Minding My Own Black Business (Monthly)

“And I’m still grinding here / I need the equity to sign the contract.” – Lil Baby

What’s up, everyone!

It’s no secret that black-owned businesses can be a powerful vehicle for advancing economic empowerment and closing the racial wealth gap in black communities. And, as of late Forbes As the stories illustrate, black businesses can also be vessels of culture and diversity—from creating spaces that resonate with black consumers to betting on black voices and talent. In honor of National Black Business Month, some of these stories are worth highlighting.

I reported earlier this month how black millennials are redefining weekend brunch and black restaurants are meeting that demand. A big takeaway is that while these business owners serve all races, they are ill-equipped to create experiences that cater to black diners. Houston is one of the hotbeds for black brunch, so check out this video featuring two entrepreneurs there who are early movers in the trend.

Also on For(bes) The Culture Radar is a story by staff writer Maggie McGraw about Incredible Health, which recently raised $80 million at a $1.65 billion valuation and is led by a black female founder. And reporter Arianna Johnson recently spoke with Ayesha Curry about her foray into the world of book publishing through her Sweet July enterprise, to give a platform to women writers of color.

But it’s not all gravy. Black-owned businesses make up only 2.3% of all U.S. businesses (with at least two employees), while the U.S. black population sits at 13.6%. In that light, it’s worth checking out this cover story by staff writer Will Yakovich on the super-tricky business of legal cannabis. Weed legalization has long been touted as an attempt to create viable entrepreneurial avenues, especially for many black Americans who have been disproportionately accused of selling it. As of now, such viability seems questionable as some very well-resourced pot businesses are having a rough ride.

The last thing I’ll share is about Gracie’s Corner, a super-cute YouTube series of children’s songs (Heyyyyy, Bingo!) that’s racking up millions of views. Raquel “Rucky” Harris is speaking with the family behind it today at 3 pm ET on Instagram Live. (The full interview is here.)

Sit up!

Black Millennials transform brunch from staid buffets to fashionable Insta-worthy day parties. Dressing in “Sunday fondue” and restaurant-hopping for chicken and waffles, endless mimosas and DJs playing hip-hop are some of the hallmarks of the growing “black brunch” trend.

Dr. Iman Abujad leads Incredible Health to unicorn status with $80 million Series B. Iman Abuzeid launched nurse-hiring startup Incredible Health in 2017 as a way to help healthcare workers find permanent positions. Five years later, she has guided her company to a $1.65 billion valuation, becoming one of the few black female founders to lead a unicorn company.

Weed vs. Greed: How America Legalized Pot. Thanks to overregulation and overtaxation, the U.S. government has blown the easiest revenue opportunity ever – legalized medicine. “What is legalization doing to small business owners like me?” asks Amber Center, CEO of MAKR, which produces pot-infused foods and other offerings. “It’s killing us.”

Ayesha Curry adds book publishing to Sweet July brand through new partnership. Curry said Forbes That she recently signed a deal with upstart book publishing company Zando to publish books under the Sweet July Books imprint, or publishing trade name. She said she would push to give writers of color a platform in an industry where 76% of publishing staff, reviewers and literary staff are white.

“[I]Ignoring female CEOs or black CEOs is not a good idea. Because they are driving a large amount of value in the business. And you ignore it at your own expense.”

Iman AbujaedCofounder and CEO of Incredible Health

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