Power Women of the Diaspora: Philanthropist MacDella Cooper
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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We’ve also empowered women to break out of a cycle of poverty with access to education, as well as an understanding of their reproductive rights and health.

We also created a brand called L’Africana, which represents ‘the African woman,’ we support women by giving them the opportunity to produce products and create their own business bringing their products to mass market. They can make their own living. It’s a for-profit venture, and it gives them strong business ideas and concepts for product production. We’re now planning pop-up stores, an e-commerce site, and eventually launch a shop to sell African products and services.

We’re working with young, emerging designers as well as well-known brands, including Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Korto Momolu.

What can other young women of the Diaspora do to boost their prospects of international success and create impact? 
Today, young women have something that makes things so much easier to connect with the world: social media. In my days, the world seemed so much bigger because you’d have to make phone calls or write letters to reach people internationally and wait, but social media gives you a platform to instantly connect—the world has become smaller.

Also, entrepreneurship is so crucial. We need more black-owned businesses launched by black women. It can change the agenda, and we need more black females to tell our stories to empower and inspire… More young black women starting more businesses. It will knock out the [prevalence] of being excluded or not having a seat at the table.  Whether it’s a small business or an initiative; start it. It will grow.  Collaborations, partnerships, and networking will help it to expand globally.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.

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