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These Black Entrepreneurs Bet on Themselves

“Funding us is not a charity case or a good deed or for your donor-advised fund.” – Marshay Clarke, founder of Buzzoms

I bet on Black when I created Buzzoms. I went to get my MBA at Columbia Business School, on a full scholarship, to figure it out. On a trip to Ghana with some of my classmates, we were all going to the beach. I remember seeing one of my friends in a bathing suit and saying, “You have big boobs too!?” (We both have small frames, but larger busts.) That day I came up with Buzzoms to create well-fitting clothes that celebrated the bodies of women with larger boobs. After doing much customer discovery, I found that we don’t only want clothes that fit, we want the freedom to go braless and wear the same clothes that smaller women can wear while looking put together. Hence, we started on a mission to create functional, braless, and supportive apparel. ⠀

Join Marshay in betting on Black by visiting Buzzoms.com today. Check out more Black founder stories by following @bbfounders and join the conversation via the hashtag, #BetOnBlack2021.

“Betting on Black means maintaining an unwavering belief in myself and my people, recognizing that there’s nothing we can’t overcome given half a chance.” – Garron Gibbs, owner of TwoG Marketing

In January 2009, I came in to work at my previous employer and witnessed the layoff of over a dozen employees who had dedicated their lives to the company for decades. At the end of the day when I found out I was safe, I went to my Black manager’s office and asked why I was spared when others clearly had more experience. My manager looked me in the eye and said, “because you don’t cost that much.” From then on I began to plot my escape. Fast forward to January 2012, I came back from an unapproved work absence (for family reasons) to another manager asking me if I really wanted to be a part of the company. I said, “I don’t.” My entrepreneurial journey officially began that day. Last year, my company made six figures for the first time, validating for me that my ‘bet’ paid off.

Join Garron in betting on Black by visiting TwoGMarketing.com today. Check out more Black founder stories by following @bbfounders and join the conversation via the hashtag, #BetOnBlack2021.

“We are putting all bets on Black women and their storytelling capabilities to uncover what needs to happen in maternal health and creative ways to approach solutions. This can’t be done without them.” – Whitney Robinson, founder of The Renée

We are plotting the return of Black birth to the way it was intended to be: safe, joyful, freeing. As a Black woman, I know that the qualitative data gathered from the stories of Black women who have experienced pregnancy is key to understanding where maternal healthcare needs to change. By hosting design-centric jam sessions for Black women to redesign pregnancy and birth collaboratively, we are creating this movement of healing and action.

Join Whitney in betting on Black by visiting the-Renee.com today. Check out more Black founder stories by following @bbfounders and join the conversation via the hashtag, #BetOnBlack2021.

“Betting on Black is about lifting up our people and when we do this, we lift up a nation!” – Preston L. James II, CEO and co-founder of DivInc

Entrepreneurship and innovation is the engine for any strong economy for a country. It is the backbone of job, income, and wealth generation. Yet, people of color and women–particularly Black people–were not genuinely included or given equitable opportunities to be successful entrepreneurs or innovators. That didn’t sit well with me and it won’t sit well with me until we transform our entrepreneur ecosystems to provide these opportunities for Black folks. We co-founded DivInc to do just that.

Through extensive collaboration within the startup ecosystem, we are tearing down the barriers to provide access to the human, social and financial capital that Black and brown founders need at the early stages of their entrepreneurship journey. At DivInc, we are focused on transforming the ecosystem at the infrastructure and culture level so that we are able to tap into the immense potential that the diversity of our people brings to this country. As we recognize this value, we’ll recognize the true richness of the contributions of our people.

Join Preston in betting on Black by visiting divInc.org today. Check out more Black founder stories by following @bbfounders and join the conversation via the hashtag, #BetOnBlack2021.

“Betting on Black means not apologizing for my boldness, my intelligence, my passion, and my determination.” – Felicia Jackson, CEO of CPRWrap

Growing up in school we learned about only a few Black people in history, usually during Black History Month. I am a natural innovator but I never knew about the many inventors and way-makers before me, and my parents never started or owned a business. After almost losing my baby in a choking incident, I went on to invent a single-use CPR template that protects and guides non-medical responders during CPR called CPRWrap. I invented this product to save lives worldwide and though I did not do this for recognition or fame, I know my journey will empower my children and other people to recognize their talent and show the world to ALWAYS Bet on Black.

You can join Felicia in betting on Black by visiting CPRWrap.com today. Check out more Black founder stories by following @bbfounders and join the conversation via the hashtag, #BetOnBlack2021.