All Articles Tagged "black enterprise"

“There Was Nothing In The Marketplace”: Miko Branch On Miss Jessie’s Impact On The Natural Hair Movement

March 10th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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MIko Branch

Black Enterprise

In the ’90s, while many women were still making appointments to touch up relaxers, Miko and Titi Branch were just trying to find products that could provide some TLC to their curls. And they were coming up very short in that search. The sisters, who have a Japanese mother and African-American father, would try to go to salons, but all stylists wanted to do was “tame” their thick hair. So they started doing their own strands, and eventually, started making their own products to moisturize them. They went from cooking up concoctions in a Brooklyn brownstone to trying to share those products and their curly hair expertise in their Soho salon. It was a success.

Miko Branch, 45, is sharing that success story in the March issue of Black Enterprise, which she graces the cover of. She pointed out that the success she and late sister Titi had with the Miss Jessie’s salon and eventually with the products came from the fact that they identified a major need for their goods and created their signature formulas from there.

“When we set out to come up with solutions for curls, kinks, waves, and natural hair, there was nothing in the marketplace,” Branch told the magazine. “Natural hair was categorized, for the most part, as braids, locks, or a free-form fro. Nothing really to embrace your natural curls.”

The products would eventually expand to big retailers like Target and CVS, going from 225 stores to supplying more than 1,000 stores with their beloved Curly Pudding, Curly Buttercreme, Curly Meringue, their Rapid Recovery Treatment and more, all under a brand named after their paternal grandmother. Miko and Titi would go on to be innovators when it came to natural hair, specifically the curly hair faction, and develop a multimillion-dollar company.

Miko says that if she and Titi could do it, other Black women entrepreneurs surely can start small and expand greatly.

“You don’t even need privileges or degrees,” Branch told Black Enterprise. “We didn’t have MBAs and we didn’t get bank loans or find angel investors. What we had was a seed of an idea and a solid foundation of family and influences to learn from and observe. If we could do it, you can do it too.”

Not only is Branch on the cover of this month’s Black Enterprise, but she will also be part of the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, leading a discussion on “Making Big Bucks in Specialized Markets.” Find out more about the summit, taking place in Miami Beach from May 4-7, here.

New Black Enterprise Show, ‘Women of Power,’ Celebrates Black Women Leaders

October 23rd, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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TV is finally waking up to the power of the Black female viewer. Following the success of OWN’s programming targeting Black women, other cable networks have taken notice. “And now it seems that other media outlets are looking to tap into the ratings goldmine that is Black women. More specifically Centric TV, which according to the New Pittsburgh Courier, is rebranding itself as a station for the sistas,” reports People, Places & Things.

Now comes a new, weekly half-hour national network syndicated show, “Women of Power,” airing every Sunday on the TV One cable network, starting October 25. It is produced by Black Enterprise and Central City Productions and highlight accomplished Black women entrepreneurs, CEOs, moguls, and political leaders.

The show, which was inspired by Black Enterprise Women of Power multimedia franchise (best known for the annual Women of Power Summit), recently kicked off with host Caroline V. Clarke’s interview with actor and Black-ish co-star Tracee Ellis Ross.

“After celebrating our 10th year partnership with Black Enterprise Magazine under the banner of New Millenium Media Partners, I am pleased to announce the transition of the ‘Black Enterprise Business Report’ television show to our brand new, first run ‘Women Of Power’ half -hour weekly lifestyle television series,” said Don Jackson, chairman of Central City Productions.

“Our other weekly series, ‘Our World with Black Enterprise’, will continue under its current title as the longest running black news magazine show on television for over 30 years,” Jackson continued. “It will now incorporate more items of interest from the former ‘Black Enterprise Business Report’ series.”

Women of Power will do segments on tennis legend Venus Williams, Xerox corporate CEO Ursula Burns, crisis management expert and Scandal inspiration Judy Smith.

Viewers can also watch the program each week on Black Enterprise website.

h/t Target Market News

Black Woman-Owned, Billion-Dollar Firm Is No. 2 On Black Enterprise’s Top 100 List

July 1st, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Carrie Devorah / WENN

Carrie Devorah / WENN

Every year Black Enterprise magazine releases a list of the largest black-owned companies in various sectors — from the auto industry to tech firms. The 42nd Annual Black Enterprise 100s report on top industrial/service companies, auto dealerships, financial companies and ad agencies.

