Are you thinking about starting a business? If so, we think you’ll enjoy reading about how these seasoned entrepreneurs thought about the question when they were in your shoes.

Tareva Ruffin | Owner of Helping Hands Speech & Language Services, LLC

When I initially began thinking about opening my own pediatric speech and language clinic, I wanted to make sure I was providing specialized and top quality services to everyone within the community. I worked for various private practices and within the school system after obtaining my Masters degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Building upon my skill set, I knew I wanted to have the flexibility to manage my own schedule while continuing to make a difference in the lives and homes of others. Read more>>

Amanda Singer | Owner/Operator Just Love Coffee Cafe, Coffee snob. Dog rescuer.

After spending 30+ years in Corporate America, I’ve been planning my “retirement” and wanted a platform that allowed me to be involved in my local community and give back to animal rescue groups, which I have been involved with for the greater part of my adult life. I’ve always been involved in the hospitality/hotel industry and love serving others, opening a local coffee shop was a great marriage between the skills I have learned in the corporate world, and also being embedded in the community and helping local organizations. Read more>>

Ruju Hailey Shah | CEO & Founder of RHS Events

Ever since planning and designing my wedding years ago, it’s been my passion and frankly, obsession to plan events for others. What I love most about planning though isn’t necessarily the physical execution or design plans, it’s being able to make an event truly unique by highlighting the unique personalities and quirks about the couple or person we’re celebrating Read more>>

Cory Shaw | Entrepreneur

Creating something that would make my family proud and to be able to help others Read more>>

Ne’Shia Holden | Actress, Cosmetologist, & Entrepreneur.

I wanted something to call my own. That no one could take from me. I wanted something original with my own flavor. It was more about the future for me and opening up an avenue to support my acting career and make time for auditions and to film. In past experiences, most jobs would not allow me to do such and my future, time, pay were in their control. I did not and still do not like that idea! I wanted something that my future self would that me for months and years from now! Read more>>

Lenora Drawsand-Attoni | Owner Of Crown Glory Extensions And Business Strategist

I came up with the idea to start selling hair in December 2018.When it came to my hair, I’ve spent $500-$700 monthly on buying hair extensions. I was tired of spending so much. I looked into how much these hair companies was making & thought I could do this too. I didn’t know where to start or how to but I came across someone selling an ebook on how to write a business plan. I bought it, did my research, and tried to include a close friend and my hairstylist in on the business idea. I set up our first business meeting where everyone was asked to bring a business plan for the hair business. Well my former friend didn’t show and my former hairstylist came to the table empty handed. I left her right at that table. Read more>>

Imani Lewis | National Bestselling Author

As a self-published author, I didn’t have the benefit of working with a traditional publishing house that’ll help me with all aspects of publishing a book. I just had me, myself and I. I did endless amounts of research, used my degree in Marketing, as well as, my creative spirit to accomplish this milestone on my own. I’ve always been the type to want to help, encourage and uplift other people, so I thought what better way to do that then extend my resources and expertise to help others elevate their businesses. Starting my own publishing company seemed like the obvious next step for me, and even though I’m still a new author, I’d love to help others like me to reach their dreams. Read more>>

LaToya Drish | Press On Nail Artist, Skincare and Cosmetics Entrepreneur

A few years ago, I was fighting depression. So I had did some research and one thing that stood out to me was to do things that felt impossible to do. I started just doing things in the house, like putting lipstick on while my hair was standing up on my head. I would put press on nail’s to cook dinner. It my sound silly, but it was whatever to make me feel beautiful and find the self-love for myself again. Read more>>

Danielle Hughes | Photographer & Videographer

I started my business when I was a Junior in High School. When I first started my business back in 2015, my original name was DH Productions. When I came up with this name, I was 15 going on 16 years old and had a vision from day one that couldn’t be changed by anyone (so I thought). However, when I got to college I tried to get an LLC and I couldn’t because someone already owned DH Productions. So I did what anyone else might have thought to do and breakdown the D and the H. Now my business name is Danielle Hughes Productions LLC. Read more>>

