African-American Prince Rogers Nelson, better known simply as Prince, was a music icon who could play 12 different instruments.
Prince released his debut album, ‘For You‘, at the age of 19. His second album, ‘Prince’, went platinum and was followed by ‘Dirty Mind’, ‘Controversy’ and ‘1999‘. In he released ‘Purple Rain’, which served as the soundtrack to his film debut of the same name. It was immensely popular and sealed him as one of the most unique and gifted musicians of this age. He played all the instruments on his first five albums and did a majority of the vocals on them. His musical range and style were popular and “Little Red Corvette” was also among the first videos by a black performer to be played regularly on MTV.
Prince penned 15 albums in all; sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time; on seven Grammy Awards; won a Golden Globe Award; won an Academy Award; was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004; in 2006 Prince received a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his “visionary” use of the Internet; and was ranked number 27 on Rolling Stones’ list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The ‘Purple Rain’ album is ranked 72nd in Rolling Stones’ 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and is also included on the list of Time magazine’s All-Time 100 Albums. The ‘Purple Rain’ album sold more than 13 million copies in the US and spent 24 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The film won Prince an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.
Fiercely independent, and determined to own his brand and control its direction, he held tight rein over his music, not allowing it on regular social media outlets or streaming outlets. This meant that the only real way to own a Prince song or record, was to buy it. Prince formed the band The Time and they released four albums. His backup band was called the Revolution whose members later went on to solo music careers. Prince penned songs for other artists including Madonna and Terence Campbell.
But perhaps the best part of Prince was the one he shared with people behind the scenes. He helped so many people who were less fortunate than he, was compassionate and caring to many around him, and inspired many to make a difference in the situations around him. When Trayvon Martin was killed, he donated money to the family. He helped many communities in times of need and poured money into disadvantaged youth. Prince was the inspiration behind Yes We Code, his current project helping bring tech education to communities of color. “We started Yes We Code because of Trayvon Martin,” Jones explained. “Prince said, ‘No, listen. A black kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a thug; a white kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a Silicon Valley genius. Let’s teach the black kids how to be like Mark Zuckerberg.’ Out of that observation, we built a whole organization.” (Source: http://www.cnn.com/video/api/embed.html#/video/tv/2016/04/21/van-jones-remembers-music-legend-prince.cnn
African-American Tristan Walker is the Founder & CEO of Walker & Company Brands.
Prior to that he was the Director of Business Development for Foursquare, where he oversaw strategic partnerships and monetization. In this role, Tristan managed intergrations with large brands and media entities including American Express, The New York Times, CNN, MTV, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and Starbucks.
He was named the USA Today Person of the Year in 2014, Ebony Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful People list, Vanity Fair’s “Next Establishment,” Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, AdAge Creative 50, The Hollywood Reporter’s Digital Power 50, and Black Enterprise’s 40 Next. He is also the Founder and Chairman of CODE2040, a program that matches high performing black and latino undergraduate and graduate coders and software engineering students with Silicon Valley start-ups for summer internships.
In 2015, Walker & Company Brands inked a deal with Target to sell its flagship product, Bevel, in select Target stores in the United States and on Target.com. Bevel is a single-blade razor system for men and women with coarse, curly hair which addresses the problem of razor bumps and skin irritation that affects up to 80% of African Americans and up to 30% of people of other races.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stony Brook University, where he graduated as valedictorian, and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
African-American Mikaila Ulmer is an 11-year-old on a mission.
She started BeeSweet Lemonade at the age of 4 for a Children’s business competition (the Acton Children’s Business Fair) and Austin Lemonade Day. She now sells-out of her BeeSweet Lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events while donating a percentage of the profits from the sale of her lemonade to local and international organizations fighting hard to save the honeybees. That is why she touts: Buy a Bottle…Save a Bee.
At the age of 10, she landed a $60,000 Shark Tank Deal and her lemondade is in 55 Whole Food stores in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, and is available at a growing number of restaurants, food trailers and natural food delivery companies..
