The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS

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Walker’s Legacy inspiration Madam C. J. Walker, was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social activist. Often noted as the first female self-made millionaire in America by the Guinness Book of World Records she became one of the wealthiest African-American women in the country and was listed as the first self-made female millionaire in the United States by the Guinness Book of World Records. Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of beauty and hair products for black women through Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the successful business she founded. From very humble beginnings as an orphan and single widowed mother to employing over  20,000 women across the nation.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Madame C.J. Walker

Walker’s Legacy inspiration Madam C. J. Walker, was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social activist. Often noted as the first female self-made millionaire in America by the Guinness Book of World Records she became one of the wealthiest African-American women in the country and was listed as the first self-made female millionaire in the United States by the Guinness Book of World Records. Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of beauty and hair products for black women through Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the successful business she founded. From very humble beginnings as an orphan and single widowed mother to employing over 20,000 women across the nation.

Mary Ellen Pleasant was an African American entrepreneur widely known as “The Mother of Human Rights in California”. Her life was eventful and triumphant as she lived through times of slavery, abolition, the gold rush, and the Civil War. Born a slave, Mary Ellen amassed a nearly $30 million dollar fortune in real estate, silver, and other business ventures with her business partner and husband John James Pleasant. She worked on the Underground Railroad across many states and then helped bring it to California during the Gold Rush Era where she helped many African Americans to obtain employment and aided in the creation of a black leadership class in San Francisco. To this day her work to uplift her people prevails.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Mary Ellen Pleasant

Mary Ellen Pleasant was an African American entrepreneur widely known as “The Mother of Human Rights in California”. Her life was eventful and triumphant as she lived through times of slavery, abolition, the gold rush, and the Civil War. Born a slave, Mary Ellen amassed a nearly $30 million dollar fortune in real estate, silver, and other business ventures with her business partner and husband John James Pleasant. She worked on the Underground Railroad across many states and then helped bring it to California during the Gold Rush Era where she helped many African Americans to obtain employment and aided in the creation of a black leadership class in San Francisco. To this day her work to uplift her people prevails.

Maggie Lena Walker was an African American entrepreneur and civic leader who broke traditional gender and racial boundaries by becoming the first woman to establish and become president of a bank in the United States. She started her path to success when she was just a teenager realizing the value of encouraging individual self-help and integrity. The Saint Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond was the oldest continually African American–operated bank in the United States. In her role as grand secretary of the Independent Order of Saint Luke, Walker also was indispensable in organizing a variety of enterprises that advanced the African American community while expanding the public role of women by sitting on various boards of trustees to include the NAACP.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Maggie Walker

Maggie Lena Walker was an African American entrepreneur and civic leader who broke traditional gender and racial boundaries by becoming the first woman to establish and become president of a bank in the United States. She started her path to success when she was just a teenager realizing the value of encouraging individual self-help and integrity. The Saint Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond was the oldest continually African American–operated bank in the United States. In her role as grand secretary of the Independent Order of Saint Luke, Walker also was indispensable in organizing a variety of enterprises that advanced the African American community while expanding the public role of women by sitting on various boards of trustees to include the NAACP.

Oprah Gail Winfrey is the first African American billionaire. An American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her #1 talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history. In its first year it grossed $125 million dollars. She was the first host to put her personal life on screen. She was known for diving into new ventures fearlessly, whether it was O Magazine, her various books, Harpo Productions, or stepping in front of the screen as actor. In 2011, Oprah Winfrey launched her own television network entitling it OWN Network, or Oprah Winfrey Network. Winfrey’s voice reached the entire world, and in 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. As of 2017, she began a very coveted role as a special correspondent with CBS 60 Minutes. Winfrey has #BEENBOSS showing the world her path to self-ownership.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Gail Winfrey is the first African American billionaire. An American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her #1 talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history. In its first year it grossed $125 million dollars. She was the first host to put her personal life on screen. She was known for diving into new ventures fearlessly, whether it was O Magazine, her various books, Harpo Productions, or stepping in front of the screen as actor. In 2011, Oprah Winfrey launched her own television network entitling it OWN Network, or Oprah Winfrey Network. Winfrey’s voice reached the entire world, and in 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. As of 2017, she began a very coveted role as a special correspondent with CBS 60 Minutes. Winfrey has #BEENBOSS showing the world her path to self-ownership.

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the first black woman to own a billion-dollar business. Howroyd is an entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, businesswoman, author, and mentor. The Act-1 Group also holds a Minority ownership status, and is a multibillion-dollar international Talent and Talent Technology enterprise operating worldwide.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Janice Bryant Howroyd

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the first black woman to own a billion-dollar business. Howroyd is an entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, businesswoman, author, and mentor. The Act-1 Group also holds a Minority ownership status, and is a multibillion-dollar international Talent and Talent Technology enterprise operating worldwide.