BE 100s consists of rankings of America’s 100 largest black-owned industrial/service companies, 60 automobile dealers, as well as listings of the top advertising agencies, banks, asset managers, investment banks and private equity firms,” according to a press release.

Black Enterprise Senior VP/Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle praised all of the companies on the list for their ability to thrive in the face of rough financial waters. “As such, most exhibit elasticity, capability, technological adaptability and branding power in a seesaw economic recovery and hyper-competitive business environment,” he said.

The theme for BE’s 2014 report is “Scale Up Your Business,” as the magazine discovered many of the CEOs on the list have remodeled their companies for opportunity and expansion.

The list includes the $5 billion revenue leaders—World Wide Technology Inc., ACT-1 Group, Bridgewater Interiors L.L.C., Modular Assembly Innovations L.L.C., and RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Holdings L.L.C. The list is male-dominated, though there are some standout companies owned by black women, including the aforementioned ACT-1 Group owned by Janice Bryant Howroyd (above) with revenues topping $2.2 billion — yes, billion — last year. For the second year, it came in the No. 2 spot, following World Wide Technology Inc. Other women-owned companies on the list included: Mays Chemical Co. Inc. owned by Kristin Mays-Corbitt  and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Inc.

Among the companies of the year are:

Financial Services Company of the Year: Vista Equity Partners, San Francisco, CA; CEO, Robert F. Smith. Business: Private Equity (focus on technology)

Advertising Agency of the Year: commonground marketing, Chicago, IL; CEOs, Sherman Wright/Ahmad Islam

Industrial/Service Company of the Year: ChemicoMays L.L.C., Southfield, MI; CEO, Leon C. Richardson. Business: Chemical Management Services

Auto Dealer of the Year: Rodgers Chevrolet Inc., Woodhaven, MI; CEO, Pamela Rodgers. Business: Retail sales for GM

It was back in 1973 that BE came up with the idea for the now widely recognized list. At that time the combined sales for the 100 component companies totaled $473 million. Today, the top 100 African American industrial/service companies—the core of the BE 100s report—together grossed more than $21.8 billion in 2013. This is an incredible $2 billion increase in revenue over the previous year.

To see the entire list, click here.

Remember Suede And Honey? Black Magazines We Miss That Have Gone Out Of Print

May 8th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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It used to be that you couldn’t get on the train or bus commuting to work or school without seeing at least half of the commuters reading a newspaper or magazine but now more and more people are on their phones and tablets. With the changing times, more and more publications are focusing their attention online and are no longer printing publications while some have disappeared altogether. Here’s a list of Black magazines we miss that have gone out of print.


vibe vixenVibe Vixen

Vibe Vixen was a spin-off of the urban stalwart Vibe magazine that was geared toward men and women who were into hip-hop music, fashion, cars and gadgets. Created in 2004 for Vibe’s female readers, Vibe Vixen focused on fashion, health and beauty, dating, entertainment, and societal issues for “urban minded females.” Wendy Williams, Tracee Ellis Ross and Estelle were some of the celebs that graced the cover of the magazine. Vibe Vixen was released quarterly until its print publications stopped and all of their efforts went online.

Black Enterprise Exec To Be Appointed NYC City Finance Commissioner By Mayor Bill De Blasio

April 8th, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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via @jjiha

via @jjiha

From Black Enterprise

A day after the acting City Finance Commissioner Beth Goldman tendered her resignation, Mayor Bill de Blasio may have found her permanent replacement.

De Blasio will reportedly replace Goldman with current Black Enterprise Magazine Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Jacques Jiha.

The appointment will be made official at a press conference today at City Hall. He reportedly beat out four other candidates for the position.

Jiha will now oversee the agency which oversees over $30 billion in tax collection every year.

For more on this latest appointment, click through to And congrats to the new City Finance Commissioner!

Black Enterprise Driving Innovation Hackathon Announces Champions

April 2nd, 2014 - By Raven Carter
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From Black Enterprise 

Black Enterprise’s Driving Innovation Hackathon presented by Toyota has come to a close, with all four teams creating amazing environmentally friendly apps in as little as 24 hours.