Mike Bazell | Founder, Director, and Mentor of AYM-Ambitious Young Men Incorporated

How can I help my community? That was the first question I asked myself when I start having strong feelings of wanting to do more with my life. I always wanted to help more within my community but I had so many excuses why I couldn’t. I chose to stop talking about it and being about it. I did not know where to start but I prayed and I fasted. After discussing my plans with God, my family, and my spiritual leaders, I started walking by faith and never looked back. Read more>>

Shawnte Easley | Creator

I fell in love with hair extensions about 10 years ago. Around year two I found myself spending a lot of time bouncing around from website to website to compare and review prices and qualities from different companies. It was at that time the idea came to me that it would be much more convenient to input exactly what type of hair I was looking for, and then choose from the companies that had exactly what I was looking for and that’s how the concept of Xtension Engine was born. Read more>>

Jeremy Coleman | Photographer

Truly it wasn’t a ton. I had always been interested in taking photos so I picked up a camera and used the halfway decent eye I had, and it was up from there Read more>>

Lisa Lake | Co-Founder and Community Affairs Director

It all started with two PTA co-presidents, a parent volunteer, and a board. This PTA board was determined to change the lives of parents, teachers and students, at a small school, in a low-economic and underserved area, in Decatur, Ga. They had little resources, money or support. But they successfully organized fundraisers, parenting programs, hosted events, and engaged the local community. Read more>>

Demetrice Amos | Bakery Owner

I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I owned a daycare prior to going back to corporate America 17 years ago. My lightbulb went off after the pandemic surfaced, and I realized this was my opportunity to spread my wings and start my own business again. However, this time around, I was led to showcase my baking talent, so I decided to start a bakery. A little over a year later, I believe I made the best decision ever. Read more>>

Nathanael Fisher | Producing Artistic Director/Co Founder of Emerald Coast Theatre Company

My wife and I saw that there were no opportunities for elementary school aged children and only one chance for middle school children to get involved in theatre. We wanted to change that for the Destin/30a Area. Read more>>

Darren Cobb | Social Media Manager

Being that I’m the first and only black journalist to accumulate 200k on Instagram in one year, I knew that it was important for me to create a business where I could help other entrepreneurs and companies achieve similar accomplishments. Whenever God gives you a talent as such it’s your duty to bless others Read more>>

Tonya Hicks | IBEW Jouneyman Electrician, Serial Entrepreneur, and Philantropist

I started my business to provide career opportunities to women and minorities in the electrical industry. Women and minorities have been systematically kept out of the higher paying trades including; electrical, mechanical, and plumbing. As an apprentice in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, I didn’t see black men being promoted to management positions with the companies I worked for. Of course, I didn’t see any other women at all. Only 2.9% percent of tradespeople are women. That’s not because women aren’t interested in working in the trades; nor does it mean women aren’t qualified or capable. It’s not a big enough effort to hire, promote, or retain women and minorities in skilled labor. Read more>>

Laura Gomez | Art Director and Designer

I thought about how can I change the game, what is that i do that make me special. I think the hardest part is that hesitation you have, that feeling of not being confident enough to do something. It’s hard to get pass that and really make a the jump. In my case, I also needed that feeling of just do it, i’ve been slacking a lot, and not finding the “right time” to do it. I believe this self doubt or waiting for things to be figured out is just a barrier that we put ourselves, it so easy to say just do it, but honestly it takes A LOT to do it. In a more rational way I think its important to have a safety net….be sure that you have some money saved, a little of back up just in case. Read more>>

