EBONY and Walmart’s SheEO Business Disruptors program amplifies the voices of Black female founders, entrepreneurs, and creators. Hosted by actress and entrepreneur Marsai Martin, the 6-part multimedia series highlights the challenges and triumphs of dynamic business leaders across industries through empowering, candid storytelling. From the inspiration behind their products, to the process of sourcing vendors and ingredients, learn how these trailblazers have navigated setbacks and grown their brands through an exclusive rollout of videos and podcasts. Check in every Monday and Wednesday for the latest content.
In case you didn’t know, the ladies have been doing it for themselves. Black women are the fastest-growing demographic of business owners in the United States, yet they continue to fight for visibility and access to resources. Despite these challenges, they still set the pace for success as entrepreneurs and inspire so many of us to go after our goals. Through hard work and innovation, Black women continue to lead the charge while sitting at the helm of top brands across industries. EBONY is highlighting a series of Black female entrepreneurs that represent the new guard in business through innovative product offerings that address the unique needs of communities of color and beyond. The Fresh Dolls, Luna Magic, Black Paper Party, Darylng & Co., Pink Sauce, and tgin represent Walmart’s longstanding commitment to Black female entrepreneurship. Learn more about the visionary women behind these businesses in the weeks to come.
In just a short time, teenage phenom Marsai Martin has made her mark in Hollywood through a range of starring roles including her portrayal in the hit series ‘black-ish.’ At 14, Martin made history as the youngest executive in Hollywood with her 2019 comedy, ‘Little.’ Through her film company Genius Productions, and nail line Mari by Marsai, the powerhouse is also blazing trails in the world of business.
Early on in Tara’s career, she worked with small businesses, universities and CEOs to help them transition from ideation to launch. Since 2014 she has been CEO of Darlyng & Co. a company she conceived with her husband Carl, to create product solutions that address everyday parenting needs. When Tara and Carl realized their daughter was teething early, they set out to find a teether that didn’t require her to hold it. The pair saw a void in the market that they could fill, and created a lifestyle brand that gives parents one less thing to worry about when it comes to caring for their children.
Mabel and Shaira Frías
Mabel Frías is a retail strategist that has worked with Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Savage x Fenty. Shaira Frías is an entrepreneur, professional makeup artist, and former journalist. Her work has appeared on NY1, Fox News Latino, and Mundo Hispánico. Together, the sisters co-founded Luna Magic in 2019, a beauty brand that provides an inclusive product offering that speaks to a range of women, including Afro-Latinas and beyond.
Madia, Jae, and Jasmine
As founders of Black Paper Party, Madia Willis, J’Aaron “Jae” Merchant, and Jasmine Hudson are revolutionizing the gifting industry. The brand offers a range of wrapping paper and other hosting solutions with a chic nod to the African Diaspora.
Dr. Lisa Williams
Dr. Lisa Williams is a trailblazing academic, entrepreneur, and award-winning author and speaker. In 2003, she founded World of Entertainment, Publishing, and Inspiration (World of EPI), LLC. Her brand, The Fresh Dolls is the world’s largest Black-owned multicultural doll company, and has partnered with the likes of Walmart, Disney, and Marvel’s Black Panther, for which she was honored with Doll of the Year.
As CEO of Thank God It’s Natural (tgin), Singleton sits at the helm of one of the leading textured hair care brands in the world. Aris has worked with tgin since its inception in 2009 and is continuing to push founder Chris-Tia Donaldson’s mission forward.
TikTok creator and culinary visionary Chef Pii is the founder of the viral Pink Sauce that got its start on social media. With rave reviews, and that trademark rosy hue, Chef Pii and her Pink Sauce have partnered with a host of retailers in a range of cities.
Our Village United
We are an organization that centers on the business owners. We provide robust offerings that meet business owners where they are and welcome them into a nurturing collective by providing capital, programs, resources, and wellness support. A Walmart grant to Our Village United (OVU) supports OVU’s pro bono services to reduce the disparity in capital access, capacity-building resources, and other forms of assistance for Black women-owned businesses in the southeast.
WBENC Women of Color
The Women of Color Program is an outreach and development program designed to build and strengthen a dynamic ecosystem for women of color entrepreneurs. As a Founding Sponsor, Walmart can refer suppliers to this program.
RangeMe Product Discovery Platform
Walmart/Sam’s Club Supplier Inclusion merchants use RangeMe to source new products.
National Urban League
The National Urban League Inc. (NUL) aims to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. A grant from Walmart supports the NUL’s initiatives for Black women entrepreneurs and their businesses with general and specific industry coaching, mentoring and training through their Entrepreneurship Center Program.
Corporate site on Walmart’s U.S. manufacturing initiative that includes stories, news outlets and more.
Morgan Stanley Next Level Fund
Morgan Stanley launched Next Level Fund in partnership with Hearst Microsoft and Walmart to invest in diverse start-ups. The fund invests in women and multicultural founded early-stage companies and builds on expertise from the groundbreaking Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab and HearstLab sourcing disruptive technology and technology-enabled start-ups.
In February, Ariel Investments announced the historic close of its inaugural private equity fund, Project Black, at $1.45 billion alongside investors: AmerisourceBergen, Amgen, Ballmer Group, Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Merck, NextEra Energy, Inc., Nuveen, a TIAA company, Qatar Investment Authority, Salesforce, Synchrony, Truist, Walmart and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
It is one of the largest first-time private equity funds of all time and seeks to close the racial wealth gap by creating minority-owned businesses of scale that can serve as Tier 1 suppliers to the Fortune 500.
Open Call Resources
Walmart’s 10th Anniversary of Open Call is an exciting and unique opportunity for selected American entrepreneurs to meet face-to-face with Walmart and/or Sam’s Club merchants and potentially get their product in the hands of millions of our customers. This event provides information to potential suppliers, offers great networking opportunities and gives businesses of all sizes from across the nation a chance at the big break for which they have been looking with Walmart.
C2FO Early Payments Program
Accelerate payments to diverse owned businesses in a cost effective way.
Bridge by Citi
Walmart and Citi are collaborating to introduce the Bridge built by Citi platform (“Bridge”) to Walmart’s 10,000 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in their US-based supplier network. Bridge is a digital platform that connects SMBs with a diverse group of more than 70 lenders that provide qualifying businesses with loans of up to $10 million. Walmart and Citi are collaborating to introduce the Bridge built by Citi platform (“Bridge”) to Walmart’s 10,000 small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in their US-based supplier network. Bridge is a digital platform that connects SMBs with a diverse group of more than 70 lenders that provide qualifying businesses with loans of up to $10 million.
Founded in 1972, the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc.® (NMSDC®) is the longest-operating business growth engine for the broadest group of systematically excluded communities of color (Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American), and our impact goes far beyond supply chain. It’s about upward mobility for the emerging majority of Americans, an equal shot at participating in the American experiment of free-market capitalism and entrepreneurship. Our work is about correcting the unequal access to wealth-building opportunities.