The phrase “support Black businesses” has undeniably become a proverb within the Black community — especially over the past year.
While Black-owned businesses are known for catering to the needs and wants of the Black community with their unique products and services, what makes supporting these entrepreneurs all the more special, is being able to support another Black person looking to elevate their brand.
A plethora of Black business owners graduated as alumni from notable HBCUs, but some are getting ahead of the game by starting their business right in their dorm rooms. What may have started out as a small dream for these entrepreneurs have now grown into successful brands with a direct positive impact on the Black community. Not to mention, doing it all while balancing their studies.
Here are a few young entrepreneurs from HBCUs who are shattering glass ceilings, making an impact, and are well on their way to exceeding greatness. And you should definitely want to know about them.
Tanaja Brown, Delaware State University C/O ‘20
Brown is a recent alumna of Delaware State University where she studied art education . She refers to herself as an “artrepreneur” and allows her artistic nature to come alive through her business called TMB Artistry. Brown hosts painting events for corporations and general celebration events. When she’s not engaging with her community hosting art events, she is creating commissioned art paintings and drawings including canvas paintings, pencil drawings, and custom graduation cap designs.
Courtesy: Derek Ongeri
Yusuf Lewis, Morehouse College C/O ‘21
Lewis is the founder of RefreshCoATL, a tech-based cleaning service based in Atlanta, Georgia that allows users to schedule a cleaning service in 60 seconds. Services include a deep cleaning of the entire home or specific rooms for the customers convenience. RefreshCoATL takes pride in offering service to the metro Atlanta area and having a simple and professional booking process. Lewis wanted to create a cleaning service that provided a professional, stress-free experience for customers so he prioritized pairing an experienced and professional cleaner to care for the customer’s home.
Courtesy: Michael Parrish
Gia Taijae Tejeda, Spelman College C/O ‘23
Tejeda is a rising junior economics major with a minor in management and organization at Spelman College. She developed All Things College (A.T.C.) as a means to advocate for quality education by informing students and parents nationwide on college readiness, standardized test-prep, and scholarships to increase the minority economic growth and college retention rates. Tejeda aspires to inspire scholars worldwide to dream big in life and reach their full potential, especially in furthering their education. Tejeda saw a need within her community and began to help one scholar at a time change their narrative. Reaching students who feel as though “it’s too late” or have been told “they would never amount to anything” is most important in Tejeda’s mission because she knows those same sentiments.
Courtesy: Gia Tejada
Tahir Murray, Howard University C/O ‘21
LegacyHistoryPride, also known as LHP, is a collegiate lifestyle brand that designs and develops apparel inspired by HBCUs and Black culture. The CEO of the company, Tahir Murray, is a 22-year-old graduate of Howard University’s School of Business. LHP offers a variety of apparel options from varsity jackets, crewnecks, t-shirts and more. With every sale, a portion of the proceeds specifically benefits the College or University through their Licensing Agreements. Beyond that, LegacyHistoryPride partners directly with the students and alumni of these institutions to develop collaborations toward the growth of scholarship opportunities. LHP has been featured on some celebrities such as Chance the Rapper and Chris Paul.