Latifah Donald | Kingdom worker

My thought process behind starting my own business was simply obeying God. I’ve been doing hair for about 15 years and makeup for about 10 years. I’ve always had a passion for making others feel good about themselves, and I knew that doing my own hair and makeup aways made me feel good about myself, so I wanted to extend that same Peace and Love to others. I put a name with my talents in 2018 and finally made what I had been doing for so long a business. Around the time I did this, I had just moved back from Illinois, the company that I had been with for 2 in a half years had acquired another company, and downsizing was getting ready to occur. Read more>>

April Nesmith | CEO of XAC Solutions

The name of my business is XAC Solutions. (Pronounced like the word exact but without the t lol). My business is named after my 3 children, Xavien, Autumn and Cameron. My entire thought process behind my business would be about my children. My plan is to create generational wealth for my family. Creating a line of income for generations to come. When I first started my business, I would reach out to people who were already successful in the industry, and I was ignored and even told “I’ll do it for you at wholesale prices so you can keep your customers”. But that wasn’t what I wanted. Read more>>

Brianna Herrington | MultiMedia Marketing Educator

In the early stages I just wanted another stream of income. I’m a single parent and I’m in school and I felt like there was a timer for when I needed to be stable enough to give my kid everything I never had. I started out with a fast fashion e-commerce business that was supposed to jump start my finances. It just didn’t work out. I realized that I really wasn’t passionate about the business or the way I was going about it so I switched gears. I put what I knew into action for me and launched my marketing business. I felt like there were so many people in the industry with no experience and no real desire to help or teach anyone. I realized I could change that. I had years of knowledge that no one else could match and I wanted to share that. Read more>>

Crystal Gayle Dorion | Holistic Health Consultant & Hair Care Formulator

Deciding to start my own business was not about me! I am overcoming a tragic Health Crisis. In 2017 I became severely ill and was diagnosed with two rare neuromuscular autoimmune diseases, which had me partially paralyzed and suffering hair loss. Doctors told me I’d never be able to walk again and I would eventually lose all my hair. I did not accept that and I began researching how to restore my Health & Beauty naturally. People began noticing the improvements in my physical health, my skin & Hair and began reaching out to me. I knew I had to help, so I began offering Holistic Consulting Services and I’m working on my Natural Medicinal-based Hair Care line that focuses on scalp & Hair health!! Read more>>

Erik Vibes | Singer/Songwriter

We’ll I’m an RnB artist.. I love singing and writing music, I can be in my feelings sometimes so its a good way to get all of that out. Coming up in this game you don’t make a lot of money at first. I needed a way to connect with my fans and also make a living so that I could keep doing what I love to do. I figured making T-shirts out of lyrics or images that relate to the music I release would be the best way to go. Read more>>

Marsha Baldwin | Travel Nurse and entrepreneur

I started my business as a mean for passive income while I work as a Nurse. I started out selling dresses, pants and accessories but I did not feel a connection with what I was selling. I thought about it for a minute and decided to re-brand my store as a reflection of what I was struggling with. I had a hard time saying no and separating myself from toxic people; it was time to protect my space and my energy and i knew their others going through similar situations. It was emotional but I had to do it in order to focus on myself mentally ,emotionally and spiritually. Read more>>

TaMisha Tene | Fashion Accessory Boss™?

My thought process behind starting my own business actually began as a private label t shirt brand FABuulous CHIKKS but evolved into an online boutique hub for fashion preneurs who wanted to shop, style & study for business. I then created CHIKK University, an online platform to certify as a jewelry stylist or accessory trend consultant after being in the wholesale buying industry for 20 + years. Read more>>

Mohamed Kamara | Founder and CEO of InovCares – Modernizing Healthcare for Women of Color

Mohamed Kamara is the founder and CEO of InovCares Connected Comprehensive Healthcare, LLC. He was inspired to develop InovCares following the tragic loss of both his sister and his aunt to preeclampsia, a preventable pregnancy complication. With InovCares, saving lives is our highest goal. Saving money just happens to be a pleasant side effect. Every woman deserves high-quality, affordable care. However, every year 500,000 women between ages 15 to 49 die from pregnancy-related complications. Worse still, two-thirds of these deaths are preventable. Read more>>

Sasha Dixon | I’m Medical Representative by profession and Entrepreneur.

