UBR Morning Post: Street Vendors to Empowerment Leaders

Bonus content on the entrepreneurs and strategies featured on The Urban Business Roundtable

Dennis (second from left) accepts a $1 million loan from U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone toward starting Nubian Heritage Direct in 2005.

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Angelique Westerfield speaks with Richelieu Dennis, co-founder of Sundial Creations, a go-to source for culturally authentic organic skin and haircare products, which they create, manufacture, and distribute. With more than 18 years in business, the enterprise sports a client list that includes some of the biggest names in retail such as Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Target.

In 2000, they opened their flagship store, Nubian Heritage, in Brooklyn, New York. Sundial also owns a 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Amityville, New York. Remembering their African roots, the entrepreneurs purchase raw materials directly from women cooperatives and farmers in Africa.  Sundial Creations was named the Black Enterprise Small Business of the Year at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in 2008.

Dennis is also co-owner and CEO of Nubian Heritage Direct, a Harlem-based Internet, phone and catalog retailer of African themed health, beauty and lifestyle products including shea butter soaps, lotions, literature, music, apparel, artwork and jewelry. Nubian Heritage Direct is part of a vertically integrated family of “Nubian Heritage” enterprises headquartered in a building in the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, near the location where Dennis and partner Nyema Tubman began as Harlem street vendors as recent college graduates in the early 1990s. Among the enterprise housed by Nubian Heritage Direct are a day spa, a café and an art gallery that doubles as an event venue.

Click the link below for more on how Dennis and his partners built a street vending operation into an award winning company:

VIDEO: Sundial Creations on the Black Enterprise Business Report

Also on this week’s edition of The Urban Business Roundtable, our Executive Producer TaQuoya Kennedy speaks with media and business expert Lorraine Howell about how you can deliver an elevator pitch that will bring results for your business. For more advice from Howell, check out “8 Ways To Improve Your Elevator Pitch” and learn more about Howell’s book, Give Your Elevator Pitch A Lift!: How To Craft Your Own 30-second Commercial.

And Kellog School of Management Professor and Interim Dean of the Chicago State University School of Business Derrick K. Collins shares insights on passage of the Finance Reform Bill, a major victory for the Obama Administration, and it’s likely impact on entrepreneurs. Click on the following link to get brought up to speed on the passage of this legislation:

Consumer Protection vs. Financial Misdirection

Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Consumer Protection Bill

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, send me an e-mail at edmonda@blackenterprise.com or to me at Twitter or Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the editor-in-chief of BlackEnterprise.com and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each Wednesday for The UBR Morning Post, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.

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