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Black Entrepreneurs & Innovation: Do or Die


My story of entrepreneurship started out like a lot of Black entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship found me, I didn’t go looking for it. I had my first taste of entrepreneurship as a Girl Scout in 11th grade. I become a Girl Scout in 11th grade because it was all apart of my strategy to get into college. Anyway, I wanted to go to Microsoft camp for a week. However, I needed to sell as close to 1,000 boxes of cookies as possible to go for free. With my parents paying two private school tuitions Sis had to go as close to free as possible. I sold about 700 boxes in about 2 months and that was my first taste of getting it from the muscle.


Since then I have had a few entrepreneurial endeavors, life insurance, social media strategist for political campaigns, and a marketing consultant. My journey of entrepreneurship has been full of taking calculated risks, pivoting, innovating, and reinventing myself when necessary. Even when it was hard, uncomfortable, and at times felt unnecessary. A big part of entrepreneurship is being comfortable in your discomfort. Learning when to count your lessons and keep it pushing. As people, we get caught up on how much time we’ve spent somewhere or on something. Sometimes we have to pivot abruptly and even when it hurts.



Through trial and error of my own pivots, I realized that Black entrepreneurs needed the same support. Going to graduate school was a big pivot I made but it was one I knew was necessary to better serve my clients and community. When I entered the Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship program at Fox School of Business I had no idea that it was the secret sauce I needed. It was me cracking the code of the Fortune 500 companies. I felt like Robin Hood in a sense. Definitely had some ‘leading us to freedom vibes’ like my Aquarian sister Harriet Tubman. But seriously, innovation is the key to freedom for Black entrepreneurs.


According to Meriam Webster Innovation is 1: a new idea, method, or device: or 2: the introduction of something new. To me, innovation is just a fancy word for a pivot.

Pivoting is changing your direction, not your destination. Innovating and pivoting is finding a better way to do something.

Black people are the Kings and Queens of inventions and innovations. Our survival has been about adapting to circumstances. Literally making kingdoms out of nothing. We always work to survive but what about working to thrive? It is time that we innovate intentionally.


Now that the new normal has set in what are you going to do with it? During a season where nothing is the same might be a good time to make that change, you have been thinking about. In order to keep our businesses and families afloat, we must change with the times no matter how scary it may be. The end goal of innovation and pivoting should always be efficiency and freedom. I believe efficiency leads to financial and time freedom.


Every time a Black person is born in this country they have to start over and build from the ground up. It’s a new day. When we innovate our businesses we build a business that can be passed down through generations. Even if the business is not continued the wealth and fruit of the business can be transferred.


Black women are one of the fastest-growing segments of entrepreneurs. There are a lot of opportunities out there if we put ourselves in the position to receive them. Pivoting your business is about putting yourself in a position to reap the benefits and blessings God has for you.


Here are some ways to find areas of your business to improve:


  1. Be real with yourself. Where do you really want your business to go? What kind of life do you want your business to afford you to have? Is it currently meeting your expectations? What has the little voice in your head said that you are ignoring?

  2. Ask your customers. They are the only reason you have a business. Ask about the positives and negatives of your service or product. Also, discuss any current or new pain points.

  3. Look at your systems. Identify ways to run your business more efficiently. What areas do you drop the ball on or hate doing?

  4. Brainstorm ways to expand your service or product line for new or existing customers.


For more tips and resources about mindset, entrepreneurship and business practices. Checkout www.imaniinspires.com for the Pivot 2 Profit Formula and the Pivot 2 Profit Blog &Podcast Series.

My story of entrepreneurship started out like a lot of Black entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship found me, I didn’t go looking for it. I had my first taste of entrepreneurship as a Girl Scout in 11th grade. I become a Girl Scout in 11th grade because it was all apart of my strategy to get into college. Anyway, I wanted to go to Microsoft camp for a week. However, I needed to sell as close to 1,000 boxes of cookies as possible to go for free. With my parents paying two private school tuitions Sis had to go as close to free as possible. I sold about 700 boxes in about 2 months and that was my first taste of getting it from the muscle.


Since then I have had a few entrepreneurial endeavors, life insurance, social media strategist for political campaigns, and a marketing consultant. My journey of entrepreneurship has been full of taking calculated risks, pivoting, innovating, and reinventing myself when necessary. Even when it was hard, uncomfortable, and at times felt unnecessary. A big part of entrepreneurship is being comfortable in your discomfort. Learning when to count your lessons and keep it pushing. As people, we get caught up on how much time we’ve spent somewhere or on something. Sometimes we have to pivot abruptly and even when it hurts.


Through trial and error of my own pivots, I realized that Black entrepreneurs needed the same support. Going to graduate school was a big pivot I made but it was one I knew was necessary to better serve my clients and community. When I entered the Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship program at Fox School of Business I had no idea that it was the secret sauce I needed. It was me cracking the code of the Fortune 500 companies. I felt like Robin Hood in a sense. Definitely had some ‘leading us to freedom vibes’ like my Aquarian sister Harriet Tubman. But seriously, innovation is the key to freedom for Black entrepreneurs.


According to Meriam Webster Innovation is 1: a new idea, method, or device: or 2: the introduction of something new. To me, innovation is just a fancy word for a pivot. Pivoting is changing your direction, not your destination. Innovating and pivoting is finding a better way to do something.


Black people are the Kings and Queens of inventions and innovations. Our survival has been about adapting to circumstances. Literally making kingdoms out of nothing. We always work to survive but what about working to thrive? It is time that we innovate intentionally.


Now that the new normal has set in what are you going to do with it? During a season where nothing is the same might be a good time to make that change, you have been thinking about. In order to keep our businesses and families afloat, we must change with the times no matter how scary it may be. The end goal of innovation and pivoting should always be efficiency and freedom. I believe efficiency leads to financial and time freedom.


Every time a Black person is born in this country they have to start over and build from the ground up. It’s a new day. When we innovate our businesses we build a business that can be passed down through generations. Even if the business is not continued the wealth and fruit of the business can be transferred.


Black women are one of the fastest-growing segments of entrepreneurs. There are a lot of opportunities out there if we put ourselves in the position to receive them. Pivoting your business is about putting yourself in a position to reap the benefits and blessings God has for you.


Here are some ways to find areas of your business to improve:


  1. Be real with yourself. Where do you really want your business to go? What kind of life do you want your business to afford you to have? Is it currently meeting your expectations? What has the little voice in your head said that you are ignoring?

  2. Ask your customers. They are the only reason you have a business. Ask about the positives and negatives of your service or product. Also, discuss any current or new pain points.

  3. Look at your systems. Identify ways to run your business more efficiently. What areas do you drop the ball on or hate doing?

  4. Brainstorm ways to expand your service or product line for new or existing customers.


For more tips and resources about mindset, entrepreneurship and business practices. Checkout www.imaniinspires.com for the Pivot 2 Profit Formula and the Pivot 2 Profit Blog &Podcast Series.

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