Well, I decided that I wanted to look into having a second stream of income. As well as I really missed tapping into my creative side. It’s something I neglected ever since I had my son and life got super busy. Read more>>

Jamie Vickers | Master Barber

I worked at two different shops before I opened my own. At both I was involved and trusted in a lot of business affairs as well as daily operates that went on. So I said to myself if I can help run someone’s else’s business why can’t I run my own. Read more>>

Angeliz Bruno | Writer, Actress, Director, Filmmaker

Through my first pageant in Central florida for Miss Florida – MTH I was discovered by a Talent agency called Legacy Talent Group after performing my Broadway piece from Ragtime. I quickly picked up gigs and acted through Central florida and observed the cast and crew on each set I attended. I realized one day as I sat in my room that I just didn’t want to be an actress I wanted to become part of the crew and learn how to develop a story and learn how to entertain the audiences not just to act in roles but also creating the stories creating the adventure creating the opportunities to give to other cast and crew. Read more>>

Kendra Townsend | Entrepreneur + Brand Designer

My final semester of college at The University of Memphis was coming to a close and I was wanting to begin something that would help me display my talents. What originally started as a hobby, blogging and photography, grew into something much more. After having some difficulty snagging the perfect gig after school, I decided to turn my “hobby into a paycheck”. Read more>>

Jason H. Brown | Real Estate Agent, Business Owner, & Talk Show Host

I got laid off from my last two jobs. At that point, a few things about my relationship with corporate became painfully clear to me. The two companies were acting in their best interests and I felt like I was working harder for someone else’s dreams than my own. I figured that if I could work hard for someone else, I can definitely work hard for myself. While receiving the severance payments I decided to invest in myself. I paid to take classes to get my Real Estate license and I started The 710 Print Shop to make merchandise for my podcast that I’ve been doing for the last 4 years. I went from making merchandise for myself to taking orders. Read more>>

Romye Robinson | Streaming Network content creator , Musical artist/ Producer and Cannabis industry branding

The thought process behind starting my own business in media was to reverse engineer the process of being a traditional artist and the aspect of marketing. In the past the emphasis was not based on branding, but being a true artist was the emphasis which attention was paid to entering into the industry unless you had a major company backing you. Read more>>

Steve Smith | Owner & Project Manager

I honestly started my business out of pure frustration due to the fact that I was in between jobs and I really needed something to help fill in the blanks. So I was brain storming and I came with painting rooms. Read more>> 

Victor Joroh | Student/Learner…Creative…Communication Specialist…Entrepreneur…Humanitarian

1. Joroh Clothing LINE was born as a tribute to my maternal Grandma, Mary Nassolo Kamugwa (R.I.P), who was a fashion enthusiast and businesswoman; once a seamstress. She passed on, on the 9th of December, 1995 at 2pm. Her legacy had to be carried on with a passion and serious zeal. 2. Through Joroh Clothing LINE, by way of providing the minority groups and the priority communities, especially the single-mothers, and the LGBTQI+ community in sub-Saharan Africa with basic needs from meaningful employment to legal advice in conjunction with The Global sub-Saharan Human Rights Developmental Policy Initiative (GSHRDPI) and their works. Read more>>

Shannan Brown | Artisan & Naturalist

My thought process behind starting my business. It began with me wanting another creative outlet. So, I decided to teach myself a new skill. Making soap and other natural products. I wanted to learn more about the things we put on our skin. It was mind blowing to discover how harmful and unnecessary alot of the ingredients were. I dove right in. I wanted to create products that were only beneificial to body. Read more>>

Adrienne Floyd | Entrepreneur & Fitness Trainer

Creating something new for women in the fitness industry was behind my thought process. I wanted to give a brand that represents every woman to feel confident and get active. Read more>>

