Empowering Black Women Entrepreneurs: Sage & The BOSS Network's Inspiring Journey of Change
Working on the Visions of Strength research report was a truly enlightening and transformative experience for me. The opportunity to collaborate with and be a part of The BOSS Network team, a dedicated organization founded by Dr. Cameka Smith to uplift Black women, was a heartfelt privilege. This partnership was further enriched by our alignment with Sage, a corporation that comprehends and actively champions the vital importance of supporting Black women in business. Together, we embarked on a journey united by a shared commitment to economic empowerment and bridging the gender and racial wealth gap. Our mission? To empower Black women entrepreneurs in the vibrant and diverse landscape of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The insights we unearthed throughout this journey were nothing short of inspiring.
Dr. Cameka Smith and I have worked together for the past ten years, bound by our shared values of uplifting Black women and unwavering faith in the belief that when we bless others, our blessings multiply. It is a profound honor to collaborate with individuals who not only share your values but also possess the vision and determination to create a better future. Working alongside Sage, a corporation that not only comprehends the significance of supporting Black women in business but actively translates this understanding into action, was a breath of fresh air. During my conversation with Sage's CEO, Steve Hare, I was deeply moved by his passion and dedication to making a tangible difference in the fight for equity and economic empowerment.
In pursuing insights unique to Black women, we recognized the critical importance of partnering with SightsSet, a Black woman-owned research firm founded by the dynamic Renita Bryant. This partnership was pivotal in ensuring our research was rooted in cultural understanding and nuance. With all these incredible minds coming together, we embarked on the journey to assess the findings from the Black women founders of the Sage and The BOSS Network Commission of Black Women Founders.
What resonated with me most throughout this experience was the unwavering faith, resilience, and determination of the Black women founders we had the privilege to meet. As a woman of faith myself, I deeply connected with their steadfast belief in propelling themselves forward, enabling them to persevere and succeed despite the numerous odds stacked against them. It was unsurprising to discover that 100% of these women self-funded their businesses, given the systemic challenges Black business owners face in acquiring capital.
The Game Changer:
Our research uncovered a transformative insight, a true game changer for Black women entrepreneurs. It became clear that the foundational components of a written business and financial plan, coupled with regular meetings with advisors, had a substantial impact on the success of these businesses. While it's understandable that in the early stages, entrepreneurs often find themselves handling all day-to-day responsibilities, many failed to realize that investing the time to create a comprehensive business and financial plan and identifying advisors who could provide resources and hold them accountable greatly improved their chances of success. This insight is not exclusive to the Black women founders of Atlanta.
In conclusion, I want to leave you with a powerful message and a call to action. The Visions of Strength research report stands as a testament to the remarkable potential of Black women entrepreneurs. To empower these women, it is essential to recognize the pivotal role that strategic planning and professional guidance play in achieving success. I implore all entrepreneurs, especially Black women, to invest the time to craft a well-structured business and financial plan and to seek out advisors who can provide the necessary support. In doing so, you not only enhance your chances of success but also contribute to the economic empowerment of the Black community and the bridging of the gender and racial wealth gap. Let us continue to uplift and support one another, for in our collective strength, we discover our true potential.
I also encourage you to read the full Visions of Strength research report to delve deeper into the remarkable stories and valuable insights it contains. Together, we can make a lasting impact and create a future where the visions of strength held by Black women entrepreneurs can not only flourish but thrive, lighting the path for a brighter and more equitable future.