Janeé Lester: Illuminating the Path for Black Female Entrepreneurs

"As an entrepreneur, I designed the life that I deserved, and I am passionate about helping others do the same."

What does being a Black Female Entrepreneur mean to you?

It is an honor to live in my purpose as a Black female entrepreneur and to know that all my business coaching experience and skills can truly be valued and beneficial in the marketplace.

Black women are underrepresented in entrepreneurship, even though we are now the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the US, according to J. P. Morgan.   Unfortunately, Black female entrepreneurs face a disproportionate amount of unique challenges that include race, gender, biases, systemic barriers, and economic challenges, especially lack of access to capital and credit.  

But still, “I” rise…to enrich, mentor, coach, inspire, and serve as a role model for others who dare to become Black female entrepreneurs.  It is crucial that I share and highlight the value, benefit, and significant contributions Black female entrepreneurs can bring to various industries and businesses.

As a Black female entrepreneur, I will continue to shine and thrive with an abundant mindset enhanced by beauty, grace, and “Black Girl Magic.”

When the atmosphere becomes challenging, what drives you to keep going?   

I welcome challenges and discomfort…they help me to grow. Comfort and fear are bigger challenges, as they keep me stagnant and in places that are not always aligned with my purpose. Prior to my entrepreneurial journey, I had to step away from what I knew, what was familiar; I had to trust and believe that there was something better that would provide me with the happiness and fulfillment that I yearned for.

As an entrepreneur, I designed the life that I deserved, and I am passionate about helping others do the same. I had to find what I love doing and align my unique gifts, skills, and experience to that so that my business never really feels like work. I aspire to greatness and must stay focused and intentional while setting and achieving my goals. I have trained my mind to live in gratitude and abundance, to stay in my own lane, and recognize that I can WIN! That is what keeps me going!

What advice do you have for Black Women who may be considering entrepreneurship?

  • Dream as BIG and as BOLD as you want 
  • Do your due diligence; research the desired industry, market, audience, etc.  
  • Set YOUR GOAL – make it clear where you want to go
  • Seek professional support when getting started – it will help avoid costly mistakes
  • Put in the work, operate your business with consistent days and hours
  • Make sure your productivity is creating momentum in the direction of your goal
  • Track your progress with a timeline
  • Find like-minded, successful entrepreneurial and business owners who are supportive
  • Stay positive, curious, creative, in gratitude, and believe in yourself
  • Keep self-care in mind (know when to rest, reset, set boundaries, say NO, walk away) 

In the words of Les Brown… “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great!”

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