Jennifer Tyler-Washington: Polishing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

"Being an entrepreneur is not always easy, but like anything else, it takes patience, courage, and confidence in yourself and in your team."

What does being a Black Female Entrepreneur mean to you?

I’ve had the pleasure, opportunity, and challenge of being a Black Female Entrepreneur since I took a leap of faith and left Corporate America in 2002 to start my catering business, and I’ve been a serial entrepreneur ever since. I am now growing my second business, I Am Polished, LLC and developing a business plan for my next business venture. I love it!

Being a Black Female Entrepreneur means to me having the freedom to build and mold a business, team, and clientele that reflects the kind of service and atmosphere that are welcoming, cutting edge, professional, engaging, and, of course, enjoyable. It means having the satisfaction of helping our community by hiring a team and vendors who are willing to see and understand the mission and vision of our company and believe in them so they may become a reality. 

It means being an example to other Black Females who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs and letting them know that they too, can accomplish this endeavor as well.  It means sacrificing my time to make sure the business is running efficiently, and that may mean that I miss attending personal functions on occasion. It means having the flexibility to live my life the way that I desire.

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

What drives me to keep going during challenging times is knowing that the challenge is going to teach me lessons that I can take with me wherever I go and with whatever I am doing. Challenges are for our growth. Being an entrepreneur is not always easy, but like anything else, it takes patience, courage, and confidence in yourself and in your team. 

It also takes support from your team, mentors, and/or coaches, and a lot of prayer and meditation to keep going during those challenging times. We cannot escape challenges, especially in business, but we can embrace them to see how they are going to help us grow and prepare us for what’s ahead. This is what drives me to keep going during my challenging times.

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


The advice I would give Black Women who are considering entrepreneurship is to get ready! Do your research! Talk to other entrepreneurs who are already in the same type of business you are considering taking on. If you need to take classes to learn more about the industry, then do that. If you can shadow someone who is working in the type of business that you are looking to build, please do so. Experience is one of our best teachers. 

Make sure you have some money saved, or you may want to consider starting to build your business on a part-time basis before giving up your steady income. By doing so, you will still be able to take care of yourself and your responsibilities. Go to your state’s website to review the information they have about starting a new business, which is especially important and helpful. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of discipline, time management, and sacrifice. It is extremely rewarding, but at the same time, it’s a lot of work. I would suggest that whatever business you are interested in starting is that you love what you do!
If I can be of any assistance to any up-and-coming Black Female Entrepreneurs, please feel free to contact me at All the best!

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