In 2018, it has been thrilling to have black people owning well-to-do businesses across the world despite the unfair political attacks they tend to face in many jurisdictions.
In the U.S., the more than 40 million black population is making serious waves in various sectors of the American economy healthcare, entertainment, business, sports, and technology and are generating revenue and creating jobs.
These successes were chalked even in the face of hurdles such as access to capital to fund and operate the business due to years of racial and economic discrimination.
It is now even more amazing that black children, some as young as four, are also setting up their own businesses. At that young age, they realize the value of entrepreneurship and how being white-collar workers working from nine to five for someone might be a waste of their talents.
Below are some of the young entrepreneurs we at Face2face Africa covered this year and believe have been the most successful.
He was just six when he decided to sell hot cocoa on the streets of New Jersey to help raise money for his mother to buy a car. He would later add cookies and lemonade to the menu as the weather changed, making about $300 per day. Soon, Cory and his mother expanded the business and developed their own cookie recipe for scores of customers. Today, with support from various quarters, Mr. Cory’s Cookies has a brand new office and a custom company car. Now in 8th grade, Cory serves a CEO of Mr. Cory’s Cookies, and his mother, Lisa works as the CFO.
Christon “The Truth” Jones
At the age of eight, Christon “The Truth” Jones was already a self-starting entrepreneur, having authored his first book that delivers a strong message on faith and bullying in youth sports.
Within 90 days of peddling his book door to door, the young genius made over $5000 and by the age of 10, he had already become an international bestselling author, having an online mastermind course – Truth Success Series, that includes young people and adults who would want to tap into his wisdom. Christon would soon be inspired to begin day-trading in stocks, making as much as $10,000 within a few months.
She started running her own lemonade stand at her grandmother’s backyard garden in her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas at the age of 7. She has since upgraded her lemonade stand to a food truck and with the help of her mother, she serves more refreshments such as fresh pineapple juice and snow cones. With the business now mobile, the cute little girl accepts special request bookings from a wide range of customers who are often amazed at what she has been able to achieve at such a young age.
The 11-year-old is the President and CEO of GaBBY Bows, a hair accessory that adds a unique twist to the classic barrette. The company, which she began at the age of seven, solved the longstanding problem of the lack of a barrette that would stay in the hair of girls. Though her bows can be found in multiple Walgreens locations in South Carolina and Georgia in the U.S., her online sales have saved lots of families time and money. Gabrielle at the moment handles inventory of her company, serves as the lead saleswoman at trade shows, and helps with sales taxes. She also teaches young children in schools and shelters about entrepreneurship.
The 14-year-old founder and CEO of Me & the Bees Lemonade based in Austin, Texas, U.S. started her company as a lemonade stand at the age of four. In 2009, she started the simple lemonade stand which has since developed into a full-blown family business sold in several food stores in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Ulmer, who was named one of TIME magazine’s most influential teens of 2017 has visited the White House and met former president Barack Obama on several occasions. In 2017, she mentioned that she was writing a children’s book on how to start and grow a business.
Now 15, Moziah Bridges started his Memphis-based tie company, Mo’s Bows, when he was nine after not finding any cool bowties at a young age to match his clothing. His grandmother, a retired seamstress would teach him how to cut and sew fabric and soon, with the help of his mother, he built a business with products that aim at making people feel good and dapper. In May 2017, the Mo’s Bows CEO inked a seven-figure, one-year licensing deal with the NBA in May to produce bow ties for all 30 professional basketball teams.
He is the founder of Toil and Trouble Bath, a business that offers artisanal bath soaps on the streets of New Mexico. The former homeless boy makes his cupcake-shaped soap using aloe vera and goat’s milk. It has since become a big business and the 15-year-old donates about 20 per cent of sales from his products to the Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico, the organization that helped him and his mother have a fresh start when they struggled with homelessness years ago.