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10 Entrepreneurial Success Tips From Powerful Black Business Women

Here are some key lessons learned from the 20th annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit.

Originally Published May 22, 2015

More than 1,000 of the nation’s top African American entrepreneurs and executives convened in Atlanta at the 20th annual BLACK ENTERPRISE Entrepreneurs Summit, hosted by Nationwide Insurance. Several powerhouse women business owners graced the main stage and panels, sharing their lessons about starting, growing, and scaling a successful business.

All the speakers agreed that entrepreneurs need to be focused and fearless to succeed and stressed that opportunity often comes out of crisis.

For nearly 20 years, African American women have been entrepreneurial pioneers. At the time of this reporting, Black women started firms at a rate six times higher than the national average but experienced a decline.

For aspiring and existing business owners, here are 10 entrepreneurial success tips from some of the most successful Black women in business.

Lisa Nichols – CEO of Motivating The Masses

entrepreneurial success
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – MARCH 05: Lisa Nichols, CEO of Motivating the Masses poses for a picture during the 2022 Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort on March 05, 2022 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images for Disney Dreamers Academy)

“Your vision is yours; let your family off the hook. God gave you the vision for your dream biz, not them.”

“Play big or go home. Play big to the point where you scare yourself.”


Necole Parker – CEO The Elocen Group 

entrepreneurial success
WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 20: Necole Parker and Tony Lewis Jr. attend The Harvest 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Drive at Tyler House on November 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brian Stukes/Getty Images)

“Always pivot to grow as a small business owner.”

“Having business mentors is key to growing your business.”

Egypt Sherrod 

entrepreneurial success
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 11: Egypt Sherrod attends the season 2 screening of HGTV’s “Married To Real Estate” at MODEx Studios on January 11, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

“If you make yourself an expert in your field, it will organically help you expand your brand and your business.”

“You have to live your life and run your business in the spirit of service–trustworthy service.”

“You can tell people who you are, or you can show them who you are–it’s the latter [that counts].”


Kim Kimble – Owner of Kim Kimble Salons

entrepreneurial success
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 07: Celebrity Hairstylist Kim Kimble poses for a picture backstage during ESSENCE House: Hollywood Edition at NeueHouse Los Angeles on February 07, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

“Faith without works is dead–you have to put in the work and take control for the success of your business.”

“Learn how to give as much as you take. Bring something to the table.”

“Lesson learned: when creating a new product line, start small–create & test a few products first. Not a whole line.”

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