Black History Month: Famous Black Entrepreneurs

-

Some successful black entrepreneurs have become household names. Everyone knows them, some by just their first name: Oprah, Magic, George Foreman, and Tyler Perry. They are celebrities, sports stars, and movie stars who we’ve had the opportunity to watch perform on television or the big screen. But there are many more successful black entrepreneurs who aren’t in the limelight, but who have made significant contributions to society. Here are just a few:

Leah Brown

Leah Brown, an attorney with a degree in Information Technology, founded A10 Clinical Solutions, a clinical research and clinical care company that works with government and other organization to bring new an innovative drugs to market faster. She was inspired to being the company after losing her uncle to AIDS. In a Bloomberg.com article, Brown explains how she founded the company without venture capital. By the end of 2010, however, revenue for the company more than doubled from last year to $20 million dollars.

Tracy Barnes

In a recent interview with HR News Magazine, Tracy Barnes attributes the rapid growth of his company to customer service and “being a small business with a big business mentality.” As Founder and CEO of ENTAP, an IT consulting and outsourcing firm that specializes in the integration of financial, human resource, supply chain and customer relationship management applications and systems into enterprises, his company competes with such organizations as IBM, Deloitte, and Accenture.

Donald Coleman

Donald Coleman is a retired football player turned advertising mogul. But there’s more to the story than just that. Spotlighted in The Boss section of The New York Times, Coleman built his company, GlobalHue, from the ground up. As the leader in cultural-based marketing for over twenty years, the company has grown by constant innovation. As new market segments have emerged, they’ve expanded their focus from African-Americans to include Latinos and Asians as well.

Tina Wells

An article on Inc.com tells us why Tina Wells made their list of Entrepreneurs We Love. At just 30 years old, she’s the CEO of the company she founded, Buzz Marketing Group. Her youth marketing agency focuses on finding the latest trends and what young people want. Wells created a network of 9,000 teen consultants or “buzzSpotters.” Her client list includes St. Martins Press, PBS, Procter & Gamble, SonyBMG, and Time, Inc. Not one to rest on her laurels, Wells also created a tween book series called Mackenzie Blue.

Sources:

Drugmakers Eager to Diversify Suppliers Help A10 Soar, Antone Gonsalves, October 21, 2010

Interview with – Tracy Barnes, President of ENTAP, Ann Fisher, December 1, 2010

Lessons From the Gridiron, Amy Zipkin, April 17, 2010

Tapped Into Millenials, Tamara Schweitzer, December 1, 2010