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Celebrating Black Business Month: Meet 8 Awesome African-American Entrepreneurs in the QB Community!

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Did you know that the number of African-American businesses is growing by leaps and bounds? Women are seriously leading the charge, with a whopping 605% increase over the last two decades in businesses owned by black women. Wow! That amazing effort is of the reasons we are celebrating Black Business Month this August. Let’s meet some of the African-American entrepreneurs who are rocking it in our community -- and in the small business world!


 Meet Kari Browne, an entrepreneur who started -- and sold -- two, kid-friendly Brooklyn cafes. She shares some great insights on how she valued her businesses for sale.  Now, she's moved to Australia where she’s enjoying not running two businesses and is digging the beach life with her family instead. @Karibrowne

 Read Kari’s full story: Kari Browne Sold Her Two Beloved Cafes by Trusting Her Gut, and Her Heart

BB_monique200.jpg Meet Monique Greenwood, owner and operator of Akwaaba Inns, gorgeously remodeled old mansions throughout the East Coast. “Akwaaba” means “welcome” in a language of Ghana, West Africa and that’s exactly how Monique and her staff make their guests feel with their hospitality. @AkwaabaInns

 Read Monique’s full story: Monique Greenwood of Akwaaba Inns is Building an Empire, One Mansion at a Time



Meet Sherrie Bainer, director of sales at GRACEDBYGRIT, a women’s athletic apparel company with a cause. The company donates a portion of their profit to benefit programs that help keep women and girls safe from harm. Another program, Gritty Girls, empowers young women to be unabashedly bold.

 Read Sherrie’s full story: You Said It! Q & A with QB Community Member Sherrie Bainer


BB_dawnet200.jpg Meet Dawnet Beverly, an inspiring business leader dedicated to helping companies create a culture in which everyone thrives. Teaching communication skills based on her signature belief in “protecting dignity,” Dawnet helps employers to build a kinder, gentler and stronger workplace.

Read Dawnet’s full story: Dawnet Beverley Wants to Inspire Every Business to Lead with Dignity


BB_thea200.jpg Meet Thea Villasenor, whose eye for beautiful objects helped her transition from running a brick-and-mortar antique shop to becoming an estate sales coordinator. Thea says antiques, just like people, need to be actively appreciated and not just admired from a distance. Her mission? To find new and loving homes for special objects.

Read Thea’s full story: Thea Villaseñor Is Ditching Retail and Taking a New Approach to Old Things

BB_nikki200.jpg Meet Nikki Bell, who left a bustling career in advertising to open her own hustle: Domestic Divas, a business where she cleans houses and gives her employees a fresh start on in the working world. Nikki provides jobs and valuable mentorship on how to succeed in business and in life. @TheDomesticDiva

 Read Nikki’s full story: Nikki Bell Provides a Clean Start at her Domestic Divas Housekeeping Business

BB_salif200.jpg Meet Salif Keita, owner of a creperie and pizzeria. He left his home country of Mali to find a better life in the U.S. and, through relentless hard work at various pizza places, saved enough cash to open his own venue. Today, after a decade in business, he’s supporting kids in his Harlem community by opening a safe place to hang out after school. 

Read Salif’s full story: Salif Keita Says “Oui, Oui” to His Successful, and Generous, Family Business


BB_maggi200.jpg Meet Maggie Simpkins, creator of her own line of fine jewelry using reclaimed and sustainably sourced materials. She says that Kendall and Kylie may have worn her designs, but it’s the “real” people for whom she lovingly crafts her custom engagement rings. When she’s not creating, she’s working with an organization that helps ex-cons with mentorship and job training.

Read Maggi’s full story: Maggi Simpkins’ Bespoke Engagement Rings Tell the Story of True Love


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QB Community members, how will you be observing Black Business Month?

Want to weigh in but not yet a QB Community member? Click HERE to sign up in a flash!

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