black Family-Owned Enterprise Owns 16 Fast Food Restaurants in Southern California

Reginald Webb and his children, who are owners of McDonald's Franchises
Reginald Webb and his children, who are also owners of their own McDonald's Franchises
67-year old Reginald Webb started his career at McDonald's in 1973 and was manager and then regional vice-president for 12 years when the company offered him an opportunity to own his own franchise. He and his wife, Rene, did not hesitate.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

27-Year Old Black Entrepreneur Raises $7.2 Million in Just 3 Days

Chrissa McFarlane, founder of Patientory
27-year-old Chrissa McFarlane, founder of Patientory
Atlanta-based Patientory, the company behind an advanced healthcare app, has raised $7.2 million in a very successful online Blockchain token sale (not via Kickstarter, as previously reported). The block-chain startup, founded by CEO and Black entrepreneur, 27-year-old Chrissa McFarlane, enables the connecting of digital medical records without compromising privacy.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

9-Year Old Queen Running Her Own Home-Based Line of Bath Products

Jelani Jones, founder of Lani Boo Bath

Jelani Jones from Fredericksburg, Virginia is only 9-years old, but she runs her business... like a queen! In addition to making and selling her own line of bath products, Lani Boo Bath, from her home, Jones is also a straight “A” student in school. How does she do it?