MADE Magazine Spring 2019 May 2019 - Page 45

MADEINC MADEXXX THE M A KI N G O F T H E NEXT GENERATION OF BLACK GIRL ENTREPRENEURS MADE BY HALLEEMAH NASH L ong before I ever launched a business and took the mantle of executive leadership, I was an ambitious first-generation college student having traveled from Compton, Cali- fornia all the way east and out of my element to Howard University with a world of side hustles to subsidize my education. I tutored, braided hair, I sold taco dinners, and even cleaned dorm- rooms like many women of color who start businesses out of necessity. I nurtured that entre- preneurial spirit and those skills proved valuable in navigating the purpose path in business. I’m honored to have made a career out of building strategies to support and develop black and brown brilliance from marginalized communi- ties in service to the younger Halleemah who did a ton of things the hard way. Spring is the season where I am spending a lot of my time in coaching conversations with graduating high school seniors and college students who are interviewing for summer internships and even developing businesses in their communities and on college campuses. They are deciding on majors, beginning budding careers, and dreaming creatively. Their futures are being formed in a more courageous culture and Generation Z and early millennials are pushing the wider workforce climate to embrace them as they are and invest in what they have the potential to be. They have embraced their profound ability to shift the narrative, to push companies to be more inclusive and fight until it becomes a reality. It got me thinking a lot about how different the idea of being self-made will be for this generation, particularly for the young girls of color. The reason why so many of us have had to be self-made is because we were ambitious but under resourced. Before becoming known as America’s first Black female self-made millionaire, Madame C.J. Walker worked in a barbershop for only $1.50 a day. Oprah Winfrey, whose net worth #mademaven 45