In celebration of our 40th anniversary, Black Enterprise is taking a look both forward and backward at the world of black business. Our list of 40 Next celebrates the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
These BE Nexters—those 21–35 years old making a measurable impact within their respective business, organization, industry, or field—are standouts in the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate America, academia, nonprofit, the arts, and the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). And they prove every day that “business as usual” is not so usual. For them, leveraging expertise in one area to maximize an opportunity in another is standard operating procedure.
Using the legacy of their business predecessors to forge their own way, this new generation of leadership accepts the torch without trepidation. But the commonality between then and now is that success still takes a focused, strategic, and passionate mindset. Here, we introduce you to one of our 40 Next.
Curtis “50 Cent”Jackson, 34
His philosophy—“Get Rich or Die Trying”—serves as motivation for the artist/actor/entrepreneur. Unprecedented moves such as his investment in Glacéau, makers of Vitamin Water, earned the multitiered business mogul a reported $100 million after the company was sold to Coca-Cola in 2007. Jackson has created and actively manages several brand extensions, including G-Unit Footwear Collection by RBK (Reebok), generating $70 million in sales; G-Unit Apparel by Ecko Unlimited, producing $100 million in retail sales; two video games with Vivendi Universal; a fragrance sold exclusively in Macy’s stores; a publishing and production company; and a host of other upcoming ventures. “Your goal in every maneuver in life must be ownership, working the corner for yourself,” 50 Cent wrote in The New York Times bestseller The 50th Law.