10 New Black-Owned and Innovative Startups - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

2017 was a banner year for black entrepreneurship. Black women are the fastest-growing small business owner demographic. A recent report shows that millennials and the soon-to-emerge on the workplace Generation Z, cite entrepreneurship as a top life achievement.

We covered a host of innovative small businesses this past year. The grit, the drive, and the passion for bringing a business dream of an entrepreneur to fruition is something to admire and from which to draw inspiration.

Below are 10 of the most intriguing and promising new small businesses that we covered in 2017:

 

HOPE WISEMAN IS THE YOUNGEST BLACK DISPENSARY OWNER IN THE USA

At the age of 25, WAGS Atlanta cast member Hope Wiseman is the founder of Mary and Main, a dispensary set to open up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, making Wiseman the youngest dispensary owner in the U.S.

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WAGS Atlanta Dispensary Owner, Hope Wiseman (Image: Instagram)


 

SHE STARTED A PR AGENCY WITH ABSOLUTELY NO CONTACTS…AND SHE PERSISTED

Kerstyn Dioulo is the founder of Glow Connection, a NYC-based public relations and management agency. Six years ago, she signed singer/actor Rotimi, best known for his role as Dre on Starz’s hit show Power.

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(Image: iStock/FangXiaNuo)


 

BALTIMORE BLACK-OWNED JUICE BAR SQUEEZES ITS WAY TO SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS

Black Enterprise caught up with Kenny Minor, owner of Xtract Juice Bar in Baltimore, to talk about the benefits of juicing and his career journey into entrepreneurship.

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Black Vet Invents Innovative Pet Food Bowl After His Dog Begged For Pasta

Veterinarian Dr. Joe J. Owens pitched his product, Enjoy-A-Bowl, an innovative pet feeding system, on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. Black Enterprise contributor Brandon Andrews has a one-on-one exclusive with the vet-turned-inventor.

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Dr. Joe J. Owens on Funderdome (Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))


 

YOUNG GENETICIST GETS ‘SHARK TANK’ MOGUL TO INVEST IN HIS DNA STARTUP

Olivier Noel pitched DNA Simple, a new way to support cutting-edge medical research, to ABC’s panel of sharks and talks about his science startup.

 

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(Image: Courtesy of ABC)

 


 

HUSBAND AND WIFE BUILD MARTHA’S VINEYARD AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL INTO A 15-YEAR BRAND

Not a new business but after 15 years, MVAAFF founders Stephanie and Floyd Rance received a special citation from the State of Massachusetts’ Governor’s Office for their significant contributions to the local economy of Martha’s Vineyard.

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(L-R: Academy Award-Winning Director Spike Lee, actor Roger Guenveur Smith and Ken Shropshire of Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University for “The Color of Conversation” talk back screening for the RODNEY KING movie. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)


FROM POSTAL WORKER TO INTERIOR DESIGNER: BALTIMORE NATIVE RE-DESIGNS HER CAREER PATH

While some attend colleges and universities to study interior design, there are those like Baltimore native Ajia Monet who is a natural talent. Her creativity, style, and ability to master spatial arrangements to transform spaces afford her an advantage in such a growing and competitive industry.

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(L-R: Denise Cooper, Ajia Monet. Image: A’Blige Interior Design)

 


WHY THIS WOMAN LAUNCHED A YOGA STREAMING SERVICE FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR

“Since YGB’s creation, over 1,000 people have accessed our online teachings,” she says.

 

 

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NE-YO’S WIFE, CRYSTAL SMITH, SEALS PARTNERSHIP WITH DELIVERY SERVICE GOBBLE

Many people know Crystal Smith for being married to R&B artist and actor Ne-Yo, but in addition to being a wife and a mother, she is also an amazing chef. Smith recently secured a deal with food delivery service Gobble, to add her own recipes to their already flourishing menu.

 

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Crystal Smith with her Sous Chef Holly Watt at Gobble headquarters in Palo Alto, CA (Image: Gobble)


THIS ENTREPRENEUR GREW A 7-FIGURE BEAUTY BUSINESS WITH NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE

Vivian Kaye was looking to solve a common problem faced by many women within the natural hair community: how to do protective style options, such as a weave or wig, that match kinky, curly, and Afro-textured hair.

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THIS ENTREPRENEUR IS INFUSING HIP-HOP INTO TEA ONE CUP AT A TIME

In June 2016, the 28-year-old college dropout-turned-entrepreneur launched Trill Tea, a brand of herbal tea that embraces hip-hop culture and emphasizes being true to yourself.

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(Image: Chaz Greene Photo courtesy of Trill Tea)

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Samara Lynn

Samara Lynn is a technology journalist, covering the industry for a decade. Her work appears in The Wirecutter, Tom's Hardware, PC Mag, and other online outlets. She's the author of "Windows Server 2012: Up and Running" and previously worked in the IT industry. She's currently the digital manager at Black Enterprise.


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