Thanks to thriving creativity and extraordinary work ethic, many young black entrepreneurs are already rocking the boat with their business vision. They do not let their age define them, and their innovative skills know no boundaries. They are already giving back to their communities and the world at a young age by creating sustainable and creative products. Moreover, it is pertinent to note that black entrepreneurs have always faced, and still face unique challenges in America. Yet, despite these odds, they are making waves by continuing to start businesses.
Here are the top 10 young black teen entrepreneurs of 2020:
Marsai Martin – 16
Marsai Martin, whose birth name is Caila Marsai Martin, is the youngest female executive producer in Hollywood. She started her career in 2014 as an actress and then she founded Genius entertainment which is a Los Angeles-based production company. In 2019, she starred in Little, a Universal Pictures comedy film for which she was also an executive producer. Since 2014, she has been nominated for and won numerous awards and in 2019, Time magazine included her in its “Time 100 Next”, an annual listicle of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Neijae Graham-Henries – 9
Naijai Graham-Henries is a 9-year-old barber from Philadelphia, America, and is already making her mark in the world of haircutting – as a barber. She is the world’s youngest female barber. She has around 4,000 followers on her Instagram account, and a quick search of her name on YouTube yields several videos of her at work, some with thousands of views. Naijai has been featured on “Inside Edition” and “NowThisNews.” “I want to help people. I enjoy giving back to the community,” she said. “I want to go there and do that.” She gives free haircuts to those in need and, at the same time, mastering her skills from Philadelphia barbers. She is confident about her career in a male-dominated profession and her resolve to pursue her passion.
Michael Wren – 12
Michael Wren, whose birth name is Michael “Mikey” Wren is the one youngest vending operators in the world. In 2015, at age 8, he asked his mother if she could buy a vending machine for him so he could start making money off it. This was the start of Mikey’s entrepreneurial journey. Currently, at age 12, Michael has five vending machines in the St. Louis, Missouri area and is striving to help other young people achieve their dreams as well. Besides being a successful young entrepreneur, Mickey has authored Mikey learns about business, Amazon’s best-selling children’s book and Biz is a Wiz, a book written for pre-K to 3rd grade.
Jahkil Jackson – 13
Jahkil Jackson, from Chicago, America, is not an average 13-year-old child. At the tender age of 8, he founded Project I Am, a non-profit organization aiming to provide relief to the homeless. Since then, Jackson, through his organization, has distributed tens of thousands of care packages, called “blessing bags,” among homeless people around the world. His work and contributions have been recognized by Forbes, CNN, BET, Nike, and celebrities, including Carmelo Anthony as well as some of the big names such as President Barack Obama. He frequently speaks on the issue of homelessness and was recently featured on the new series “Marvel’s Hero Project” on Disney Plus. The work that Jackson and his family do to create care packages has been highlighted in the episode “Make Way for Jahkil.”
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Mikaila Ulmer – 15
Mikaila Ulmer is a 15-year-old black entrepreneur from America who runs a lemonade business, Me & the bees, in Austin, Texas. Her lemonade is sold in over 1500 stores across America. She started her career by selling lemonade in front of her house. Mikaila, since her humble beginnings, has donated 10% of her profits to the cause of saving bees. In 2015, she and her father appeared on Shark Tank, where she received a $60,000 investment to grow her business and met with President Barack Obama the same year. In 2017, her company received an $800,000 investment from consortium football players.
Marley Dias – 15
Marley Dias, born on January 4, 2005, is an activist and writer from America. In November 2015, when Dias was in elementary school, she launched a #100BlackGirlBooks to bring more recognition to literature featuring black female protagonists, to collect 1,000 books (having black girls as the main characters) to donate to black girls in different schools. The campaign soon went viral, and within a few months, more than 9,000 books were collected, many of which were sent to a children’s book drive in Jamaica. Moreover, Dias has also released a book, “Marley Dias Gets it Done: And So Can You!“. She received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award (Youth category) in 2017, and was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30, in 2018.
Gabrielle Goodwin – 13
Gabrielle “Gabby” Goodwin, professionally known as Gabrielle Goodwin, is a young black teen entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of GaBBY Bows. Since age 7, she has been working hard to balance school with growing her business. Now, at age 13, her company’s products are available in 74 target stories throughout the country. Her company offers bows as well as through Mommy and Me Entrepreneurship Academy, enables parents and their children to work collaboratively toward entrepreneurship through micro franchising the GaBBY Bows business; natural hair products, The GaBBY Bows book, and more. In 2018, Goodwin was named the 2018 BLACK ENTERPRISE Teenpreneur of the Year, and in 2015, she was named the youngest ever South Carolina Young Entrepreneur. Moreover, in 2016, GABBY Bows was named the national SCORE Foundation Outstanding Diverse Business of the Year and has also been featured in Essence, The Washington Post, Now This, on The Real, and many other publications and TV shows.
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Bishop Curry – 14
Bishop Curry is a 14-year-old black inventor and entrepreneur from McKinney, Texas. Curry wanted to prevent hot car baby deaths, so invented Oasis, a device connected with a car seat, which detects movement if a baby is left in the car. Once it detects the movement, it will blow cool air on the baby and immediately call emergency responders. The young black inventor, along with his dad, Bishop Curry IV, prototyped his idea and then asked his dad to pitch it to his employer, Toyota. Afterwards, to help cover the costs of a patent and initial manufacturing, the father and son team made a GoFundMe and raised more than $46,000. Moreover, Curry says he has two more big ideas but prefers to keep them a secret to protect his intellectual property.
Moziah Bridges – 18
Moziah Bridges, born on November 13, 2001, in a successful 18-year-old black entrepreneur who is famed for his appearance on the NBC reality TV series Shark Tank at the age of 11, where he promoted his business, Mo’s Bows. He is the President and Creative Director of Mo’s Bows, an internationally recognized brand which he started with the help of his granny, making his own homemade bow ties. Mo’s bows are sold in retail stores throughout the United States and featured in Neiman Marcus, Cole Haan, Bloomingdale’s, and HSN. Тhе business is doing extremely well and its nеt wоrth іѕ оvеr $1 mіllіоn. Веfоrе his appearance іn thе Ѕhаrk Таnk ѕhоw, hе hаd ѕоld over two thоuѕаnd homemade bow tіеѕ. Frоm thеn onwards, ѕkу соntіnuеѕ tо bе thе lіmіt fоr hіm. Lаѕt уеаr, hе ѕіgnеd а deal with an NBA team thаt wаѕ еѕtіmаtеd tо worth ѕеvеn figure.
Cory Nieves – 16
Cory Nieves, born on May 22, 2004, is a 16-year-old baking prodigy who, at just the tender age of 5, became the CEO and head of distribution for Mr. Cory’s cookies. His efforts have been recognized by major media outlets such as ABC, The Source, and The Huffington Post. Cory is a full-time student and has aspirations to seek higher education at oxford. According to the company’s website, Cory has worked with several companies to expand his business: Aetna, Barney’s, Bloomingdales, Citibank, J. Crew, Macy’s, Mercedes-Benz, Pottery Barn, Ralph Lauren, TOMS, Viacom, Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma, and now Mr. Marcus Lemonis! He has also formed a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of New York, called Mr. Cory’s cares.
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