New startup empowers black women business owners
Charity Marcus and Aszurdee Sade co-founded Black Women Business Owners of Tulsa.
Charity Marcus and Aszurdee Sade, co-founders of Black Women Business Owners of Tulsa
Robert Perry Photography
“I’m the only one. There’s just me.”
Aszurdee Sade and Charity Marcus each said these words of their shared experience: being in a room full of people but being the only black female business owner.
Sade is founder and CEO of Realty Stylist, a real estate company, and founder and CEO of the Fashion Cruiser, a mobile boutique. Marcus is the president and CEO of Avenu Consulting and CEO and senior publicist for Avenu PR. The duo started Black Women Business Owners of Tulsa in November with a mission to provide African American women entrepreneurs with the resources and connections needed to have a successful business.
According to Black Women Business Startups, a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, “recent growth in the rate of business ownership by black women has been faster than any other group in the nation. From 2002-2012, the number of businesses owned by black women increased 179% compared with 52% for all women-owned businesses and 20% for all businesses.”
The report details challenges many black women entrepreneurs face, like limited support systems, difficulty accessing credit and a lack of mentoring and business knowledge. “It was so interesting that after we really looked at the report, one of the solutions was to create ecosystems for black women entrepreneurs to get resources, and essentially, that’s what we’ve done here in Tulsa,” Marcus says.
BWBOT has four levels of membership, ranging from free general membership to $250 annual business membership.
“An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down, but for black women entrepreneurs, we do it with only a toothpick and a napkin,” Sade says.
Women’s Business Expo
Black Women Business Owners of Tulsa will host a Women’s Business Expo from noon-6 p.m., Aug. 10, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Tulsa, 616 W. Seventh St. The expo will feature 40 businesses owned by local black women, free headshots for the first 25 guests, as well as speakers and panel discussions. Free and open to the public; $100-150 for black women entrepreneurs to be vendors. bwbotulsa.com