Tyra Banks is an American television personality, producer, businesswoman, actress, author, former model and occasional singer. Born in Inglewood, California, she began her career as a model at age 15, and was the first African American woman to be featured on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, on which she appeared twice. She was a Victoria's Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005. By the early 2000s, Banks was one of the top-earning models in the world.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks is an American television personality, producer, businesswoman, actress, author, former model and occasional singer. Born in Inglewood, California, she began her career as a model at age 15, and was the first African American woman to be featured on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, on which she appeared twice. She was a Victoria's Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005. By the early 2000s, Banks was one of the top-earning models in the world.

Cathy Hughes has earned her #BEENBOSS status as an African-American entrepreneur, radio and television personality and business executive. She founded the radio company Radio One, and when the company went public in 1999, she became the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation. In the 1970s, Hughes created the urban radio format called "The Quiet Storm" on Howard University's radio station WHUR. In 2016, she was honored by Howard University by having its School of Communications named after her.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Cathy Hughes

Cathy Hughes has earned her #BEENBOSS status as an African-American entrepreneur, radio and television personality and business executive. She founded the radio company Radio One, and when the company went public in 1999, she became the first African-American woman to head a publicly traded corporation. In the 1970s, Hughes created the urban radio format called "The Quiet Storm" on Howard University's radio station WHUR. In 2016, she was honored by Howard University by having its School of Communications named after her.

Contreras-Sweet launched ProAmérica in 2009 while also securing the role as administrator of the Small Business Administration in April 7, 2014 becoming the first latina to hold the post. ProAmerica was California's first Latino-formed commercial bank in more than 35 years. She also founded Contreras-Sweet Enterprises, a marketing and research firm whose clients included The Coca-Cola Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and The Walt Disney Company.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Maria Contreras-Sweet

Contreras-Sweet launched ProAmérica in 2009 while also securing the role as administrator of the Small Business Administration in April 7, 2014 becoming the first latina to hold the post. ProAmerica was California's first Latino-formed commercial bank in more than 35 years. She also founded Contreras-Sweet Enterprises, a marketing and research firm whose clients included The Coca-Cola Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and The Walt Disney Company.

Sheila Johnson is an African-American entrepreneur who co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET) and is part-owner of the three sports teams in the NHL, NBA and the WNBA. and the first African-American woman to attain a net worth of at least one billion dollars. Johnson is CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, a company she founded in 2005 which has garnered high praise within the hospitality industry.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Sheila Johnson

Sheila Johnson is an African-American entrepreneur who co-founded Black Entertainment Television (BET) and is part-owner of the three sports teams in the NHL, NBA and the WNBA. and the first African-American woman to attain a net worth of at least one billion dollars. Johnson is CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, a company she founded in 2005 which has garnered high praise within the hospitality industry.

Nina Vaca has #BEENBOSS as Pinnacle Group's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Today the company, which provides staffing, vendor management, and IT services for Fortune 500 businesses, generates more than $250 million in annual revenue. With more than 4,200 consultants, Pinnacle has experienced particularly strong growth over the past seven years. Vaca, a director at both Comerica Inc. and Kohl’s Corp., is a founding member of Startup America and recently served as national chair of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Nina Vaca

Nina Vaca has #BEENBOSS as Pinnacle Group's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Today the company, which provides staffing, vendor management, and IT services for Fortune 500 businesses, generates more than $250 million in annual revenue. With more than 4,200 consultants, Pinnacle has experienced particularly strong growth over the past seven years. Vaca, a director at both Comerica Inc. and Kohl’s Corp., is a founding member of Startup America and recently served as national chair of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Nely Galán is an independent producer Latina media dynamo, women’s empowerment advocate and a former President of Entertainment for Telemundo who has #BEENBOSS. She created and executively produced the FOX reality series The Swan. Galán created and produced the Telemundo reality television program La Cenicienta (Cinderella) and became one of Telemundo’s highest rated programs in its 50-year history.
The List: 11 Womenpreneurs Who Have #BEENBOSS
Nely Galán

Nely Galán is an independent producer Latina media dynamo, women’s empowerment advocate and a former President of Entertainment for Telemundo who has #BEENBOSS. She created and executively produced the FOX reality series The Swan. Galán created and produced the Telemundo reality television program La Cenicienta (Cinderella) and became one of Telemundo’s highest rated programs in its 50-year history.

You’ve heard of Madam C.J. Walker’s millionaire status, but do you know the first black woman to own a billion-dollar business? In Celebration of Women’s History Month, Walker’s Legacy and GLOSSRAGS have co-designed a historical tee highlighting women of color entrepreneurs. This list honors 11 influential female entrepreneurs of color from past and present day who have always #BEENBOSS. View the gallery to learn more and shop the #BEENBOSS tee here

Walker's Legacy

Walker's Legacy

Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

 

Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

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