The 10 Most Intriguing New Black-Owned Small Businesses of 2017

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2017 was a banner year for black entrepreneurship. Black women are the fastest-growing small business owner demographic. A recent report shows that millennials and the soon-to-emerge on the workplace Generation Z, cite entrepreneurship as a top life achievement.

We covered a host of innovative small businesses this past year. The grit, the drive, and the passion for bringing a business dream of an entrepreneur to fruition is something to admire and from which to draw inspiration.

Below are 10 of the most intriguing and promising new small businesses that we covered in 2017:

At the age of 25, WAGS Atlanta cast member Hope Wiseman is the founder of Mary and Main, a dispensary set to open up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, making Wiseman the youngest dispensary owner in the U.S.

WAGS Atlanta, Dispensary Owner, Hope Wiseman (Image: Instagram)

WAGS Atlanta Dispensary Owner, Hope Wiseman (Image: Instagram)

Kerstyn Dioulo is the founder of Glow Connection, a NYC-based public relations and management agency. Six years ago, she signed singer/actor Rotimi, best known for his role as Dre on Starz’s hit show Power.

(Image: iStock/FangXiaNuo)


Black Enterprise caught up with Kenny Minor, owner of Xtract Juice Bar in Baltimore, to talk about the benefits of juicing and his career journey into entrepreneurship.

(Image: Nicole K. Webb)

Veterinarian Dr. Joe J. Owens pitched his product, Enjoy-A-Bowl, an innovative pet feeding system, on Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. Black Enterprise contributor Brandon Andrews has a one-on-one exclusive with the vet-turned-inventor.

(Dr. Joe J. Owens on Funderdome. Image: The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lisa Rose))

Olivier Noel pitched DNA Simple, a new way to support cutting-edge medical research, to ABC’s panel of sharks and talks about his science startup.

(Image: Courtesy of ABC)

Not a new business but after 15 years, MVAAFF founders Stephanie and Floyd Rance received a special citation from the State of Massachusetts’ Governor’s Office for their significant contributions to the local economy of Martha’s Vineyard.

(L-R: Academy Award-Winning Director Spike Lee, actor Roger Guenveur Smith and Ken Shropshire of Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University for “The Color of Conversation” talk back screening for the RODNEY KING movie. Image: Courtesy of the MVAAFF)

While some attend colleges and universities to study interior design, there are those like Baltimore native Ajia Monet who is a natural talent. Her creativity, style, and ability to master spatial arrangements to transform spaces afford her an advantage in such a growing and competitive industry.

(L-R: Denise Cooper, Ajia Monet. Image: A’Blige Interior Design)

“Since YGB’s creation, over 1,000 people have accessed our online teachings,” she says.

Many people know Crystal Smith for being married to R&B artist and actor Ne-Yo, but in addition to being a wife and a mother, she is also an amazing chef. Smith recently secured a deal with food delivery service Gobble, to add her own recipes to their already flourishing menu.

Crystal with her Su Chef Holly Watt at Gobble headquarters in Palo Alto, CA (Image: Gobble)

Crystal Smith with her Sous Chef Holly Watt at Gobble headquarters in Palo Alto, CA (Image: Gobble)

Vivian Kaye was looking to solve a common problem faced by many women within the natural hair community: how to do protective style options, such as a weave or wig, that match kinky, curly, and Afro-textured hair.

In June 2016, the 28-year-old college dropout-turned-entrepreneur launched Trill Tea, a brand of herbal tea that embraces hip-hop culture and emphasizes being true to yourself.

(Image: Chaz Greene Photo courtesy of Trill Tea)

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