Black Americans have enriched our community, country and world through innovative ideas and inventions across multiple areas, from science and technology, to mathematics, the arts, sports and especially, business. According to data collected through the Census, there are more than 2 MILLION Black-owned businesses in the United States today. As of 2012, Black-owned businesses generated more than $150.2 billion in gross revenue and employed more than 900,000 people across the country.
One of the most well-known historical examples of Black entrepreneurship is Madam C.J. Walker. Walker founded her own major corporation, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, which trained thousands of beauticians and created and sold various hair care products specifically designed for Black women in the early 1900’s. The Madam CJ Walker Museum in Atlanta is dedicated to honoring her legacy.
Another notable historical figure is Black Atlantan, Alonzo Herndon, who founded the Atlanta Life Insurance Company in the early 1900’s. In 1922 the company achieved legal reserve status, a position enjoyed by only four other Black insurance companies at that time.
Right here in Sandy Springs, there are many Black entrepreneurs who are thriving and making our community a better place for all.
- Beautiful Curly Me: Founded by mother & daughter team Evana & Zoe Oli, Beautiful Curly Me is, “a brand that encourages young girls to love and be confident in who they are.” Born out of a need for then 6 year old CEO Zoe Oli, Beautiful Curly Me has a line of Black dolls, puzzles and books written by Zoe (now 11) that instill and inspire confidence in young girls. For every doll purchased on their site, one is given to a young girl in need.
- A Space in Time: Located in the heart of Sandy Springs, A Space in Time is both an event venue and an art gallery, showcasing work from emerging artists. Owned by entrepreneur Ebony Hamlet, A Space in Time offers two spacious & adaptable suites that can host a variety of gatherings.
- Young Chefs Academy: The Young Chefs Academy helps kids develop a passion for the culinary arts through creative, hands-on activities and learning. The Young Chefs Academy located in Sandy Springs is owned and operated by chefs Arielle & Cameron, two experienced & talented African-American chefs who enjoy helping children learn the joy of cooking.
- A Fresh Start Family Childcare: Owned & operated by Olivia Ferreria, A Fresh Start Family Childcare offers a safe, caring and nurturing environment for infants and children to develop necessary learning and social skills for early childhood education.
- Phoenix Sandy Springs Gymnastics: Under the leadership of coach Gina White and the Phoenix Gymnastics team, Phoenix Sandy Springs Gymnastics offers affordable and accessible gymnastics to adults and kids of all ages and backgrounds. Phoenix Sandy Springs Gymnastics’ well-qualified & enthusiastic staff have created a space that helps any and every person build themselves up both mentally and physically.
Listed above are only a few of the many examples of local businesses led by Black entrepreneurs. Our community is full of brilliant Black minds, voices and creators; this Black History Month, and every day, we hope you will join us in celebrating them by shopping at and supporting Black businesses & entrepreneurs.