She who Invests, Levels Up - Black Women and Entrepreneurship
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

It is a known fact that black women are about their business. And, Kyra Hardwick, founder of The Kyra Co., a business development services firm based in Houston, is one of them. Not only are black women the fastest growing group of female entrepreneurs in the country, they have economic, media, and political power that allows them to invest in their brands differently. And with that, they have a firm understanding that you can’t say you’re about your business if you are not investing in yourself.

Earlier this month, we caught up with Hardwick at the Women of Power Summit while she was making yet another investment in her personal and professional development after attending the Entrepreneurs Summit last year with her team. And, she was just as excited to experience being in the same space with more than 1,000 driven women as she sought inspiration while gearing up to attend and exhibit her services in Charlotte with other entrepreneurs and small business owners for the second year in a row.

As a businesswoman with 15 years of corporate experience and an entrepreneur, one of Hardwick’s goals is to create a culture of regenerating wealth within our community. And, that is why she will be at the Entrepreneurs Summit in June. “Those are things that we know we have to do but I’m a three-year-old firm, is it time? Yes, it’s time. We’re making money. So, why not invest 10% back into the community?”

 

 

Hardwick has been a part of the BE community for quite some time and she attributes a part of financial and entrepreneurial savviness to the publication.

“When the tides changed for me and I was in entrepreneurship, I realized that I could actually build my business and galvanize over the things that have changed my life over time. I was that little girl reading Black Enterprise looking at the columns. That’s how I learned finance. Not because someone sat me down, but because I read Black Enterprise,” said Hardwick.

Now as someone who is building a company and community of her own she is looking forward to connecting with other professionals in Charlotte.

This year’s theme: build, elevate, connect. What are you looking forward to most at the Entrepreneurs Summit?

That’s it—every one of those (building, elevating, and connecting). This year my focus is increasing my market share, increasing visibility, and really tightening up our processes. I’m a three-year-old business and we’ve not crossed the million dollar threshold yet, but we’re investing like we have!

I’m excited about showing people what we do! I feel like I’m in my gift. Operational excellence is an arena and I just love it. People, process, and profitability. And, you can do that anywhere in any organization. I love that I can actually show business owners live when they are there (at the Entrepreneurs Summit) while they are thinking about their business’s practical application.

You’ve invested in two Black Enterprise events. Why was it important for you to be at Women of Power?

Because we’re growing! On International Women’s Day, I had all of these people tagging me in posts about how I impacted their lives. Posts like that affirm the necessity for me to be here because I now get to take that back to my market. My market is national now and we have clients is a few states. Whoop whoop! What’s awesome is that I got to be reaffirmed. I come with my own applause, but every now and then you want someone to clap for you. And when they clap for you publicly it just blesses you!

Describe your Women of Power experience in one word.

Responsibility. I walked away with massive amounts of responsibility at this point and a full growth strategy for our business.

What advice would you give to someone attending the summit for the first time?

Be open, be prepared, and show up ready! Showing up ready is a full-on concept of being mentally prepared for it, taking care of whatever you need to take care of at home, and making sure that you don’t have any financial obligations that are wandering around in your head because that’s a distraction. I think one of the most disappointing things to see is someone that just wants to be present because other people are going to be there.

Come and bring value when you come: Study, know your craft, and be about your business. And, be ready to do business because people are invested. Last year, I invested and that was a lot of money coming out of our operational expense. Not only were we there but now we’re here (at the Women of Power Summit) but I was able to bring my team with me. So, as I’m elevating, we’re all elevating.

You can’t graduate your client base or graduate your business if you’re not able to bring your team. And, for people that understand the investments that go into events like this, it’s far beyond a hotel or a ticket.

If you’re committed to building, connecting, elevating, and investing you’re your business; meet us and Kyra at the Entrepreneurs Summit in Charlotte from June 6–9, 2018.

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Lydia Blanco

Lydia T. Blanco is a proud Afro-Latinx digital-first multimedia journalist with a strong passion for truthful storytelling, photography and creative content strategy.


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