Starting a business is a lot of work, but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life—if done correctly. Before starting on your passion project and turning it into a lucrative side hustle, it’s a good idea to plan thoroughly for any financial or mental setbacks that may occur. That being said, this list is solely to inspire and generate ideas among black female entrepreneurs for potential business ideas. The world is ours to take over, black women. Let’s go.
At this point, more than half of my annual purchases are made towards a black owned company. From underwear, to toothpaste, to bathroom wall prints and head wraps, there’s a black-owned company for almost anything. However, when it comes to fashion and clothing, there seems to be a severe lack of black-owned organizations that sell anything more than the generic t-shirts with afro prints that we’ve all seen.
As a self-proclaimed fashionista, I can only wear a t-shirt with a #buyblack logo for so long, before the lack of variety gets seriously boring. Especially in the colder climates of Canada, it’s just not a realistic clothing choice. However, wouldn’t it be great if there were dozens of black-owned companies that could rival H&M’s fall-knit sweaters, with a wide selection of tons of stylish denim jeans as well? If starting a business is something you’re prepared to do, consider beginning a company that caters to all types of fashion!
With the rise of bullet journaling and gorgeous stationery, anyone with a passion in business and creative eye for design has the potential to create a profitable stationary business. Whether you start an Etsy business by selling hand-made journals or hand-made dual brush pens in all colors, or you start an offline business, there are plenty of opportunities and lots of money to be made. There are currently a couple companies like African-American Expressions that sell holiday cards for black people and high-quality journals, washi tape and pens, but there is always room for more!
3. Job-Finding Platforms/Platforms for Black Entrepreneurs
There’s already Craigslist, Indeed, LinkedIn and Workopolis, but did you know there are already some black-owned platforms to help you find a job? After losing her job in 2016, Stephanie Caudle created a jobsite/freelance platform called Black Girl Group that connects black female freelancers to companies that are looking for workers, or simply looking to promote and market to African-American communities. Websites likes Black Girl Group and BlackFreelancers work to link black freelancers with recruiters and bridge the race wage gap. Platforms like this are fantastic ideas because they help lower some of the challenges that black people face when finding jobs.
4. Film Company
We have a lot of black youtubers and a lot of black filmmakers and actors and actresses working in Hollywood. But what if we created a platform to promote black filmmakers or black films and create films that are entirely black-owned, with black casts to black directors, producers and more?
5. Comic Creators/Comic Strip Company
Black people, we have a tendency to complain when a character is white-washed in a Marvel or DC movie. It seems, however, that our complaints are ineffective because characters on the big screen are consistently being made to appease to the white gaze. Instead of conforming to these standards, how about creating our own alternatives? While in the past many black characters were created by white writers, artists and studios, we live in a generation of social media and the internet, which gives black creators a chance to share their talent with the world and tell the stories of black people.
Erika Alexander (or Maxine Shaw from Living Single), Mildred Louis and Paul Louise-Julie are just a few black comic creators, but there’s room for more savvy, talented black artists—and there’s even a need for a black-owned alternative to DC Comics and Marvel. With the popularity of graphic novels and Anime, there’s no reason why black people can’t launch our own alternatives.
If you’re a black woman looking to start a business, there are resources for us, such as Black Women Enterprises, whose ambitious mission is to “identify and remove the barriers that impede the success of black women business owners from participating in government and private sector procurement, promote equal access to capital, educate, advocate, reverse industry trends that foster business failure among black women business owners, serve as a referral resource, and serve as a clearing house for all information related to businesses owned by black women.”
There is also Black Enterprise, which is an online magazine that provides “business news, educational tools, minority business trends, as well as networking opportunities for African Americans”. They also produce information on expanding your career, building wealth and publish stories of successful African American business owners. Another resource is Black Founders, whose mission is to “increase the number of successful black entrepreneurs in technology” by training, inspiring and equipping entrepreneurs to be innovative.
"Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law."