22 Of The Most Amazing African American Entrepreneurs Of All Time

clara20brownClara Brown

Colorado was one of the sites for the gold rush in theĀ 1850s. Brown moved to Central City, Colorado, established a successful laundry and bought real estate. Brown was the first woman and first Black person inducted into the Society of Colorado Pioneers.

paul20cuffePaul Cuffe

Cuffe was the son of an Ashanti man from Ghana and a Wampanoag Native American woman from Massachusetts. In the 1700s, he was a prominent sea captain whose ships and all-Black crews worked the Atlantic Coast and sailed to Europe and Africa.


Charles Clinton Spaulding, Aaron McDuffie Moore and John Merrick

In 1898, these men founded the first Black-owned insurance company. In 1934, the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. was the nation’s largest Black-owned business, and it is still one of the oldest Black-owned businesses in the U.S.

isaac_myersIsaac Myers

Myers organized fired ship workers, raised funds from Black churches and bought a shipyard that won a government contract. Myers let whites join his union, but his efforts to integrate white unions were stifled.