101 Must-Follow Black Entrepreneurs & Speakers in 2017

By November 15, 2016Blog
  • Dr Clare Eluka

    Dr. Clare Eluka is the founder of Premae Skincare, a highly acclaimed vegan-based line of skincare products for those with problems like eczema and acne. The London-based black entrepreneur has been recognised numerous times for her pioneering role in improving health and well-being especially among women. Eluka and her Primae Brand have collectively won dozens of awards including Educator of the Year, Best makeup artist and Best anti-ageing product.

  • Dr Ivan Joseph

    Dr Ivan Joseph is one of the top college soccer coaches in Canada, having been recognised as coach of the year a total of six times. After coaching the men’s soccer team at Ryerson University for six seasons, he shifted to the women’s team in 2015. He is currently the Director of Athletics at the University. Away from coaching, he is also a speaker on the topics of self confidence and leadership.

  • Dr. Ola Orekunrin

    Dr. Orekunrin is currently an accomplished medical doctor, was born in London and raised by foster parents. At 21, she graduated from medical school, making her one of the youngest doctors in the UK. Today, she works in Nigeria where she is the founder and director of Flying Doctors Nigeria.

  • Dupsy Abiola

    Dupsy was named as one of the most influential black businesswomen in Britain, on the Thomson Reuters Power List. Dupsy Abiola is the founder of Intern Avenue. She has also worked as a lawyer on several high profile cases. Today, Intern Avenue is her main focus. It is a platform aimed at helping graduates find internship and employment opportunities.

  • Dwain Reid

    Born in 1982, Dwain Reid is a British business mentor focused on helping young entrepreneurs find success in their businesses. While he is an accomplished black entrepreneur himself, he realised that his best role is as a mentor. Today, he has provided business workshops to thousands of young people and currently runs an entrepreneurship project at Kingston University.

  • Eddie Obeng

    Eddie Obeng is often seen as a radical in the field of organisation and management. But the Ghanaian born speaker, author and educator is respected across the board. He has a long career and entrepreneurship history having started as an engineer working at Royal Dutch Shell. Today, he is best known for his contribution to the field of project management.

  • Eugene Mbugua

    He is young and incredibly successful. At the young age of 25, Eugene Mbugua is the founder of one of the biggest TV production companies in Kenya. He has steered to success some of the most popular shows on Kenyan TV while also running a Yearbook business on the side. He is also an up and coming real estate tycoon. He has been featured on Forbes as one of the most promising young African entrepreneurs.

  • Eric Thomas

    Eric Thomas never had it easy when growing up. He dropped out of high school after a fight with his parents and subsequently became homeless for a couple of years. Later on he became a preacher while also helping youth from underprivileged families. Today, he is a hugely popular motivational speaker, minister and author.

  • Femi Oguns

    Femi Oguns is the founder of Identity School of Acting. Originally started as Britain’s first “black” drama school, the school is now open to actors of all backgrounds. One of their talented students, John Boyega appeared in the film Star Wars as a result of training with the school. Femi has also been awarded a MBE for his services to the acting industry.

  • Folorunsho Alakija

    Folorunsho Alakija is the richest woman in Africa. She is the 13th richest individual in Africa. Forbes pegs her net worth at $1.8 billion. While her first foray into business was in fashion, she has made most of her wealth in the lucrative Nigerian oil industry. She is currently the vice chair of Famfa Oil, one of the biggest oil exploration firms in Nigeria.

  • Fowotade Babajide

    It started as an experiment but soon, the computer program Fowotade had built was gaining public attention. The Facebook Messenger bot, previously called FXBOT but now named NAIRABOT, is designed to provide instant exchange rates for a limited number of currencies against the Naira.
    Fowotade graduated with a degree in computer science and now works as a software engineer.

  • Gary Elden

    For Gary Elden, CEO of SThree PLC, the journey from a council estate to the gleaming London offices has not been easy. From a salary of £3200 a year working in Camden, he now makes north of £1 million as an executive at SThree. On the side, he is involved in the Powerlist Foundation, an organisation that helps high-potential underprivileged youths to become leaders.

