101 Must-Follow Black Entrepreneurs & Speakers in 2017

By November 15, 2016Blog
  • Jay Jones

    Succeeding as a black entrepreneur in countries like the US has always been an uphill climb. Entrepreneur Jay Jones, continues to make it easier for black entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses using his podcast, ‘Black Entrepreneur Blueprint’. A podcast for aspiring entrepreneurs featuring interviews with some of the most successful black entrepreneurs and more.

  • Jordan Kunzika

    Jordan Kunzika is a senior at Dartmouth College and founder of black dating app Bae. After turning down job offers from Microsoft and Google, Jordan’s app has gone on to be listed among the Top 50 Lifestyle apps in twenty African and Caribbean countries.

  • Kanya King

    Kayna King MBE is the founder of the MOBO Awards, an organisation which continues to be instrumental in elevating black music and culture to mainstream popular status in the UK.

  • Kasope Ladipo-Ajai

    Kasope Ladipo-Ajai has made a name for herself through OmoAlata, a Nigerian packaging and food merchandising business that hygienically packages Nigerian soups, spices and pepper. Her efforts to compete with internationals brands, has also won first prize in SLA’s 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase.

  • Kevin Curry

    Kevin Curry is an influencer with over 1,000,000,00 followers and founder of FitMenCook, a healthy eating brand spread across an app, blog and social media. Kevin’s consistency and entrepreneurial talent has led him to multiple partnerships and endorsements with various consumer products.

  • Kevin Hart

    Kevin Hart, one of the most popular comics of modern times, was named by Forbes as the top earning comedian in 2016, with a cool pay check of $87.5 million. However Kevin has been a talented entrepenuer for many years. In an interview with Entrepreneur, Kevin explains how in 2011 for his standup film Laugh at My Pain Kevin took “money from the tour and spent $700,000 on the movie, which ended up doing $8- or $9 million in the theatre.” Kevin repeated this trick with Let Me Explain, spending $2.5 million is costs and making $33 million in the theatre.

  • Kobe Bryant

    The famous basketball player, spent his entire career playing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe has won several awards and is seen as one of the biggest names in NBA history. He is also a black entrepreneur with his own brand, Kobe Inc and a $100m venture capital firm, Bryant-Stibel.

  • Kwadwo Safo

    Kwadwo Safo and his son Kwadwo Safo Jnr, are responsible for Kantanka Group of companies, which produces Ghana’s first locally made car.

  • KSI

    Simply known as KSI, Olajide Olatunji is a multi millionaire, YouTube entrepreneur, Influencer, video-gamer, and actor. At the time of writing this article, KSI has over 14,000,000 YouTube subscribers.

  • Laban Roomes

    Laban Roomes is an award winning black entrepreneur and founder of a luxury customisation brand, Goldgenie. His clients include Rihanna and the Sultan of Brunei. He is also an active social philanthropist.

  • Leanna Archer

    At nine years old, Leanna started using her great-grandmother’s natural hair recipes to create hair products. Before she hit 20, she was already the CEO of a six figure business, Leanna Essentials. She later went on to establish an educational foundation to help poor kids in Haiti, the native home of her great grandmother

  • Malcolm Gladwell

    Noted in Time’s 2005 “Most Influential People,” Malcolm Gladwell is an author, journalist and speaker. His popular works include Outliers and Blink. He is also an acclaimed journalist having worked for publications like the New Yorker and The Washington Post. Malcolm still continues to be a prominent thought leader today.

  • Maggie Anderson

    Maggie Anderson is an American activist, speaker and CEO and co-founder of The Empowerment Experiment (EE). She came into the headlines for her real-life case study about applying self-help economics in the black community. She is a much sought-after speaker and has appeared on various shows on CNN, MSNBC, Fox, CBS Morning News and PBS Newshour. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, Our Black Year.

  • Levi Roots

    Levi Roots (real name Keith Graham) is a restaurateur, musician and black entrepreneur who has made his name all around the UK with his extremely popular Reggae Reggae sauce. Today he thought to be worth £30 million (after starting from a mere £50,000 of investment.) His brand features a varied portfolio of ready to eat meals, pastries and Caribbean-flavoured soft drinks in addition to the Reggae Reggae sauces.

