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Underrated Black Entrepreneurs

By The Biz Team (Siam)

When one thinks about black entrepreneurs, names like Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Beyonce, and Jay-Z frequently come to mind. But most, if not all, of these celebrities were able to find success in business, using the exposure and earnings they'd made in the entertainment industry. But what about people who don't have that luxury? A recent study conducted by RateMyInvestor and DiversityVC tracked deals backed by venture capitalists over the last five years, and polled over 10,000 founders. They found that 77.1 percent of founders were white, and only one percent of venture-backed founders was black. Hopefully, the Black Lives Matter movement will change this. But in the meantime, here is a list of just a few of the black entrepreneurs who have made it big in the world of business, without the help of celebrity:

Essynce Moore

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Essynce Moore began building an empire at thirteen years old. She founded Essynce Couture, which is a spa and boutique business for adolescents. On top of that, she's authored a book called "6th Grade Middle School Chronicles," and has her own clothing line.

David L. Steward

Photo Credit: WWT press kit

David Stewart founded World Wide Technology in 1990. The company now boasts over $10 billion in annual revenue, and has over 5,000 employees, making it one of the largest private companies in the U.S. To grow up being segregated by race, and to then become one of the country's top entrepreneurs, is a sure sign of hopeful progress.

Chris Gardner

Photo Credit: Angela George via Wikipedia

This black entrepreneur is such an inspiration, his story was adapted for the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness." In the early 1980s, Gardner was juggling sleeping on the streets with raising his young son. He eventually became a stock broker, and founded his own firm Gardner Rich & Co. in 1987.

Morgan DeBaun

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Morgan DeBaun founded Blavity with Aaron Samuels and Jeff Nelson in 2014. Blavity is a portfolio of brands and websites created by black millennials, for black millennials.

Why do we need to know about less renowned black entrepreneurs? Well, for one, why not? But in terms of investing, black owned businesses are a ripe and, according to the study mentioned above, untapped market. Black people cater towards a market that many white investors don't know (or sometimes care) about. It's time to end this. The recent protests have demonstrated that for many, it's no longer socially acceptable to be exclusionary because of race, nor should it have ever been. Perhaps we might be finding that it's also not profitable either.

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