Black women have become the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, but substantial challenges remain present
By Josephine McNeal
Black women are the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the United States, with nearly 2.7 million businesses nationwide. The number of businesses owned by Black women grew 50% from 2014 to 2019, representing the highest growth rate of any female demographic.
They have risen above challenge after challenge, including double biases in the business world, lack of representation, networking troubles and limited access to capital and funding.
Jacque Moore is one of those women.
She founded the nation’s largest Black-owned cause marketing agency, Creative Marketing Resources, (now CMRignite) in 1995. Today, with a staff of close to 60 full-time employees, CMRignite is an award-winning agency that recently earned a spot on the INC 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the United States. This month marks Women’s History Month, a fitting time to highlight Women’s history in the making, while providing a guiding light for women, especially Black women who are also looking to be change makers and leaders in business.
If anyone knows the secrets to striving forward, business growth in a niche market and beating the odds, it’s Jacque Moore. So, we asked her about finding professional and personal success as a Black woman in business.
Embrace your differences.
“I am a believer that diversity is a character value or belief. As women, and particularly women of color, we traditionally view society from a lens of inclusiveness because we’ve had to believe in and practice inclusiveness in order to be successful.”
Connect passion with purpose.
“When someone does what they love to do, the financial rewards will come because you are so committed to your passion that it takes a priority over everything else. I eat, sleep and drink this business, always thinking of innovative ways to solve problems for our clients. I have always claimed that if I was independently wealthy, I’d do this for free – but I’m not independently wealthy. Sooo…LOL.”
“I would encourage those women who want to stay true to who they are to attempt to find a work/life balance. Entrepreneurs struggle with finding that balance because they are pursuing their passion and they are driven by it. Find a hobby that allows you to engage your business with your hobby. For example, I love golfing, so I can golf but still conduct business while enjoying the hobby.”
Acknowledge your mistakes — and move on.
“I’ve made several mistakes, probably too many to recall. However, my philosophy is to learn from the mistakes and not dwell on them. Recognize that a mistake was made, reconcile when possible and keep it moving. “
Balance is key to success.
“Healthy tips: Don’t take things too seriously. Stress kills, so reduce the stress in your life. Get a massage weekly, take a walk for fresh thinking whenever possible, eat healthy foods, especially vegetables.
“I knew I wanted to build an agency that would make an impact and leave a legacy, but I never knew that following my passion/dream would lead to building one of the largest agencies in the region. I’ve enjoyed every day and have no regrets. I’d do it all over again and again and again.”
CMRignite is a full-service, strategic communications agency that specializes in developing cause and behavior change marketing for Fortune 500 companies, major nonprofits and government agencies. Since 1995, the agency has focused on developing innovative, cross-cultural marketing campaigns that lead to real, positive change. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, CMRignite is an award-winning agency that specializes in creative, paid media, public relations, social media, research and digital marketing.
To learn more, visit cmrignite.com.