The winner, team Viza, walked away as the champion, showing how to integrate environmental friendliness, conscious consumerism, and smart business decisions into a single app.

The Hackathon was hosted by Mary Pryor and Mike Street, who interviewed judges and developers throughout the Hackathon.

The fourth place spot went to StartupBoss, an app that helped potential black business owners create environmentally conscious business plans based on their personality or working style.

The team behind the app included game discovery service Bundlecamp founder Michael Piggott, General Assembly admissions producer Nena Ugwuomo, and freelance programmer Zachary Boyd.

Third place went to Makazi Mtingwa and Natasha’s Court founder Candida Haynes for their app Greenbux Trivia, an augmented reality gaming app that empowers small minority businesses and community networks to make lifestyle choices while they walk around and discover their neighborhood.

In second place came Elnerdo, the environmental platformer game by Andre Smith and Jason Scoon, who were acquaintances before the event took place. “I’m really glad to work with Andre,” Scoon said. “We talked about getting me more into game development since that’s more of my specialty as opposed to Andre being on the web…It was a pretty good opportunity to…start building our own product together.”

Read more about hack-a-thons at 

What’s On Your Mind? The Five Most Pressing Political Issues Of The Year

March 10th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Rena Schild /

Rena Schild /

From Black Enterprise

The battleground has been set for the 113thCongress with partisan polarization at its peak and November 2014 re-elections looming. The ongoing bickering among lawmakers has earned this Congress a “do-nothing” label. At the end of 2013, 56 bills had been signed into law in the first session of the 113th Congress. Add the fact that in October, the federal government had its first partial shutdown in nearly two decades.

A CNN/ORC International poll revealed that nearly three-quarters of the public say that this has been the worst Congress in their lifetime. Assuming legislators don’t pick up the pace this year, this will become the least productive Congress in at least the last 40 years, according to a CNN analysis of congressional records. Lawmakers must find a way to reach across the aisle to achieve any real progress although the House of Representatives (out of session until Feb. 26) is more divided than the Senate (back in session today), according to political pundits.

President Obama, in the first of potentially many executive actions tied to his State of the Union address, signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour, from $7.25. The President said like many presidents before him he would issue executive orders to address pressing issues that fall within his range of responsibility. talked to political analysts to weigh in on the most pressing political issues for 2014 that will greatly affect the lives of all Americans, especially African Americans.

Click here to read on at

Are You Managing Your Social Media Reputation?

March 3rd, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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On day three of the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, attendees learned how to manage their Web brand and reputation at a seminar facilitated by Stacey Ferguson, founder of Justice Fergie Lifestyle Media.

For power women, knowing and controlling how they’re represented online is important, especially since social media is a vital component of everyday business. If reality doesn’t match what’s in the digital space, it can be detrimental for career advancement and business expansion.

Check out three tips for managing your online presence so that it reflects the best of the best:

1. Be sure the elements of your brand are consistent across the board.

For the rest of these tips, click through to

America Saves Week Starts Today!

February 24th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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From Black Enterprise

Today kicks off the official start of America Saves Week (February 24 to March 1). The goal of America Saves Week, which is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council, is to encourage consumers to save as much of their money as they can and to develop sound saving habits.

According to the 2013 Annual National Survey Assessing Household Savings, only roughly half of Americans said they had good savings habits.

Read more about the results from this survey on

MLK Dream Code Hackathon Brings Programmers Together For Social Good

January 21st, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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From Black Enterprise

Seeking to mobilize technophiles in hacks that further Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s values, Black Techies joined forces with Tumblr to organize the MLK Dream Code Hackathon.  Beginning the morning of January 18, the 30-plus-hour coding event attracted a mixed crowd of approximately 30 programming newbies and seasoned developers, graphic and interface designers, and engineers, among others to Tumblr headquarters in the Flatiron District in New York City’s Silicon Alley.  In true collaborative spirit, organizations such as All Star CodeBlacks in Tech and Silicon Harlem showed their support for Black Techies’ first overnight event.

The brainchild of Tumblr engineer Kyle Wanamaker, Black Techies was birthed in 2011 in response to the lack of tech startup founders and techies of color at meetups. In an effort to diversify the space, specifically engineering, Wanamaker founded Black Techies to create a comfortable landscape where programmers could build and learn from one another.

To learn more about the hackathon, click through to