30 Black Entrepreneur Quotes to Inspire You

black entrepreneur quotes

Discover powerful black entrepreneur quotes at the start of your journey to becoming a successful black small business owner or entrepreneur. Within the African American community, inspiration is often cited as a key ingredient for success.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of inspiring words from black entrepreneurs who have achieved great success. Here are 30 impactful quotes to help fuel your entrepreneurial spirit.

Inspirational Quotes for Your Private Business

black entrepreneur quotes

The business world is full of inspirational quotes that can motivate and encourage young black entrepreneurs. So, next time you’re feeling lost or uncertain, remember these words of wisdom and let them guide you on your path to success.

Our first quote comes from one of the most successful black woman entrepreneurs:

1. “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
– Oprah Winfrey

2. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

3. “Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively.”
– Kenneth I. Chenault, American Express Co. CEO

4. “I believe in destiny. But I also believe that you can’t just sit back and let destiny happen. A lot of times, an opportunity might fall into your lap, but you have to be ready for that opportunity. You can’t sit there waiting on it. A lot of times you are going to have to get out there and make it happen.”
– Spike Lee

5. “Never ever chase money. You should chase success because with success money follows.”
– Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones

6. “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”
– Mae Jemison

7. “I’m hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that’s from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.”
– Jay-Z

Quotes About Becoming a More Successful Person

black entrepreneur quotes

Becoming successful is a marathon, not a sprint. To achieve success, remember to stay focused, stay positive, and most importantly, keep moving forward.

Here are some powerful quotes to help you on your journey:

8. “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”
– Madam C.J. Walker

9. “To have a successful career, you have to approach it as an entrepreneur, even if you are working for someone else. Your career is your own private business. You have to market yourself and your abilities and knowledge just as you would a product or service.”
– Earl Graves, Black Enterprise Founder

10. “I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008, but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me 30 years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me, but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a business successfully, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme .”
– Aliko Dangote

11. “If you wake up deciding what you want to give versus what you’re going to get, you become a more successful person. In other words, if you want to make money, you have to help someone else make money.”
– Russell Simmons

black entrepreneur quotes

12. “You can and should set your own limits and clearly articulate them. This takes courage, but it is also liberating and empowering, and often earns you new respect.”
– Rosalind Brewer

13. “[Don’t] let anyone convince you that your dream, your vision to be an entrepreneur, is something that you shouldn’t do. What often happens is that people who are well-meaning, who really care for us, are afraid for us and talk us out of it.”
– Cathy Hughes

14. “Life is like business, 20 percent of what happens to you is 80 percent of how you react.”
– Daymond John, founder, and CEO of FUBU

15. “Women of color are the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs, so this is an excellent time for us. I think getting the mentorships and training you need to go where you want to go is important.”
– Angela Benton, founder, and CEO of NewME Accelerator

16. “It’s up to you to bring yourself to the attention of powerful people around you. They’re not going to find you on their own.”
– Richard Parsons

Self Improvement Quotes for a Successful Business

black entrepreneur quotes

Here are some quotes about self-improvement from successful African American business leaders that can help you stay motivated and focused on your goal of building a successful business:

17. “Every now and then you have to nudge your partners. You have to speak up and speak out. And I try to use my platform for that. I try to set an example.”
– Rosalind Brewer, COO of Starbucks

18. “Belief in oneself and knowing who you are, I mean, that’s the foundation for everything great.”
– Jay-Z

19. “If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.”
– Beyonce Knowles

20. “My Vocation is my Vacation. I love what I do.”
– Nick Cannon

21. “People from all walks of life and all over the world look at me and know my humble beginnings and know that everything I’ve done has been through hard work. People respect me as a marketer and brand builder.”
– Sean Combs

22. “Keep going. No matter what.”
– Reginald Lewis

23. “Many people don’t focus enough on execution. If you make a commitment to get something done, you need to follow through on that commitment.”
– Kenneth Chenault

Quotes About Overcoming Discrimination

black entrepreneur quotes

Finally, let’s take a look at seven amazing black entrepreneur quotes about overcoming discrimination:

24. “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.”
– Jesse Owens

25. “History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.”
– Michelle Obama, former first lady of the United States.

26. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”
– Booker T. Washington

27. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”
– Malcolm X

28. “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
– Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa

29. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”
– Desmond Tutu

30. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
– Frederick Douglass

How You Can Use These Black Entrepreneur Quotes

Building on the powerful foundation laid out by these inspiring black entrepreneur quotes, there’s a rich avenue to explore how you can use these pearls of wisdom in practical, impactful ways. Here’s a guide on how to leverage these quotes for personal growth, motivation, and broader community impact:

Utilizing Quotes for Personal Motivation and Growth

  • Daily Affirmations: Start your day by reflecting on one of these quotes as a daily affirmation. Write it down, say it out loud, or post it somewhere visible. This practice can set a positive tone for the day and keep you focused on your goals.
  • Goal Setting: Use these quotes as a foundation for setting personal and professional goals. Let the wisdom of these successful individuals guide your ambition and help you outline actionable steps towards achieving your dreams.
  • Overcoming Challenges: Keep a collection of quotes that speak to overcoming adversity and discrimination. Whenever you face obstacles, refer to these quotes for a boost of resilience and a reminder that success is possible despite hardships.

Amplifying Quotes within Your Community

  • Social Media Sharing: Share these quotes on your social media platforms to inspire your followers. Pair them with personal stories or insights to make the inspiration more relatable and impactful.
  • Networking Events: At networking events or business conferences, use these quotes in your presentations or conversations to spark discussions about diversity, resilience, and success in the business world.
  • Mentorship and Training Programs: If you’re involved in mentorship, include these quotes in your materials or discussions to inspire and motivate young entrepreneurs. They can serve as powerful examples of success and perseverance.

Enhancing Your Business Brand with These Quotes

  • Marketing Materials: Incorporate these quotes into your marketing materials as a way to inspire your customers and reflect your business values. Whether it’s on your website, in newsletters, or part of your product packaging, these quotes can add depth and inspiration to your brand messaging.
  • Workplace Culture: Create a positive workplace culture by introducing these quotes into the work environment. Whether through motivational posters, team meetings, or company-wide emails, these quotes can boost morale and foster an environment of growth and resilience.
  • Customer Engagement: Engage with your customers by sharing these quotes through your business’s social media channels or email communications. Encourage your audience to share their thoughts or how the quote resonates with them, fostering a sense of community and shared inspiration.

Social Impact and Advocacy

  • Community Workshops and Seminars: Organize or participate in workshops and seminars that focus on entrepreneurship and empowerment. Use these quotes as part of the curriculum to inspire participants and encourage discussions on overcoming barriers and achieving success.
  • Collaboration with Educational Institutions: Collaborate with schools and universities to incorporate these quotes into educational materials or programs focused on entrepreneurship and leadership. This can help inspire the next generation of black entrepreneurs and leaders.
  • Public Speaking: If you engage in public speaking, weave these quotes into your speeches or presentations to highlight the importance of diversity, resilience, and perseverance in the entrepreneurial journey.

By incorporating these black entrepreneur quotes into various aspects of your personal life, business practices, and community engagement, you not only pay homage to the wisdom of successful individuals but also spread inspiration and motivation to a wider audience.

These quotes serve as a testament to the power of resilience, vision, and hard work in overcoming obstacles and achieving success.

Website and Social MediaIncorporate quotes into your website, blog posts, and social media profiles to inspire and engage your audience.
Office DecorDecorate your workspace with framed quotes to create an inspirational environment for you and your team.
Motivational MeetingsUse these quotes as discussion points during team meetings or brainstorming sessions to boost motivation.
Email SignaturesInclude a rotating quote in your email signature to share inspiration with every email you send.
Business PresentationsAdd relevant quotes to your presentations to emphasize key points and capture your audience's attention.
Marketing CampaignsIntegrate quotes into marketing campaigns, especially during diversity-focused events or Black History Month.
Customer CommunicationIncorporate quotes into newsletters, emails, or social media updates to connect with customers on a deeper level.
Networking EventsUse quotes as conversation starters at networking events or conferences to foster meaningful discussions.
Product PackagingInclude inspirational quotes on product packaging to provide a positive and motivational experience for customers.
CollaborationsPartner with Black-owned businesses or organizations to create joint initiatives or events centered around these quotes.


Image: Envato Elements

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Kevin Ocasio Kevin Ocasio is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 2 years. He holds certifications in SEO, digital marketing, and content marketing. Kevin is also certified in Information Technology Technical Support Fundamentals.