Feature Image by @erinondemand

Black History Month is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of black leaders throughout American history. If you need a female leader to celebrate, then look no further than Madame C.J. Walker, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, activist and self-made millionaire. Yet, not all trailblazers are in the past. 

Today, according to the 2018 State of Women-Owned Business report, the percentage of firms owned by black women grew by 164 percent, which is nearly three times the rate of all women-owned businesses. There are African American women in every realm of the business world writing checks and taking names. Here are a few, some new to the business and others who are experts, that you should know about:

Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Urban One, Inc.

This media maven knows a thing or two about trailblazing. She is the founder and chairperson of Urban One, Inc (formerly known as Radio One, Inc.), the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation. The company’s doors have been open for 40 years.

Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder and CEO of ActOne Group

This 65-year-old business lady is an expert in workforce management. Operating in 19 countries worldwide with more than 17,000 clients, ActOne Group is the largest privately-held, woman and minority-owned workforce management company in the country.

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GOOD MORNING AMERICA!!⁣ ⁣ On Saturday I had my debut appearance on @GoodMorningAmerica! It was for a segment around booking last minute travel. ⁣ ⁣ Top Tips:⁣ ⁣ 1. Chase the deal, not the destination. Remain flexible. @skyscanner is great because you can put in your origin, dates and “everywhere” which will help you find options within your budget. ⁣ 2. Use miles and credit card points where possible. I booked my return flight from Accra really really late. The one way to Detroit was $3700 ???? but i was able to save by using 160,000 miles! Don’t forget about credit card points as well. ⁣ 3. The cheapest days to travel are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. ⁣ ⁣ Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive, use these tips for your next trip. There are more tips in my highlights “Travel Tips”. To see my full appearance, check the link in my bio!⁣ Special thanks to @jrbland and @capitol_ej. ⁣ Do you have any tips on how to save money for travel?!? ⁣ ⁣ #catchmeinnewyork #catchmeinnyc

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Jessica Nabongo, founder of Jet Black and The Catch

The first black woman to ever travel to every country, this Detroit native is the founder and CEO of two companies. The first is Jet Black, a luxury travel firm, and The Catch, a socially conscious, luxury lifestyle brand inspired by 195 countries Nabongo has visited.

Jacque Aye, founder of Adorned by Chi

This entrepreneur catapulted to the public eye in 2015 when she launched Adorned by Chi, an anime and manga-inspired lifestyle brand. Since its inception, the brand has been featured in Essence, Buzzfeed, Revelist and Nylon. The brand even offers adorable apparel to match.

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Had such a great time earlier this year with my luvs @mykurlyjourney and @curlhawkqueen at the @naturallymeevents in Cerritos, CA! ❤️ ⠀ So proud to say that @kyrasheamedleys will be a sponsor for the “SoCal Naturals Meet Up Day” presented by @naturallymeevents x @_curlsquad_ x @thenaturalapproach_ in Long Beach, CA! You don’t want to miss this event! Some bags will even have our newest line @sheamedksm inside them so make sure you pull up and enjoy an amazing time with amazing naturals! ???????? ⠀ ——————————- ⠀ #naturalhair #teamnatural #protectivestyles #naturalhairdaily #curlyhair #naturalista #curls #afro #blackgirlmagic #melanin #healthyhair #myhaircrush #naturalhaircommunity #berrycurly #naturallyshesdope #blackgirlsrock #naturalhairstyles #braids #naturalhairdoescare #kinkychicks #naturalhairjourney #kinkyhair #locs #curlbox #twistout #healthy_hair_journey #teamnatural_ #naturalhaircare #bighair #natural

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Kyra Young, Founder of Kyra Shea Medleys

Young broke into the beauty industry, alongside business partners John Moore and Michael Moore, by creating a natural hair and skin care company that has since gained mass appeal. Their story is one of hard work and persistence – three African-American entrepreneurs from South Central Los Angeles who have gone on to being featured on Good Morning America, Essence and Blavity.

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Man. I bossed up in 2019. I am in awe of how transformative the year was. I blazed through all of my goals and beyond. My biggest takeaway from 2019 was to take the chance and not get comfortable when you win on the chance you took. Half of the things that happened to me freaked me out. And many times I wondered – why me? I’d be stuck in negotiations but keep a poker face while I hurried and called my momager for advice ???? I’ve been overlooked in meetings when people didn’t know I was the boss. I’ve cried… a LOT. I picked up my camera every single week to share my journey when I felt like I didn’t have much to show – still living in my parents’ home with no fancy studio or team. I stayed up late. Woke up early. Completed at least 3 tasks daily. Bought a new car. Launched a membership club. Partnered with brands. Got my student loans forgiven. Gained 90,000 internet friends. Held our first @black_and_goald event. Hit 6-figures in EOD. Got engaged! ???? I say all of this to say, there is POWER in ONE YEAR. Stop wasting your time and resources and start treating every single day like it matters. I’ve learned to operate in a “Why NOT me?” space, while maintaining gratitude for everything God has given me. You guys inspire me in ways beyond words. The chance you take with your life isn’t just for you… it’s for the people you’re destined to touch. The crazy thing is, I feel like I only gave about 80% last year. It’s really game time, now. How are you bossing up this year? Sn- New video is up on How to Be A Boss just went live, in my New Year Refresh series! ????????

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Erin Winters, Founder of Erin on Demand and Co-founder of Black & GOALD

Another Detroit native, Winters specializes in helping other entrepreneurs build their online presence through video storytelling and strategic brand marketing. She launched her digital marketing and video production company Erin On Demand in 2018. Her YouTube channel, named after her business, has since grown to more than 112,000 subscribers. She also is the co-founder of an empowerment clothing line with her fiance called Black & GOALD.

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SMILE! This is how I feel once my skin pro finishes those pesky extractions. Am I the only one who hates them! I can't be. Extractions are necessary, so don't fight your esthetician. ⁣????????????⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ ⁣???? Follow for honest, expert skincare advice. ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ????Download the @wellkepbeauty app and keep track of what ingredients work, when they expire, and what product order work best for you. ⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ .⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ #dermaplaning #highfrequency #extractions #blackhead #facials #acne #mask #skincare #skin #beauty #esthetician #blackheads #pimplepopping #pimplepopper #cyst #pimple #blackhead #whiteheads #whiteheadremoval #blackheadremoval #extractions⁣⠀ ⁣⠀ ⁣⠀

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Sheena D. Franklin, Founder of Well-Kept Beauty

Well-Kept Beauty should be every woman’s new best mobile friend. The dermatology and skin care app helps you maintain healthy and glowing skin throughout your day. She launched the company initially just by asking questions. Franklin would survey customers in Sephora and outside of dermatology offices.

xx, The FabFitFun Team