It is thrilling to have black people owning well-to-do businesses across the world despite the unfair political attacks they tend to face in many jurisdictions.
In the U.S., the more than 40 million black population is making serious waves in various sectors of the American economy – healthcare, entertainment, business, sports, and technology – and are generating revenue and creating jobs.
These successes were chalked even in the face of hurdles such as access to capital to fund and operate the business due to years of racial and economic discrimination.
It is now even more amazing to note that black children, some as young as four, are also setting up their own businesses. Many of them have learned from their parents and how they were able to work their way up from nothing to be successful; at that young age, they realize the value of entrepreneurship and how being white-collar workers working from nine to five for someone might be a waste of their talents.
On the back of the Universal Children’s Day to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children, it wouldn’t be out of place to highlight some of the young children who have beaten the odds to create successful businesses:
He is the founder of Toil and Trouble Bath, a business that offers artisanal bath soaps on the streets of New Mexico. The former homeless boy makes his cupcake-shaped soap using aloe vera and goat’s milk. It has since become a big business and the 15-year-old donates about 20 percent of sales from his products to the Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico, the organization that helped him and his mother have a fresh start when they struggled with homelessness years ago.
He was just six when he decided to sell hot cocoa on the streets of New Jersey to help raise money for his mother to buy a car. He would later add cookies and lemonade to the menu as the weather changed, making about $300 per day. Soon, Cory and his mother expanded the business and developed their own cookie recipe for scores of customers. Today, with support from various quarters, Mr. Cory’s Cookies has a brand new office and a custom company car. Now in 8th grade, Cory serves the CEO of Mr. Cory’s Cookies, and his mother, Lisa works as the CFO.
Now 15, Moziah Bridges started his Memphis-based tie company, Mo’s Bows, when he was nine after not finding any cool bowties at a young age to match his clothing. His grandmother, a retired seamstress would teach him how to cut and sew fabric and soon, with the help of his mother, he built a business with products that aim at making people feel good and dapper. In May 2017, Mo’s Bows CEO inked a seven-figure, one-year licensing deal with the NBA in May to produce bow ties for all 30 professional basketball teams.
Growing up in inner-city Chicago in the 1980s, Gray beat the odds to become history’s youngest self-made millionaire, beyond the field of entertainment, at the age of 14. This was largely made possible by his business ventures that included KIDZTEL pre-paid phone cards, the One-Stop Mail Boxes & More franchise, and his radio teen talk show “Youth AM/FM” which discussed issues related to youth entrepreneurship.
In his teens, Gray, who became the youngest person to have an office on Wall Street, was also Executive Producer of a comedy show on the Las Vegas Strip and owner of Farr-Out Foods which generated orders exceeding $1.5 million. Now, at 33, Gray is an inspiration to millions and an international bestselling author.