The Female Version of a Hustla: 8 Black Female Entrepreneurs You Should Know

The Lip Bar  celebrates Black History Month

The Lip Bar celebrates Black History Month

As of 2018, there were 2.6 million black-owned businesses in the U.S. According to Black Enterprise, within the next 45 years, black America may make up almost 20 percent of the U.S. population and own more than 2.5 million rapidly-growing enterprises.

Enter the diva: the female version of a hustla.

From #BlackGirlMagic to Black Girl in Om, we’ve been starting communities, launching product lines, and changing the narrative on not only our power as women, but also the power of our melanin. An estimated 5.8 million women of color owned businesses, employ 2.2 million people, and generate $387 billion in revenues. Cue the Money x Cardi B.

Reports like the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report call the women and minorities behind these rapidly-launching businesses “necessity entrepreneurs” — because, due to higher unemployment rates, long-term unemployment, and vast gender and racial pay gaps, women of color start businesses out of necessity and the need to survive. To sum in up: They hustle because they have to.

But divas have been getting money for a while now. We ain’t new to this.

In fact, we’re walking in the footsteps of many brave, risk-taking necessity entrepreneurs in history. In the 1850s, Clara Brown established a laundry business during the gold rush and used her money to invest in real estate developing properties that allowed black communities to live safely. Annie Turnbo Malone paved the way for black female cosmetologists and created jobs for over 75,000 women worldwide with her beauty entreprises. Maggie Lena Walker was the first black woman to charter a bank and help our people protect our coins. The list goes on and on.

Below we’re sharing eight divas whose businesses you can support and celebrate this #BlackHistoryMonth. Go ahead, fill your IG timelines with some more #BlackGirlMagic—you deserve it!

Shontay Lundy, founder of Black Girl Sunscreen

Shontay is here to remind us that black people need sunscreen too—and we’re here for it. From later diagnoses, black people have lower survival rates for skin cancer. Lather it up, y’all. Shontay has your solution.

Briana Shaneè Wilson, founder of Matte Brand

Started on the ‘gram; now she’s selling out of clothes—to the likes of Kim Kardashian and Karrueche. Get your coins, girl!

Kashmir Thompson, founder of KashmirVIII

You might recognize some of Kashmir’s art from the iconic HBO series Insecure. Her products bring life and color to iconic black images.

Cashmere Nicole, founder of Beauty Bakerie Makeup

Cashmere is an inspiration to every diva with a dream. Her message to be better, not bitter is truly a word.

Melissa Butler, founder of The Lip Bar

Melisa created The Lip Bar because everyone deserves to have their own perfect nude lipstick—period!

Codie Elaine Oliver, co-creator of Black Love

A documentary on OWN, Black Love highlights the true stories of some of our favorite black couples.

Kathryn Finney, founder of Digital Undivided

Kathryn created Digital Undivided to help high-potential black and Latinx female founders through the startup pipeline, from idea to innovation.

Camille Hearst, co-founder of Kit

Camille created Kit to develop a community to discover, discuss and, deliver interesting products for activities like traveling, DJing, cooking, cycling and more.

Who are your favorite Divas? Let us know in the comments!