African-American Maya Penn is a serial entrepreneur who started her first company at the age of 8.
Maya Penn first came up with a cartoon called “Malicious Dishes“, an animated series about computer viruses, after trying to clean viruses off her computer. She thought, “What if viruses in my computer have personalities?”, and drew an animation about the stories of these viruses, who travel via USB drives around a computer world that humans are unaware of. Penn also drew another series called “The Pollinators” about bees and other pollinators and their impact on the environment.
At 10-years-old, she realized that all her work came from ideas, she set up her website, Maya’s Ideas, which she coded on her own by learning basic HTML.
This homeschooled entrepreneur has been on Forbes’ list of “Sixteen Grade School Entrepreneurs”, been featuredon CNN, Wired, Essence, NPR, The View, Redbook, Ebony, Fox 5, IBM, Black Enterprise, and more. Now 15, she is working on a project with her nonprofit where she has created eco-friendly sanitary pads for girls in developing countries. MedShare has partnered with her to distribute the pads. Her latest book, ‘You Got This’ helps guide budding entrepreneurs on ways to find their path and change the world.
Kenyan-American Atieno Okelo Williams is Co-Owner of DC Home Buzz, one of the most exciting new real estate companies in Washington DC.
DC Home Buzz provides Real Estate Brokerage services. They help people find the home of their dreams or to sell their current home. Their focus is on educating the community about the process of purchasing or selling their home, and making sound financial decisions during this process. In the past few years, they have expanded to include rental property management, renovation services and property development.
She received the Jones New York Empowerment fund award in 2011 and plans to use it to establish a curriculum and a series of ongoing workshops that will help homeless women and women in transitional housing to reach the dream of housing independence by teaching them financial basics and then by building on that foundation of knowledge. She plans to use her non-profit arm, Buzz Hopes to achieve this goal.
She is an alumna of Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing boot camp for women that works to increase diversity in the U.S. angel investing community and creates capital for women social entrepreneurs. Since April 2011, Pipeline Fellowship’s angel investing boot camp has trained more than 80 women, who have committed more than US$400,000 in investment, as stated on Pipeline Fellowship’s website.
Follow DC Home Buzz on Facebook and visit their website to find out more about home ownership.
African-American Eric Thomas, better known as ET the Hip Hope Preacher, was once a homeless, high-school dropout. He has gone on to be a critically acclaimed author, motivational speaker, educator, and pastor.
His skillful use of social media has garnered him a following globally and he has used it to inspire hope and success in many. He has an award-nominated GED Program, runs a non-profit, Break The Cycle, I Dare you, was instrumental in developing the Advantage program at Michigan State University (the program targets high risk college students by improving their study habits and increasing their retention rates).
He created International Urban Education Consultants; a non-profit organization committed to finding solutions to close the achievement gap in urban schools through goal framing and helping students to reform their perception of learning. He is the CEO of Consulting Firm, ETA LLC, which consults for Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Quicken Loans, AT&T, Nike, Under Armour, New Balance and UPS as well as major Universities and the major sports teams within the MLB, NBA, NFL and MLS.
Jamaican/American Paul C. Brunson is a matchmaker and relationship coach, co-host of OWN’s ‘Lovetown, USA’.
His initial job was as a director of U.S. investments for Bahcesehir Ugur Educational Institutions until 2008. In 2009 he launched a matchmaking company (The Paul Carrick Brunson Agency), then joined the cast of ‘Lovetown, USA’ in August 2012. That same year, in October, he wrote a book, It’s Complicated, (But it Doesn’t Have to Be), was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, iDate Matchmaker and Relationship Coach of the Year award, Impact Leader of the Year award, and was a Dell Inspire 100 Honoree.
The Paul Carrick Brunson Agency is considered in the top three matchmaking and coaching companies in the United States based on its growth, success and staff members. At any one time, they have between 40 and 45 clients. They also run workshops, and do one-off coaching with hundreds of persons. Clients come from all over the world, including India, Istanbul and Jamaica.
