The month of February is Black History Month in the US and we’re taking a look at a few of the inspiring black entrepreneurs who you may or may not have heard of.
It’s a fact that minorities are extremely underrepresented in the startup world and Kimberly Bryant realized she needed to do something about that. In 2011, Bryant created Black Girls Code, a nonprofit organization which centers around empowering girls from underrepresented communities and introducing them to the exciting world of programming.
In 2013, Bryant was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion and was also voted one of the 25 Most Influential African-Americans In Technology by Business Insider.
Much like Kimberly Bryant, Angela Benton also realised there was a distinct lack of information and representation of black people in the tech world. Benton launched Black Web 2.0 (later renamed B20) as a place for black entrepreneurs, startups and businesses to be showcased. In 2011 Benton launched NewME, a platform which helps minority and female entrepreneurs create successful businesses. In 2018, after a battle with cancer, Benton went on to found Streamlytics, which provides ethical, people powered data, from today’s fastest growing communities across the US.
Before breaking out into the world of MedTech, Adelanwa Adesanya launched his first company, GivePals.com, as an undergrad. GivePals was a marketplace for students to sell and trade with one another, including phones, textbooks, and furniture.
In 2013, Adesanya founded Moving Analytics, a company which helps hospitals manage their patients with heart disease by implementing a home-based cardiac rehab program.
In November 2017, Adesanya was selected to be in the ‘Healthcare’ sub-list of the Forbes 30 Under 30 for 2018.
In 2003, Kathryn Finney started a fashion blog, simply titled The Budget Fashionista. It only took Finney one year to turn her blog into a business and was named one of the top fashion blogs on the internet. After publishing her first book, How to be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less, and selling her company in 2014, Finney went on to launch digitalundivided, which was described as “the first-of-its-kind open innovation center dedicated to the future success of Black and Latina women tech founders”.
During a 4 year sentence in prison, Frederick Hutson realized there really had to be an easier way for people to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones. In 2012, Hutson launched Pigeonly. Pigeonly allowed users to send physical photos and greeting cards to inmates via their phones. By 2015, Pigeonly had forwarded over million pieces of mail and facilitated about eight million minutes of telephone calls.