“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” – Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut
Black History Month has been celebrated in the US since 1976 and is geared towards highlighting and honoring black history in a country where it was formerly pushed aside and ignored. Our team here at The Starter Group is eager to do our part to pay respect to those who paved the way, and in today’s blog, highlight black entrepreneurs who are changing the world and how we do business!
It wouldn’t feel right to talk about black entrepreneurs thriving today without first recognizing those who came before. For instance, James Forten, who, in the early 1800s, owned one of the most successful sail lofts in Philadelphia. There’s also Annie Malone, who developed and manufactured her own line of non-damaging hair straighteners, special oils, and hair-stimulant products for African-American women in the early 1900s. Of course, we can’t forget to mention Berry Gordy, the Motown record label Founder! These trailblazers paved the way and are the reason there are black entrepreneurs we can showcase today.
The first entrepreneur that we are shining a light on is Johanan Dujon, Founder of Algas Organics. He invented an all-natural product out of seaweed that improves plant nutrient uptake efficiency. What does this mean? He has found a way to improve global food production without chemical additives. The company’s goal is to support sustainable agriculture amidst our planet’s current challenging climate.
Next, there is Freddie Figgers, who founded Figgers Communication, a business that makes and sells proprietary handsets. As a technological expert, Figgers has invented a hologram projector, a cell phone that prevents the user from texting while driving, and even a modem base station for wireless charging! This rising entrepreneur has accomplished so much, but we know he’s just getting started!
We couldn’t compile a list of black entrepreneurs who are changing the world and how we do business without mentioning Calendly Founder, Tope Awotona! Calendly helps you schedule one-on-one appointments, meetings, and group events. With the ability to connect to up to six calendars at a time, this tool allows business owners to manage their time in a productive, efficient manner!
Have you heard of Maya Penn? We have! Penn opened her business at just eight-years-old and has been excelling ever since. Running Maya’s Ideas, an environmentally sustainable fashion accessories company, has pushed her to expand her talents into public speaking, writing, animation, coding, and philanthropy. Did you know that she donates 10% of her company’s profits to charities and environmental nonprofit organizations?
Many haven’t noticed these thriving black entrepreneurs and the talent they are putting out into the world, and honestly, that’s a shame. We hope that if you started reading this blog with no clue who these individuals were that you are now excited to keep track of their careers and the impact that they will have on not only other businesses but the world!
Black History Month may only span a couple of weeks, but recognizing talent is something we are passionate about here at The Starter Group. We plan on giving recognition where it’s due as much as possible. We love shining a light on these individuals and are thankful for their work because what they do impacts us all! From having clean food to eat to technology that keeps us safe, a system designed to help efficiency, and a role model that keeps us grounded, we don’t know where we would be without them!
To learn more about black history and black entrepreneurs thriving today, visit www.blackenterprise.com.