Black entrepreneur women share their success stories

“It was hard to get started,” said Shears and Shaves Owner, Dawn Sanford. “I set out three times to do this, not knowing about the business side, or how to get it done.”

That persistence paid off for Dawn, who worked three decades as a barber, but today she is a business owner of a spa for women and men located on the Avenue of Fashion. 

“From 2007 to 2018, American Express did a report, black women led businesses actually increased 164%,” said Pierre Batton with Detroit Economic Grown Corporation. 

But despite this increase, female entrepreneurs of colors continue to face obstacles. 

“Just had a few issues getting a landlord to accept my offer as a trust that my business would be a great asset to the community,” said Dr. Aisha Akpabio with Diamond Smiles Dentistry. 

“Black women entrepreneurs also face a lot of challenges,” Pierre said. “They’re undercapitalized when it comes to getting traditional lending and loans.”

As these female entrepreneurs fight to break down barriers, one organization is helping them along the way. 

“Motor City Match has always been committed,” Pierre said. “There’s also other resources offered by partners such as TechTown, they have retail boot camp. And Swat City, which are major resources for black women entrepreneurs who are thinking about getting into commercial spaces.” 

Dr. Akpabio says the grant money from Motor City Match helped her to place state of art technology in the dental business she now owns located on East Jefferson. 
“If you are a black woman entrepreneur, we want your business in Detroit. We want your dream to become a reality,” Pierre said.