Although Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs, they face several barriers when it comes to seeking funding for their ventures. Despite the odds, Black women business owners are making historic moves in the realm of entrepreneurship. According to Black Enterprise, a trio of sisters opened the first Black women-owned beauty store in their hometown of Buffalo, New York.
The sisters—Lauren Jackson, Brianna Lannie and Danielle Jackson—came up with the concept for their business The Hair Hive four years ago after noticing the lack of accessibility to products created for different hair types. With the support of the Westminster Economic Development Initiative—a nonprofit organization that focuses on education, economic development and community building in Buffalo—they opened the doors to their business on March 7, a day before International Women’s Day. The beauty supply store sells a variety of hair and makeup products. The sisters are using their business as a vessel for community empowerment. Not only do they feature products created by local entrepreneurs, but they also donate a portion of their sales to support community-focused initiatives.
The sisters say their entrepreneurial journey is about increasing the representation of Black women in the beauty industry and they hope their historic milestone inspires others. “Beauty supply stores are a billion-dollar industry. We are the number one consumer. As African American women we only own seven percent of that industry,” Lauren said in a statement. “Every dollar that people spend in our store goes back to our community, and we want them to know that to support us is supporting yourselves and your surrounding area and we want them to shop with us.”
Several Black women entrepreneurs are on a mission to redefine the beauty industry. Beauty innovator Cindy Tawiah created the first automated natural haircare vending machine that includes products from her company Diva by Cindy.