As of 2018, there were 2.6 million black-owned businesses in the U.S. According to Black Enterprise, within the next 45 years, black America may make up almost 20 percent of the U.S. population and own more than 2.5 million rapidly-growing enterprises.
Enter the diva: the female version of a hustla.
From #BlackGirlMagic to Black Girl in Om, we’ve been starting communities, launching product lines, and changing the narrative on not only our power as women, but also the power of our melanin. An estimated 5.8 million women of color owned businesses, employ 2.2 million people, and generate $387 billion in revenues. Cue the Money x Cardi B.
Reports like the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report call the women and minorities behind these rapidly-launching businesses “necessity entrepreneurs” — because, due to higher unemployment rates, long-term unemployment, and vast gender and racial pay gaps, women of color start businesses out of necessity and the need to survive. To sum in up: They hustle because they have to.
But divas have been getting money for a while now. We ain’t new to this.
In fact, we’re walking in the footsteps of many brave, risk-taking necessity entrepreneurs in history. In the 1850s, Clara Brown established a laundry business during the gold rush and used her money to invest in real estate developing properties that allowed black communities to live safely. Annie Turnbo Malone paved the way for black female cosmetologists and created jobs for over 75,000 women worldwide with her beauty entreprises. Maggie Lena Walker was the first black woman to charter a bank and help our people protect our coins. The list goes on and on.
Below we’re sharing eight divas whose businesses you can support and celebrate this #BlackHistoryMonth. Go ahead, fill your IG timelines with some more #BlackGirlMagic—you deserve it!
Shontay Lundy, founder of Black Girl Sunscreen
A documentary on OWN, Black Love highlights the true stories of some of our favorite black couples.
Kathryn Finney, founder of Digital Undivided
Camille created Kit to develop a community to discover, discuss and, deliver interesting products for activities like traveling, DJing, cooking, cycling and more.
Who are your favorite Divas? Let us know in the comments!