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Black Women Becoming Entrepreneurs at Rate of 6 Times National Average

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – An increasing number of minority women have become entrepreneurs over the last 17 years, and African-American women are starting businesses six times more often than the national average.

“As more and more African-American women obtain higher degree levels, they’re more likely to start their own businesses because they feel that they are better prepared to do so,” said Bruce James, Dean of Business at Philander Smith College.

Still, in 2014 many women face obstacles and double standards at work. So they’ve taken matters into their own hands. Cushena Scott is one them and she only started three years ago.

“It went from zero to one hundred so fast, I can’t even explain it to you,” Scott said. “We were mailing out three or four hundred packages every month.”

She’s one of more than one million African-American female business owners in the U.S. today.

“I’m like ‘OK, I’ve always done hair,'” she said. “I majored in business. I might as well go to hair school and open up my own salon.”

And with just $500 saved up, she started buying and selling hair for extensions and braids in 2011. It took off online and she calls it Sheena’s Hair Emporium.

“All of that came from social networking and just getting the product out there to YouTubers and things like that,” she said.

She said the color of her skin has never held her back from success. But James said starting a business is an uphill battle for many minority women.

In Scott’s case, she planned while she still had a day job and waited for the right time to take the leap.

“Every penny that I was getting was going back into the business,” she said.

She hopes to be an inspiration to others, while building something lasting for her family.



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