Entrepreneurship Highlight: Madam C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove)

One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.

One can conclude that Madam C.J. Walker was one of the first mainstream entrepreneurs. Born into poverty, and to former slaves, she built an empire. Although she was orphaned and did not have an comfortable upbringing and became a widow at age 20, Madam Walker was determined to survive. She married her second husband Charles J. Walker and shortly after, her hair began falling out due to a scalp disorder. She created her own concoction, Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower. Her products made her the first American woman and first black woman to become a self-made millionaire. She organized the National Negro Cosmetics Manufacturers Association in 1917 and offered cash incentives to those who promoted her values. Even though she passed away in 1919, her products and her influence still live on today. Her mansion was purchased by the nonprofit organization, New Voice Foundation, to become a “think tank” for women of color entrepreneurs.
There are various articles, books, and a Netflix film, Self Made, that highlight the life and success of Madam C.J. Walker. Expand your knowledge-base and read a few of them so that you can form a well-rounded perspective of just how powerful her story really is.

Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Diverstiy.Inc, Allthatisinteresting.com

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