A story that is interesting for beginning entrepreneurs, wanting to start their own business for the gain of financial security is the story of Madam C.J. Walker. Madam C.J. Walker was well known woman who sold hair care products centered around growing natural hair in the African American Community. Before she started her first business, she was only making a $1.50 as a laundress working 14 hours a day in the late 1800’s. Not a stable pay wage to happily survive on. Now, reflecting on the 21st century, the average minimum wage currently in the state of Florida according to minimum-wage.org is $8.65. Not really a lot of money to be financially stable. Imagine how Madam C.J. Walker felt at the age of 20, widowed, and having a child to take care of.
Most entrepreneurs do well in a service and/or project they are familiar with; Madam C.J. Walker happened to pick the beauty supply field centered around women and mens hair. Working to financially support both her and her daughter, she grew to be very weary and stressed out. The amount of stress she endured caused her hair to fall out and be damaged due to improper products that could strengthen her coarse her, and many other African American women around her. After many attempts in concocting the right ingredients that later made her millions of dollars, according to Entrepeneurs.com Madam C.J. Walker had a dream, “I had a dream, and in that dream a big black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up for my hair. Some of the remedy was grown in Africa, but I sent for it, mixed it, put it on my scalp, and in a few weeks my hair was coming in faster than it had ever fallen out. I tried it on my friends; it helped them. I made up my mind I would begin to sell it.”
With the little money she was making as a small entrepreneur, she did not give up. She was very patient, educated herself on the products she wanted to sell, saved her hard earned money, invested in herself, promoted her own products, and was soon able to find the right ingredients that worked well in growing African American hair that sold out expeditiously in 1905. As the years’ progressed due to her consistency and patience, Madam C.J. Walker was able to employ more than 3000 people.
As Black America’s most successful entrepreneur, and self-made woman millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker was able to reverse her rags to riches leaving behind a legacy that is now prosperous today, and influential to all young entrepreneurs starting their own businesses.