He was discovered by Oprah Winfrey who had been watching his videos on YouTube. Thinking their messages were spam, he deleted several of them before finally answering and being offered a job on her OWN network. He has also worked with millionaire, Enver Yucel whose work ethic he admires.
African-American Brenda Palms Barber is the CEO of Sweet Beginnings, a producer of natural honey-based personal care products and premium honey under the brand name, Beelove.
She originally started the company in 2004 as a transitional-jobs program for former offenders. The success of the program spawned the formation of the Beeline brand. The program boasts a 3% recidivism rates versus an average rate of 80+% in most rehabilitation programs.
Her website states that “Sweet Beginnings is a wholly owned subsidiary of the North Lawndale Employment Network and offers full-time transitional jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and others with significant barriers to employment in a green industry – the production and sales of all-natural skin care products featuring its own urban honey. Sweet Beginnings workers care for the bees and hives, harvest honey, make beelove™ products, package and ship products, track inventory, fill product orders, and sell at retail outlets and special events. These training and work experience modalities transfer to market positions in manufacturing, food service, distribution, warehousing, hospitality, customer service, and more. The recidivism rate for former Sweet Beginnings employees is below 4%, compared to the national average of 65% and the Illinois average of 55%.”
BeeLove products can be found at Whole Foods, and Mark Shale Stores.
Nigerian Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola returned home to Nigeria to co-found a waste recycling company, Wecyclers, and her vision is enormous. To transform the lives of people with garbage, create jobs, and help build the economy of her beloved motherland, Nigeria.
Wecyclers gives households a chance to capture value from their waste while providing a reliable supply of materials to the local recycling industry. Wecyclers works in partnership with the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and collects recyclable waste, including plastic bottles, plastic bags, and aluminum cans, at the household level using low-cost bicycle-powered collection vehicles called “wecycles”.
The wecycles are designed and manufactured locally and are operated by youth from local communities. The wecycle operators cover specific neighborhood collection routes to collect material from households. At collection, operators weigh each household’s materials. The weight of material that each household recycles is entered into the Wecyclers’ SMS points platform to automatically generate a personalized SMS. Wecyclers rewards households with redeemable points based on the volume and quality of recyclables that they give them. Wecyclers has registered over 5,000 households for our collection service, built 29 operational collection cargo bikes and collected over 300 metric tons of recyclable materials. Wecyclers has developed strategic partnerships with leading companies including the Nigerian Bottling Company, DHL and Coca-Cola.
Wecyclers is the recipient of multiple awards, including, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award, Tech Award, Echoing Green Fellowship, MIT D-lab Scale-ups fellowship, MIT IDEAS Venture Grant, Yunus Challenge Prize at the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Competition, Carroll Wilson Fellowship and is a Sustainia100 company. [Their] work has been highlighted in The Economist, CNN, Al Jazeera, The Punch, BBC, Marie Claire Magazine, New African Woman, The Independent among others. (Source: Huffington Post).
Cory Nieves started Mr. Cory’s Cookies because he was tired of having to catch the bus since his family didn’t have a car.
In 2009, Mr. Cory told his mother he was tired of taking the bus to school and he wanted to buy his mom a car. He crafted the idea to sell hot cocoa to raise the funds. Mr. Cory put all his spare time into selling hot cocoa at the Roman Inn in Englewood, NJ, and later in front of his home.(Source: Mr. Cory’s Cookies). He was 9 years-old.
His cookies are made with 75% all natural ingredients and have no preservatives. Once his mother realized how serious he was, she encouraged him to continue selling hot cocoa to save money for college. Not only did Mr. Cory keep at it, but he began selling lemonade and cookies to expand options for his loyal customers. Every item available was just $1.00, and his small customer base began expanding as word spread of his inexpensive and delicious treats – mostly the cookies. Despite needing a car, they give a majority of thei back to local shelters.
In 2014, Ellen Degeneres decided to help him build his business. She gave him $10,000 and a car and a sign to advertise his cookies.