Earn Entrepreneurship

6 Black Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2023

Lindsay Tigar  |  August 30, 2023

From law firms to a vegan restaurant, these Black female entrepreneurs are blazing the path for future generations to follow.

In the United States, Black women leaders are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs. Historically, Black females have earned less than men and white women with the same education and experience. As the country continues to fight for equality in funding, the workplace, and in every aspect of life, many impressive Black women are creating a runway for generations to come. 

We spoke with six impressive and successful Black female entrepreneurs who have already accomplished inspiring feats — and will climb even higher mountains in 2023.

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Pinky Cole, CEO and Founder of Slutty Vegan

Why She’s One to Watch

Her company grew 50% in 2022, led by an average order value of around $30. Growth is expected to continue into 2023.

Her Story

Pinky Cole founded Atlanta-based Slutty Vegan in 2018. . The plant-based comfort food restaurant drew in locals with a mouthwatering menu and flavorful ingredients. Then it gained the attention of celebrities, including Snoop Dogg, Tyler Perry, Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah, and many others. Today, they have seven brick-and-mortar locations in Atlanta, Birmingham, Alabama and Brooklyn, New York. If you’re not near one of these locations, there’s a food truck that pops up around the country.

In May 2022, Slutty Vegan earned a $25M Series A fundraising round that resulted in the brand’s impressive $100M valuation backed by Enlightened Hospitality Investments (co-founded by Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group) and New Voices Fund (led by billionaire entrepreneur & ESSENCE Ventures CEO Richelieu Dennis). Cole then published her first cookbook with 91 recipes titled, ‘Eat Plants, B*tch.’

After experiencing success and growth, Cole established The Pinky Cole Foundation. Her organization works to help future generations pursue their entrepreneurial passions and build generational wealth. 

Alicia Homes, CEO and Founder of Journey To Wealth

Why She’s One to Watch

Her company has helped more than 1,000 Black and LatinX women increase their net worth, eliminate debt, and begin investing in blockchain, cryptocurrency and Web3. 

Her Story

While Homes officially launched her company in 2016, she’s been informally supporting, educating and coaching women for over 30 years. Journey to Wealth (JTW) offers seminars, workshops and master classes for women committed to financial freedom.

Within the company, Homes spearheaded the JTW Women in Action, who support each other in bridging the wealth gap by learning, growing and investing with a community of like-minded women. She has one purposeful goal: End the wage gaps and racial wealth gaps for this generation and all to come.

READ MORE: 6 Black Owned-Businesses That Are Saving The Planet (And Making Awesome Gifts)

Neidy Hornsby, Founder & CEO of Noir IP

Why She’s One to Watch

Since 2019, her law firm increased its client base by 10% to 12% year over year, serving women entrepreneurs. 

Her Story

Though it might not be the first ‘to-do’ list item you think of when you dream of starting a company, getting a trademark is an important—and expensive!—part of entrepreneurship. It’s something Neidy Hornsby knows firsthand. She founded a business and trademark law firm focused on serving women entrepreneurs and hoping to disrupt the legal industry by providing bespoke legal services at predictable flat-rate fees. As she puts it: gone are the days when budding leaders must choose between $400/hour attorneys or DIY legal services. 

Since 2019, she’s helped female entrepreneurs on their quest for success. Today, 98% of new business comes from word-of-mouth referrals. Her goal is to ‘lift as she climbs’.

“Yes, I want my business to grow,” she says. “I just want to get to the next level with fellow like-minded women. I believe there is room for us all to exceed our wildest dreams. To that end, I view our clients as partners, not transactions.”

Chrishon Lampley, CEO of Love Cork Screw

Why She’s One to Watch

Her company supports minority business owners in the wine industry. It has sold two million bottles, experienced a 272% increase in sales, and added ten new states of distribution in 2022. 

Her Story

Chrishon Lampley’s path started when a freak flood in her building forced her to shutter her Chicago-based art and wine bar. At the time, she was running a radio show and lifestyle blog for fun. The show, called Love Cork Screw, gave advice on entertainment, wine selections, and relationships. After the disaster that closed her brick-and-mortar, she decided to expand Love Cork Screw as her brand. 

In 2013, Chrishon Lampley founded LCS Entertainment, Inc., a licensed wholesaler, importer and minority business enterprise that features Love Cork Screw wines. Now, Love Cork Screw is a lifestyle brand selling wines and candles. She became the first Black midwest woman to go national with a wine brand. Then she spoke at TEDx Grand Boulevard. Lampley continues to be featured in renowned publications, including Wine Enthusiasts, Ebony, Essence, NBC News, and more.

Following her success, she gave back and hosted the 2022 inaugural Clink Festival, the first Chicago-based event focusing on women and BIPOC communities in the wine and spirits industry. The event sold out fast and another is planned for 2023. With the little spare time she has, Lampley volunteers with nonprofit organizations through speaking engagements and sponsorship, hoping to help young women entrepreneurs with big dreams just like her.

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Tara Melvin, Founder of The National Society of Black Wedding & Event Professionals 

Why She’s One to Watch

Within 60 days of formation in 2020, this association gained 100 founding members. It continued to grow over the next few years to represent Black industry professionals of all talents represented in 24 states and the Caribbean. 

Her Story

Tar Melvin founded her first company, Perfect Planning Events, a Washington, D.C.-based wedding planning company. She has great success and high ratings, but knew there wasn’t equal representation in her industry. This inspired her to pursue her dream of starting the first non-profit industry association to represent Black wedding and event professionals. The National Society of Black Wedding Event Professionals helps professionals feel empowered and grow their businesses within the wedding sector. 

They provide a supportive space to ask questions, open doors, network, and educate Black-owned companies. Through her work in NSBWEP, she hopes other entrepreneurs are listened to and able to leverage their strengths to grow their businesses. To date, the organization has 150 members and are on their way to hitting their goal of 500 members by 2025. 

Christie Lindor, Founder of Tessi Consulting 

Why She’s One to Watch

In Tessi Consulting’s second full year in business, the diversity and inclusion firm became a seven-figure business. They also doubled their sales in 2021 with an 80% client retention in 2022. 

Her Story

Christie Lindor’s consulting agency partners with high-performing organizations with a vital goal: to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace. They’re a certified B corporation and a MBC-certified woman and Black-owned business that works to fight social injustices and help minorities grow generational wealth.

“DEI is an emerging industry,” Lindor says. “Tessi Consulting is at the forefront of creating rigor and professionalism around DEI, which we believe will be key to making progress and continuing to keep DEI a priority at organizations globally.”

Some clients on their impressive roster include Ernst & Young, Salesforce, and LinkedIn. While they are a small team of 11, they are mighty, and in 2022, they launched the Institute for Inclusion, where they train other DEI consultants on our proprietary methodology. 

“I believe there is a tremendous amount of work to do, and we need all hands on deck,” Lindor says. “So far, we’ve certified 20 consultants since launch and plan to certify another 100 this year.”

READ MORE: The Hill We Climb: Black Women And The Battle To Build Wealth

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