Fred Whitaker | Talent Manager & Entrepreneur

My thought process was to break the generational cycle of my family working 9-5. I am the first one in my family to graduate from college and do not have a 9-5. No disrespect to those who do work a 9-5, but I could not see myself sitting behind a desk for 30+ years until I retire. Read more>>

Bernard and Edana J Perry | Edana – Co- founder KRPMF, mom, wife , poet, author , healthare professional and minister Bernard- Co-Founder KRPMF, dad, husband,author,minister and educator

Our thought process was triggered by a desire to give back to the community thru a Non- profit organization in honor of our daughter Kayla who passed away unexpectedly from a seizure. Our thought process was motivated by a desire to turn our mourning into mission. With that thought in mind, via our network we sought the services of an attorney who could guide us through the process of creating a 501C-3 in our state. Read more>>

Marquita & Chasity Millen | Owners

The thought process began over a decade ago with the establishment of our personal brands that uniquely defined our individual visions of creating a line of natural body care products, handcrafted jewelry, herbal remedies, aromatics, and services (classes/workshop/spiritual advisory) that assist you on your spiritual journey. We wanted to share our personal experiences and wisdom with the world and so we started online businesses to help fulfill that desire. Many of our clients/customers knew us individually but did not get the full scope because they were only able to experience portions of the complete vision. We are both, respectively, a powerhouse but the “…aha, I definitely understand now” becomes all the more apparent as you witness our energy united. Read more>>

Bremeka Gilbert | Chandler & Social Worker

I believe that God lead to candle making and starting a business doing so. I’m a licensed Social Worker specializing in Mental Health and during the pandemic, I was employed as a counselor, I had just had a baby (born premature), so many people that I knew personally had lost their lives due to Covid-19, and I was overwhelmed. I decided to resign from my job. One day while taking a shower, I was talking to God and praying. I remember saying “God, the helper needs some help.” I heard God respond “make some candles”. I was confused to say the least. I have never been a crafter or a DIY person. I didn’t know the 1st thing about making candles. I began to research… for months I researched. I began to buy supplies and test. From there, BlesScents Candle Company was born. Read more>>

Denecia Stokley | House Of Sleeping Beauty CEO

My thought process behind my business is to make women feel sexy especially mothers. As a mother, we can sometimes lose sight of ourselves and what makes us feel sexy again after a baby. I want women to know that those stretch marks, that extra hanging skin in the stomach area, and that extra weight is still sexy so tap into it. Read more>>

Taleeka Franklin | Wine Maker & Hotelier

After seeing a few wine brands on the market who’s wine labels came to life, my passion for both wine and activism with a goal of making Black people more socially aware, I used this augmented technology to manifest my vision. These passions birthed a need to present a product that featured individuals who positively impacted the Black community while selling my favorite beverage, WINE! Wine4Culture’s wine labels bring Black leaders to life using augmented technology, starting with Harriet Tubman as my first prototype and Tyler Perry as my second. I am now developing my great grandfather’s venue into Franklin Winery in Madison, Georgia sourcing grape juice from local farmers becoming the second Black owned winery in the state. Read more>>

Ronnesha Sade | Founder of the On Purpose Planner Journal, motivational speaker, and mental health therapist

The On Purpose Planner Journal is a journal and planner all in one. The planner part allows you to plan your day, your weeks, and even your months to help you stay organized. The journal part is a guide to helping you find purpose in life. It comes with encouragement letters, journal prompts, and a self care guide. For me, living a purpose filled life was the thought process behind starting my own business. At first, I never called it a business. Read more>> 

Toni Carey | Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer

I am a strong believer in “doing what you love”. Our careers & work life take up far too much of our time for them not to be purposeful & worthwhile. For me, running a full-time photography business has always been the dream, but it never really felt realistic. I’ve loved learning about this art since I was in middle school. The more I learned & experienced it throughout my life, the more I felt pulled towards it. Read more>>