The business world has been dominated by white males, but that is slowly changing. More women are penetrating the business scene and Black women are continuing to grow and expand their enterprises. According to Harvard Business Review, in the United States, 17% of Black women are in the process of starting or running new businesses compared to the 10% of white women, and 15% of white men.
If you’re a Black businesswoman needing some encouragement, check out these 10 Ted Talks by Black women. Use these talks for daily inspiration and to encourage you to create the business of your dreams.
1. Sarah Lewis- Failure is the key to success
In this talk, Sarah Lewis helps us to shift our focus from looking at failure as a reason to give up and seeing it as a reason to keep going.
In her talk, she states, “ Success is a moment but what we’re always celebrating is creativity and mastery.”
2. Dr Leyla Hussein – Black women in leadership
This talk is perfect for anyone trying to become a leader. Dr. Leyla Hussein addresses the systematic injustices that Black women face while pursuing or working within leadership roles. She also addresses what should be done to support more Black women.
A quote from her talk shares her commitment to her cause. “We constantly have to maintain our emotions, so when I’m demanding or leading, it’s out of my passion on what changes I want to make because I’m a change maker,” she states.
3. Maya Penn- A young entrepreneur, cartoonist, designer, activist
At the young age of 8 years old, Maya Penn started her own company. During her TED talk, she shares her animations and designs. Although her speech is over 10 years old it is still as inspiring as when she first gave it.
During the talk, she shares “ All of my animations start from ideas. But what are ideas? Ideas can spark a movement. Ideas are opportunities and innovation.”
Penn is now 22 years old and continues to run a sustainable fashion business.
4. Elizabeth Nyamayaro- Gender equality
Elizabeth Nyamayaro is the head of the UN Women’s HeForShe initiative. An invitation for men and people of all genders to stand in solidarity with women to create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality.
She shares, “Getting to a world where women and men are equal, is not just a matter of bringing men to the cause. We want concrete, systematic and structural change, that can equalize the political, economic, and social realities for both men and women. “
5. Rakia Reynolds- Share every part of your story
In this TED talk, Rakia Reynolds shares an honest account of her journey to success. She shares all the roadblocks, triumphs, failures, and everything in between.
“ Success for me is being great, or making every effort to be great,” she shares.
6. Felcica Hatcher- The topic of failure
Failure is something that we’ve all experienced and there’s no need to be ashamed of it. Felcica Hatcher’s speech will get us to think differently about failure and see the importance of being transparent. She shares that failure is a recipe for success.
Hatcher shares, “ According to my guidance counselor, I was never supposed to become an author of two books…That was the kick in the butt I needed. And I said that I was going to prove her wrong.”
7. Majora Carter- Local eco-entrepreneurship
Majora Carter shares three unique stories on local eco-entrepreneurship. How people are saving their own communities while saving the planet.
“ What we need is the people who see the value in investing in local enterprises… We need to work together to embrace and repair our land, repair our power systems and repair ourselves,” she shares.
8. MaameYaa Boafo- Imposter syndrome
MaameYaa Boafo shares the story of a young African girl who traveled all over the world and finally settled in the United States with the dream of becoming an actress.
It’s an extraordinary story of overcoming insecurities and imposter syndrome.
“ Love yourself, nurture yourself… I gave more weight to what others thought of me, don’t do that.”
9. Magatte Wade- Entrepreneurship
Magatte Wade owns the company, Adina World Beverages which is a widely distributed U.S. consumer brand founded by an African entrepreneur.
“ I have a vision for Africa to do well and be well,” she states.
10. Shakirah Bourne- Writing and entrepreneurship
Owner of the company getWrite! Shakirah Bourne is a Barbadian writer, who shares her entrepreneurial journey and how she is diminishing the starving artist mentality.
She states,” I had to define what wealth and success meant to me as an artist and an entrepreneur”