It’s no secret that black women entrepreneurs are making major boss moves. And today, culture can go beyond just a buzzword for a campaign or a debate on authenticity—it can be something to embrace to capture a unique niche, fill a market void, and find expanded success.
Claudine Moore is one entrepreneur who knows more than a thing or two about that. She has successfully led C Moore Media (CMM), a New York-based, international strategic communications firm, since 2010, providing specialized services for global clients.
Before launching CMM, she worked in public relations for brands and agencies including Ralph Lauren, McCann Erickson (MRM), and Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and though the experience was great for her career, she wanted to be able to cater to a region she’d grown to wonder about and admire as a child.
“My parents were Pan Africanists, so from an early age I have had an interest in Africa,” she says. “To fully enjoy your career, [I know that] you have to align it with your passions, [so] I decided that I wanted to expand the work I did to African markets. When I got laid off during the economic downturn in 2009, I left Hill & Knowlton Strategies with a couple of clients. That consulting evolved into CMM, and the new freedom allowed me to focus on regions I was passionate about. I got on a plane, and since 2010, I have been doing business between the UK, U.S. and West Africa.”
She has since worked with brands and global leaders that cater to markets on the continent, including Arik Airlines, billionaire businessman Tony O. Elumelu, and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan—adding these to her already impressive list of other international brands she’s worked with including Louis Vuitton, Coca-Cola, and Johnson & Johnson.
Beyond the larger brands and businesses, Moore has also found success in a niche of working with West African entrepreneurs and startup initiatives to help them reach their goals and better compete in the global market. “We are committed to leveraging our global network to support this community to help position them as the businesses of future,” she says.
Her Caribbean heritage is often something that keeps her motivated, dedicated, and connected to the clients she caters to. Whether it’s relating on similar interests, challenges, and cultural experiences to provide a tailored service, or simply being able to spark conversations and add a special touch that leads to referrals within communities of color, Moore finds it important to embrace the role of culture in expanding her global client base.
“It is an important part of us that we should always draw strength, inspiration, and a sense of peace, which is so crucial in the current climate in America. Caribbean history is full of great leaders and thinkers, and it is rich with stories of overcoming adversity and major obstacles of oppression,” Moore says. “Our food, music, and culture is a history lesson within itself—dating back centuries—and casts a spotlight on our African heritage, which is yet another layer from which to draw pride and further inspiration. We have a lot to celebrate, and the halo effect of this serves to push us even further toward continued progress and success.”