Like many Black women who enter the entrepreneurship ecosystem, they enter with little frame of reference. Not only do they experience a lack of financial support, they also lack a strong support network behind them.
As many ultimately succumb to the challenging task of building their legacy from the ground up on their own, facing a whirlwind of challenges and hardships along the way, a few courageous, bold, Black female entrepreneurs are beginning to think a lot more critically about building generational wealth and funneling money and resources back into their own community.
Charlene Izere is one of these courageous and bold Black female entrepreneurs who is working towards creating a lifelong legacy to put money and opportunity into the hands of her own community, and more specifically – black women. Charlene is a multi-passionate entrepreneur and founder of Soulful Systems, Wellness Delivered, and Melanin & Money.
Black ingenuity is often extracted from Black communities
A Nielsen report shared that Black purchasing power is estimated to reach 1.5 trillion by 2021. Although Black people continue to define mainstream culture and consumer trends, many goods purchased by Black folks are not produced by Black folks.
“As we are reimagining a better America, so too are we reimagining a better Black economy. One that cripples the racial wealth gap and channels resources back into our Black neighborhoods.”
A reality all too familiar for Black women, as they see their businesses devastated by astronomical economic obstacles, this is what led to Charlene creating her 3 business ventures that center around women’s economic advancement through content, business practices, and storytelling.
Wealth creation for black women
Unique challenges are faced by Black women that others will never have to face in their lives. Black women are ultimately faced with the decision to work on their historic systems of economic oppression, such as pay disparity, lack of visibility, resources mobilization opportunities, tokenization, and creative theft. They then begin to put themselves in spaces where they are not only recognized as an authority, but also as someone who deserves that wealth.
Charlene’s scaled her online Business Management agency, Soulful Systems to multiple 6-figures in less than 6 months. This momentum allowed her to re-invest in specific initiatives and programming for Black women, beta launching a digital marketplace for black goods and services; an impact fund for BIWOC entrepreneurs; and virtual forums for her Melanin and Money community.
Everything shifted for Charlene when she made the mindset shift that it doesn’t have to be hard, and she can in fact, have it all. “I realized I can put myself in places where I am supported and I can thrive, instead of feeling like I’m always trying to survive. I also grew up on food stamps and government assistance, so financial security is important to me.”
Empire building for Black women
Black women are rising in a way they’ve never risen before. The magic that Black women hold has always been there, but now there’s no option not to see it, because now the world can see it no matter what.
Charlene is a highly-respected in her communities and around the globe for her commitment to building empires led by Black women. She provides them with resource mobilization tools, strategic thought-leadership, and business guidance to Black women. This is ultimately a defiant expression of self love.
Thanks to Charlene, Black women now have the tools they need to grow their network and net-worth, with a community behind them. Having created a global social movement and comprehensive hub for entrepreneurially minded women, she provides Black women with the opportunity to prioritize their own futures by creating an ecosystem of Black, bold biz owners.
“This year, my intuition and resilience was my north star. I made decisions based on experience and took calculated risks when necessary.”
In the midst of navigating a global health pandemic, a racial awakening to the gross inequities that have plagued Black & Brown communities since this nation’s founding, and a catastrophic economy; 2020 was the year she grew her power in resilience, reaching new heights of success along the way.