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Startup Diary of a Black Woman Entrepreneur

The sweet aromas of a great, chilled wine and a home-cooked meal are usually connected to leisure, but for my girlfriend and I, they also mean business. Glass in hand at her kitchen island, it was a cool summer evening, and I was doing less cooking and more venting. See, we were at her place in sweats and high bun ponytails for a girls’ weekend because we were both in the midst of leaving our “good government jobs”. We needed healing and inspiration for our transitions. While tossing herbs, spices and veggies, she said something over the sound of the sizzling stir-fry. It resonated deep in my spirit until this day. She said “Girl, only a Black woman can understand another Black woman.”

You see, I had waited weeks for our girls’ night to have someone to really share my journey with. Another black woman entrepreneur who got me — my struggle, my assets, my “flavor” and how these things impacted my career journey and potential. And my friend didn’t disappoint. Our visit was nurturing and mobilizing. We cried, we laughed, we pulled out flip charts and sticky notes, we got on hoverboards, and we cooked. I’m a business coach, and I specialize in start-up – but the courage and confirmation that my sister-girl gave me was priceless. It was a sisterly push that could be given only by another black woman who understood the plight of a Black woman in a white-led organization. I got back on a plane ready to re-launch my career as a black female entrepreneur – full force. I didn’t turn back. The rest is history.

This is why I created Sistahpreneurs – it’s needed, it’s relevant, and it’s unique to the needs of the Black female business owner!  Sistahpreneurs is designed to help Black Female Entrepreneurs grow their businesses and work together, leveraging each other’s wisdom, skills and network. Our programs include curriculum, structures and materials for collaboration.

SPR Project Teams. 6-week teams led by a business coach or business expert to help the group complete short-term but impactful digital marketing projects. Example projects include launching a website, creating an email drip campaign, developing a social media calendar, launching a blog or online store.

Business Besties. Often black women business owners may have a relationship and connect to talk about their business occasionally, but don’t have the tools to provide each other with rigorous peer coaching. Sistahpreneurs provides goal-setting coaching for the duo. We provide training for progress-monitoring and data analysis, and leave them with toolkits to run effective meetings.

Mastermind. Mastermind SPR is a 12-month intensive where business acceleration is a goal from the get-go! A group of sistahpreneurs meet monthly together, and receive monthly individual business coaching to increase revenues and take their businesses to the next level. They also work together to promote each other’s businesses and build their entrepreneurial skills.

The group learns how to market and grow their businesses and create steady profits. They use problem-solving protocols each month to quickly address and eliminate specific business makeover challenges, like customer complaints, low monthly sales, or dealing with the overwhelming feeling of wearing too many hats. Ultimately this one-year experience will be the launching pad to the business transformation that these women dream of.

Affiliate Network. I’m a firm believer in strengthening the black dollar. Leveraging our networks and supporting each other’s businesses is a critical success factor for the state of Black economics. The affiliate program allows Black women business owners to promote each others businesses online,  refer clients and work together.

Our collaborative structures are designed to ensure that our members can work together to:

  • build profitable and innovative business models
  • design appealing product and service menus
  • launch effective digital marketing and e-commerce plans
  • develop sales systems and strategies
  • design and manage business systems and structures
  • incorporate passive income strategies

But Sistahpreneurs is also about building a “sista-hood” for the entrepreneurial journey – a support network that will propel participants toward their destined success. It can get overwhelming and lonely at the top, so it’s important to build a business “family” on the way up. Our FB Online Village and our Boss Chic Book Club provide a safe place for us to be us, love on each other and share our business successes and challenges.

Makisha Boothe is business coach and founder of Sistahpreneurs. She specializes in rapid improvement and innovation, and helps women with business startup and design. Learn more about the Sistahpreneurs at www.sistah.biz

Makisha

Makisha Boothe is business coach and founder of Sistahpreneurs. She specializes in rapid improvement and innovation, and helps women with business startup and design.

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