National Entrepreneur Week is here, and guess what…it is INDEED a great time to be one! As Black women, we continue to be the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs. Of the 2 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S., 35% are owned by women. YES! Over 1/3 are owned by the US!
As with anything, there are pros and cons to being a business owner, a woman, and a business owner as a woman of color. Here are a few:
- PRO: Ability to be your own boss.
- CON: Less access to capital than other demographics.
- PRO: Ability to impact the lives of you and your family.
- CON: It may take longer due to earning less as compared to other woman-owned businesses.
- PRO: Now is the PERFECT time to step out on starting a business!
- CON: NONE! There is no downside to starting now.
Want to start but don’t know WHAT to start, WHEN, or HOW? It’s time to dig those stilettos in and do some work! Simply put, people don’t buy ideas. People buy solutions to their problems, and they buy YOU. So, figuring out a need that you would love to fill will be the first thing to do. From there, do your research and talk to people to see if they’re picking up what you’re putting down. Researching who your customers are and figuring out how you will talk to them is vital and can make or break your business. But even more important, get a trusted mentor that can help guide and walk beside you on the journey to success.
Entrepreneurship is a journey that is often very lonely and can be challenging. Having a mentor or group of like-minded entrepreneurs that are or have been where you are will keep you motivated not to quit. They help you avoid common pitfalls and let you know your baby (aka, your business) is ugly or you need to go another way. Mentors can be your biggest cheerleaders on the road to success, and they do it all while providing you with connections to resources that will benefit you even more. Connection is critical!
While I understand that may sound like too much to deal with just to say you have a business, the reality is that business ownership is the most rewarding hard work you’ll do outside of raising kids. I have been in the beauty industry for over 30 years, with almost 17 of those years as a business owner making skincare products. To say I never wanted to quit would be a lie. Looking back on where I started to where I am now (and bringing my kids along for the ride) is what keeps me going…even as a disabled veteran.
I encourage you to discover your passion and see where it leads you. If running a business is not your vibe, it is ok, you are the most important part of other small businesses across the country. Small business owners value you, value your feedback, and value your support! Keeping us in mind for your shopping needs keeps us competitive with large companies, makes the economy stronger, and makes us do a happy dance every time we see you! Shop small and support a dream. Happy Entrepreneur Week!
National Entrepreneurship Week Website (https://www.natleshipweek.org)
Minority Business Development Agency (https://www.mbda.gov)
Women Entrepreneurs, Inc. (https://womenentrepreneursinc.com)
Article Written by: Kim Cross | Kim is the owner and Happy Skin Formulator at Zhi Bath & Body, a natural skincare shop based in Charlotte, NC. She has been in the beauty industry for the last 30 years as a stylist and skincare formulator. Having dealt with severe psoriasis for over 20 years, she knows the hardship of finding products that are gentle, good for the skin, and smell amazing. 16 years of research and formulating has resulted in a goat milk skincare and soy candle line that is simply amazing. Helping you love you…naturally.