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.
Kehinde Wiley, 33
Known for his larger-than-life paintings, Wiley manages to showcase and diversify his abilities on more than just a canvas. In his business partnership with PUMA, Wiley offered his artistic eye to its Spring/Summer 2010 “Africa Lifestyle” line, which includes bomber jackets, T-shirts, laces, and patterned sneakers. PUMA also commissioned the Los Angeles native to create life-size paintings of African footballer stars to tour Paris, London, Milan, and Johannesburg as a symbol of unity among those countries participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.