Did you know that as of 2015, 14% of businesses were controlled by black women? Come through, black boss ladies! Black women continue to be one of the fastest growing demographics that are starting businesses and Black women CEO’s are on the map as well. I think that deserves a shout out to the boss women wifing business! Here are just a few of our favorites, some new to the game and others that have held us down for years.
Debra Lee, CEO of BET
We couldn’t start this shout out without mentioning Debra Lee, the CEO of BET. Not only is she running one of the most prominent Black media companies, but she’s also been named one of the 100 most powerful women in television, and did we mention she’s a mother of two?! Work! Having a Black woman at the head of a media company is a big deal. Since Lee has taken over we’ve seen the introduction of Centric, the first network for black women and initiatives like Black Girls Rock.
Cheryl Boone Issacs, President of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Cheryl Boone Issacs is the President of AMPAS (aka the Oscars) and is the first African American woman to hold that position. A film marketing and PR maven, Issacs has worked with and represented some of the biggest names and companies in Hollywood. She’s won a number of awards including an Essence Trailblazer award and an NAACP Image Award for her work, but we really love her most for her most recent initiative at the AMPAS that focuses on diversity in Hollywood.
Myleik Teele, CEO of Curlbox
Myleik Teele is the founder and CEO of curlBox, an exclusive subscription-based service that sends sample (and full size) products for women with naturally curly hair lovers everywhere. And we say exclusive, we mean, so exclusive you can only get on the list once a month and you’ve got to act fast. One of the most admirable aspects of Teele’s brand however, is her MyTaughtYou podcast where she gives business advice to aspiring and budding entrepreneurs. They are packed with knowledge and actionable advice for the women looking to boss up in their business!
Zim Ugochukwu, CEO of Travel Noire
If you’ve been on Instagram for a while you might have seen the hashtag “#TravelNoire” as a place to see other black travelers. Zim Ugochukwu is the founder of Travel Noire, a digital publishing platform that encourages black people to travel all across the globe. She decided to start her company after a trip to India when she realized there weren’t enough people like her exploring the world. Now she curates international group travel programs for other black people to meet and learn more about different countries in exciting new ways. Her innovative ideas have taken her places, including a spot on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. Not ready for that solo travel goal we talked about? Travel Noire’s group trips are perfect for you!