  • Lisa Irby

    Lisa Irby is a successful online marketing tribe leader. Since 1998, she has been active in the field of affiliate marketing and SEO, and now runs multiple sites including 2 Create A Website and NapturallyCurly. Lisa has been helping people to build websites and earn money online following the same upfront and honest approach that she follows.

  • Luti Fagbenle

    Luti is the entrepreneur behind a growing multi-award winning production company, Luti Media. Founded in the kitchen of his mother’s house in 2006, Luti’s now has offices in London and LA. Along side producing films, Luti Media has produced music videos for high profile music artists, such as One Direction, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg and many more. Other notable clients also include BMW, Alexander Wang and Nike.

  • Ludwick Marishane

    Ludwick Marishane is a black entrepreneur and owner of the startup, Headbody Industries. He was named the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year award for inventing a bath substitute lotion, DryBath. With his invention, Ludwick was able to provide an inexpensive bathing solution for the poor people in his native Africa where clean water is difficult to find. The lotion also paved the way for at least 2.5 billion people across the world who lack an access to clean water and sanitation

  • Mike Rashid

    Mike Rashid is a fitness influencer, and black entrepreneur. Founder of IMSOALPHA iX3 supplements, Alpha Academy Apparel, and also owner of the IronAddicts Gym in Miami.

  • Nana Kwame Bediako

    Nana Kwame Bediako is president, founder and CEO of Wonder World Estates and the Petronia City Development, a company building an entire city to serve as an international business hub for West African oil, gas and mining industries. He is also the founder of New Africa Construction (NAC) as well as The New Africa Foundation, a non-profit organisation aimed at empowering a new generation of African Leaders. Nana has already won multiple awards including The Business Entrepreneur Award.

  • Nathaniel Peat

    Nathaniel Peat is an award winning entrepreneur and the founder of the Safety Box. The aim of his organisation is to foster the sense of empowerment, leadership and confidence in the young people. He is also the CEO and chief engineer at Gennex Elite. In 2016, Nathaniel Peat was mentioned in The Financial Times UPstanding Leaders’ Power List among the top 100 executives in the US and UK.

  • Neo Ramaphakela

    Neo Ramaphakela is the founder of Seriti sa Bosotho, a construction company started in 2011. Starting with security gates, the company is now one of the fastest growing facility management firms in South Africa. Over time, Seriti sa Basotho has been involved in building housing projects in South African townships and managing them. Neo was named as one of Forbes‘ 30 most promising entrepreneurs under 30 in Africa.

  • Nicole Roberts Jones

    Nicole Roberts Jones is a speaker, author, business coach and founder of Fierce Factor Lab. Nicole is well known for her work with helping aspiring female entrepreneurs.

  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a well respected speaker and global economist, who has also served as the first woman Finance Minister of Nigeria for two terms (from 2003-2006, and 2011-2015) as well as Foreign Affairs minister for a brief term. Between these two periods, she was also serving as one of the managing directors of the World Bank.The Harvard and MIT trained economist is credited with reforming the Nigerian economy that saw it register a growth of 6% per annum and become the largest economy in Africa. She continues to be a thought leader, and was recently appointed a member of the international advisory panel of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

  • Oprah Winfrey

    Oprah Winfrey is a well known American talk show host, actress, producer, publisher and philanthropist. Born in 1954, in the rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi, Oprah made her name with The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired for 25 seasons. She is a recipient of USA’s highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was bestowed upon her by President Barack Obama in 2013 for her varied and important contributions to the country. Oprah Winfrey has also been named as one of the 25 most powerful women of the past century by the Time Magazine.

  • Olatorera Oniru

    Olatorera Oniru is a Nigerian entrepreneur and speaker. As CEO of Dressmeoutlet.com, she leads initiatives to make Africans rely less on imported garments.She is the founder of Nigeria’s foremost leadership program, Top 100 Our Generation and is currently, a member of Lionesses of Africa and Africa’s Best. In 2016, she was recognised by Commonwealth Africa Awards, Forbes Most Promising Africans, Africa.com’s Top 5 Youngest Entrepreneurs and African Achievers Awards.

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