Over the weekend, I was researching women of color and happiness (as one does on a Friday night) and I came across this article in Forbes about Black Women Entrepreneurs. The outlook, according to the author, was not very rosy. I scanned the article and then shut my computer down to get ready for bed. But something about it got under my skin. I woke up pissed and annoyed about it.
First of all, why couldn’t Forbes find a Black woman to write about Black women entrepreneurs? It just shows another instance where we’re not allowed to control our own narrative. And it speaks to the myth that organizations and brands trot out whenever they’re asked why something is so white: “We couldn’t find one.”
No, you didn’t look.
A Black journalist or a Black entrepreneur would have been able to better address the nuances of Black female entrepreneurship and probably would have offered a much more well rounded picture.
That brings me to my second frustration. Why the doom and gloom?
Basically, Black women are disrespected at work or are underemployed and so they strike out on their own to start businesses that are destined to stay at the “micro” level and further contribute to their overall stress and lack of capital.
I call bullshit.
I know SO many Black women entrepreneurs who are thriving across a variety of industries. They are not only excelling in their businesses but they are also experiencing more happiness and fulfillment. They’re showing up fully in their work. They’re unapologetic about their missions. They’re making a difference and giving back to their communities. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 7 years now and I’ve run a 6-figure business for 5 of those years and I definitely don’t feel like I’m in the minority.
Yes, Black women are funded far less than other entrepreneurs and we often lack the ability to raise money from friends & family. But we also continually finds ways to make it work.
Don’t let someone else paint your narrative for you.
If you are a Black women entrepreneur, success is possible. You can create something that you love AND make more than enough money to support yourself & your family. The limit on your income and your happiness is unbound. There are communities of women who are doing it and who are sharing how to get it done.
You can do this. You’re more than a statistic. There are women out there who have your back. I have your back. Color Outside has your back.