To celebrate Black History Month, we recognize not only the achievements by African Americans from America’s past, but also its future.
Meet six young, Black entrepreneurs who are already making their mark in the world before even being old enough to drive.
Unsatisfied with the limited bow tie designs that were currently available, 14-year-old Memphis, Tennessee entrepreneur Moziah Bridges asked his grandmother to help him create new designs out of materiel he hand selected. This need for bow ties that appealed to a younger generation would eventually result in Moziah starting his own business called “Mo’s Bows.” Currently, the company has sold more than $300,000 worth of bow ties and men’s accessories and can be found in retailers across the US including Neiman Marcus. He also started a charity, “go mo!” focused on sending Memphis children to summer camp.
An entrepreneur and bee ambassador, Mikaila Ulmer created a product that combined her Great Granny Helen’s flaxseed recipe and her passion to save the rapidly dwindling honeybee population into “Bee Sweet Lemonade.” Using the slogan “Buy a Bottle…Save a Bee,” Mikaila’s lemonade is sweetened with honey from local bees with a percentage of the profits donated to local and international organizations fighting to save honeybees. You can find her line of lemonade at Whole Foods Markets, and a growing number of restaurants, food trailers, and natural food delivery companies.
Wanting to help his mother purchase a car so they wouldn’t have to ride a bus everywhere, at only nine-years-old Cory Nieves started selling hot coco at the Roman Inn in Englewood, NJ. From there, he expanded to lemonade and cookies. Selling all of his items at only a dollar a pop, his business began to steadily grow resulting in Cory and his mother deciding to expand. Researching and formulating cookies that were both delicious, yet all natural, Cory started Mr. Cory’s Cookies which currently sells thousands of cookies every week.
Most 15-year-olds have never held a job, much less have started one, but Maya Penn is not your average 15-year-old. Her list of job titles will have you questioning your own resume. She is a philanthropist, environmental activist, entrepreneur, eco-designer, inspirational speaker, artist, animator, coder, illustrator, and Simon & Schuster author. Maya created an eco-friendly clothing and accessories line called “Maya’s Ideas” that also donate 10-20 percent of their profits to local and global charities and environmental organizations.
Named Detroit’s youngest entrepreneur, Asia Newson started making candles at just five-years-old. Fast-forward a few years and she has turned her love for making candles into a business called “Super Business Girl” offering customers homemade candles in scents such as cotton candy and southern apple. Her company’s motto is to “recognize the true potential in every child and to develop intrinsic security that makes optimum use of their individualized talent.”
Three years ago, young entrepreneur Essynce Moore launched her official clothing line branded Essynce Couture, LLC with the motto, “a child’s passion for fashion.” After it’s successful launch, she added a natural body product line for children and teens named “Wynk” and in 2015, opened Essynce Couture Spa and Boutique offering services that cater to kids. However, the salon offers far more than just manis and pedis, as Essynce holds workshops that teach children about entrepreneurship, self-esteem, fashion, and real life experiences.