Although black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the US, running nearly 2.4 million businesses, they still grapple with unseen obstacles as entrepreneurs.
Black Female Entrepreneurship.
Starting a business and being an entrepreneur is difficult enough. For women, it’s more challenging. For women of color…it’s even harder. Recently there is increased public awareness of pervasive racial inequality in America and the business world is no different.
Although black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US, running nearly 2.4 million businesses, they still grapple with unseen obstacles as entrepreneurs.
It is a struggle that Ardre Orie knows all too well. Although today she is a powerhouse in the media and publishing industry, dubbed “The Queen of Storytelling”, business success did not come easy.
“Black female entrepreneurs have been cast with some heavy responsibilities. Not only do we have to be savvy in the business, but we also have to navigate race and gender inequalities. Securing access to capital, mentorship, and resources is a major challenge…”
…says Orie who, with three young children, left her job as a public school principal to pursue a career of purpose in the publishing industry. Taking a leap of faith, she launched 13th & Joan Publishing House with the $132 it took to purchase the business LLC. Today, the company sees six-figure profit margins on an annual basis.
Orie’s goal with the publishing company was to create a home for the countless stories that go untold. She sought to amplify marginalized voices and give them a platform to be heard and make them competitive in a non-inclusive market. This altruistic motivation fueled her business success as it fulfilled a tremendous need not only for women of color and the publishing industry but for society itself. From a cultural aspect, she understood what the marginalized demographic needed to be successful and they trusted her as a vehicle to relay their stories.
“There needed to be an outlet for black women and other marginalized voices to speak their truths unapologetically in ways that won’t be dismissed or watered down…”
…says Orie who has published more than 150 books by women of color. Her roster of authors includes Niya Brown Matthews (an NFL wife and two-time cancer survivor who wrote about her awe-inspiring experience and today empower a huge network of women through her successful coaching and mentoring business); Jayla Koriyan (a YouTube star who started her channel at 16 and paid her way through college with the profits. Her book inspires girls to pursue higher education); Dr. Nicole Garner-Scott (a world-renown publicist who handles publicity and marketing accounts for clients like Hyundai. Her book features strategies to build generational wealth); and Nichole Lynel (a fashion designer who, despite a tumultuous childhood, became a major force in the fashion industry and has been featured in Forbes and Vogue. In her heartfelt memoir she shares how she overcame parents with addiction issues and rape that resulted in a pregnancy).
Most recently, Orie and 13th & Joan Publishing House acquired the North American rights to publish the autobiography of Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter. In addition, Orie created a variety of literary programs to support, promote, and celebrate women of color including the 10% Project, The South African Literary Initiative, and the InfluenceHER Award.
But Orie’s mission to amplify marginalized voices does not stop with her publishing business. This fall, she will launch Ink of Ann Productions, a book to film unit purposed to transform books into adaptations for TV, film, and theatrical productions. The company seeks to expand the landscape of stories told, offering diversity in the depiction of culturally rich experiences that engage, inform, and call to action.
“Black female entrepreneurs have been cast with some heavy responsibilities. Not only do we have to be savvy in business, we have to navigate race and gender inequalities. Securing access to capital, mentorship, and resources is a major challenge.“
– Ardre Orie
In An Interview/Article, Ardre Orie Can Share:
- The Reality of Being a Black Female in Business Today
- Practical Business Tips for Budding Female Entrepreneurs of Color
- How to Navigate Race & Gender in a White Male-Dominated Industry
- Diversity & Racism in Business & in the Publishing Industry
- Why It’s Crucial for People of Color to Document Their Own Narratives
- How We as a Society Can Give Marginalized Voices a Platform to Speak
- The Changing Face of Racism in America
- What White People Need to Know About Discrimination, Police Brutality, & Race-Based Scapegoating
- How to Reduce Internal Bias & Combat Systemic Racism Through Story-Telling
Ardre Orie is sharing her experience navigating race and gender in America’s white male-dominated business world. She has practical strategies and actionable advice for women of color to overcome the double bias and succeed in entrepreneurship.