  • George Ayittey

    George is a Ghanaian-born economist, author and speaker. His background includes a Master’s degree from Western Ontario University and a stint teaching in colleges in the US. He is most famous for starting The Free Africa Foundation with the aim of triggering positive changes in the continent.

  • Geoffrey Canada

    Geoffrey Canada is best known for his humorous but substantive take on the current state of education in his TED talks. Born in South Bronx in 1952, Canada has been involved in various programs and initiatives over the course of his life. The focus of most of these initiatives is to improve educational opportunities for kids and youth from underprivileged backgrounds.

  • Gregory Lowe

    Gregory is an award-winning mobile entrepreneur and CEO of Lowekey. Lowe’s most notable app to date is SongBooth, a social video network for user generated music videos that have amassed over 8+ million downloads worldwide.

  • Haley Mulenda

    Haley Mulenda is a young motivational speaker, blogger, author and black entrepreneur. She is the founder of Inside a Dream, a motivational company that inspires youngsters. Haley has already won multiple awards, including the ‘Jack Petchey Achievement Award’ and the ‘BE (Black Enterprise) Mogul – Most Influential and Most Inspirational Black Entrepreneur in Britain for Under 21’, to name a few.

  • Herman Chinery-Hesse

    He is often called the Bill Gates of Ghana for his tech innovations and commitment to developing the ICT landscape in Ghana. Herman Chinery-Hesse was born in Ireland. He studied in the US and had a working stint in the UK. But when he decided to set up a software company, he headed to Africa. SOFTtribe, the company he founded, is currently one of the largest IT companies in Ghana.

  • Hilda Moraa

    From a broke undergraduate to dropping out of her Masters program, Hilda Moraa went on to develop Weza Tele, a business that was later acquired for almost £1 million. She has won several awards for her innovation and even had a chance to work for Google, which she turned down to pursue her own personal goals.

  • Iman Abdulmajid

    While Iman Abdulmajid may be famous for her marriage to the late David Bowie, she has her own long list of accomplishments. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, she spent her early childhood and teenage years in Egypt. She studied in Kenya before moving to the US to kick start her modelling career. She worked with famous brands including Yves Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein. She is also an entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of IMAN Cosmetics.

  • Inky Johnson

    Marked as a rising star in the NFL, Inky Johnson suffered a horrible career-ending injury during a game in 2006. Devastating as it was, it did not kill his spirit. Today Inky Johnson is a celebrated inspirational speaker, inspiring thousands of people to overcome challenges in their lives.

  • Jamal Edwards

    Jamal Edwards grew up in West London in a council estate. By 23 years of age, he was already a multi millionaire, thanks to his hit YouTube channel, SBTV. What started out as a hobby filming his friends singing and rapping grew into a serious business that has catapulted him to fame and wealth. He has won recognition from Google, been friends with Richard Branson and is now an ambassador for an online entrepreneurs’ platform.

  • Jason Chukwuma Njoku

    For Jason Chukwuma Njoku, after a series of failed business ideas, he finally struck gold with iROKOtv, an on-demand video platform for Nollywood & Ghanaian Movies. Often referred to as ‘The Netflix of Africa,” the idea for iROKOtv came when he realised his mother struggled to get access to Nollywood films.

  • Jessamyn Stanley

    The traditional image of yoga features a skinny girl, often white, doing seemingly impossible moves. Influencer and yoga pro, Jessamyn Stanley has broken this stereotype with her ‘EveryBody Yoga’ idea for all body sizes.

  • Jay-Z

    Jay-Z is a towering figure when it comes to rap and hip hop. He is one of the wealthiest and most successful artists. Known officially as Shawn Carter, is the majority stakeholder of Tidal, a music streaming service he acquired in a deal close to 466 million Swedish kronor (£36.6m). Forbes pegs his wealth at around $610 million as of 2016.

  • Janice Bryant Howroyd

    ACT-1 is one of the largest woman and minority-owned businesses in the US and the force behind it is Janice Bryant Howroyd. The owner of the billion-dollar company started her life in North Carolina, at a time when segregation was still present.
    She acquired business experience while working as a secretary, experience she later used to launch ACT-1 and develop it to a multi-billion dollar business.

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