AFRICANGLOBE – Here are five contemporary Black entrepreneurs who have incredible lessons we all can learn from in our quest for entrepreneurial success!
• From Sports to Franchises: Magic Johnson
We all know Earvin “Magic” Johnson as a celebrated basketball player. He has three MVP awards, nine appearances in the NBA finals, twelve All-Star games and he was also a member of the 1992 gold medal-winning Olympic team. But what many don’t know about Magic is what an accomplished businessman and entrepreneur he is.
• The Art of Thinking Big: Sean “Puffy” Combs
Sean “Puffy” Combs, the founder of groundbreaking chart-topping Bad Boy Records, showcases true entrepreneurial drive for his push for major interests in a variety of industries such as television, spirits and fashion.
Not content to simply excel in the music business, Combs is a true empire-builder, expanding his portfolio to include clothing, perfume and spirits brands.
• Model Turns Mogul: Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s famous swimsuit issue, and she was widely known as the “face” of Victoria’s Secret, but behind the flawless face, there’s a tremendous entrepreneurial acumen. Creator of the hit television franchise America’s Next Top Model, Banks is the consummate example of a content mogul in action.
In creating “America’s Next Top Model,” she exposed millions to the complex inner business workings of the modeling and advertising industries. She’s an executive with a keen understanding of what it takes to be successful both behind and in front of the camera, and has used that knowledge to build several successful entertainment property that she has successfully grown and evolved over the years.
• An Appetite for Growth: Marcus Samuelsson
“Growing up, my sisters Anna and Linda and I spent summers in Smögen, on the west coast of Sweden,” writes renowned chef and restauranteur Marcus Samuelsson of his childhood. “Every morning I went fishing with my dad, Lennart, and my uncles. We caught crayfish, lobsters, and mackerel, and often smoked and preserved the catch. My grandmother, Helga, would gather us in the kitchen to teach us how to pickle fresh vegetables, and make meatballs, ginger snaps, cookies, and apple jam. These experiences taught me to love and appreciate fresh and local food.”
With a career as a chef that brings together cuisines from all over the globe, Marcus Samuelsson has proven that culinary experimentation can be delicious, and profitable.
• Grass-roots Entertainment King: Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry writes books, makes movies, acts in films and performs, and has built a multi-million-dollar entertainment empire, all from quite modest beginnings. In 2011, Perry topped the Forbes list of the highest paid men in entertainment.
Perry spent years honing his vision, act and audience. He co-produced his first film, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” on a budget of an extremely modest few million dollars and the film grossed many, many times that.
Perry famously created the character of Medea, a smart, no-nonsense woman who dispenses both humorous and heartfelt advice about love and life in films, stage plays and books. He plays the character himself.
In 2012, Perry struck at deal with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), in order to beef up the fledgling network’s scripted series. His show, “the Haves and the Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor” have racked up impressive ratings numbers and are helping the OWN network grow.
By: Amanda McCormick