Tenora Mia Edwards Empowering BIPOC Entrepreneurs to Succeed


( ENSPIRE Business ) Introducing Tenora Mia Edwards, a 7-Figure Ceo and Founder of The Pink Party Retreat, and Tenora Mía Consulting 

ENSPIRE Contributor: Paulina Savva

Tenora Mia Edwards is a successful female powerhouse with 25 years of experience in building and expanding profitable businesses. She is the founder and CEO of multiple ventures, including The Pink Party Retreat, and Tenora Mía Consulting, making her a frontrunner in the world of team professional development training and has built a community of multicultural entrepreneurs who care about making a positive impact on their communities.

Tenora has her upcoming Pink and Black Honors gala with celebrity partners like Daymond John and Hill Harper who will collaborate and elevate Black entrepreneurs. The event is taking place on Saturday, June 10th, 2023. Purchase your tickets here.

At ENSPIRE, we had the opportunity to ask Edwards about her journey in entrepreneurship.

What are a few things you wish you knew as a young entrepreneur?

I would have invested in a mentor or business coach. I had to learn a lot about business on my own due to the fact that I accidentally fell into Entrepreneurship! I was a single mom and could not afford the cost of childcare at the time. I was forced to pivot from the field I was in, to becoming a business owner practically overnight.

What are the most effective ways to support black female-owned businesses?

Connecting business owners to more resources that could help accelerate their businesses, especially programs that offer coaching and mentorship. Bring awareness to our services through promotions and patronizing female-owned businesses.

What are some tips on how to diversify income streams?

Money Markets, Real Estate, Air BNB, and Investing to name a few. My suggestion would be to always have multiple streams of income. The pandemic provided an opportunity for people to really capitalize on side hustles. People can definitely generate income from hobbies, freelancing, and their untapped creativity!

What advice would you give entrepreneurs who are just starting out and surviving the “First Five”?

The first five are really crucial, make sure you have a good support system, whether that’s a spouse, family member, or Mentor. This is when your support team will be needed most. This will be when you are faced with challenges as you navigate through a new space where the full responsibility of everything is placed in your lap! I keep the message on my work wall to serve as motivation “An Entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risk and enjoying most of the rewards”.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Black entrepreneurs, and how can they overcome them?

Some Black Entrepreneurs such as myself, are single mothers/parents and often have to raise families and create side hustles in order to survive. I remember my mom working full time and we worked a paper route as a family when I was in the third grade. She would get up at 4:00 am to prepare for work and take us on our route by 6:00 am. This was entrepreneurship and survival being taught to us at a very early age.

Could you share some grants and resources that are available specifically for Black entrepreneurs?

1. The Amber Grant – This grant was created in memory of Amber Wigdahl, a nineteen-year-old black teen who had dreams of opening up her own business. Amber passed before she could live out that dream, but the grant in her honor helps many young women see their business dreams come to fruition. The Amber Grant awards more than $10,000 monthly to women-led business proposals that they deem worthy and $25,000 to one standout company. This grant has been going strong since 1998, and it is not slowing down. Not only does this organization make starting your own business as a young woman a possibility through funding, but they also share a lot of helpful information on their blog.

2. SoGal’s Black Founder Startup Grant – SoGal Foundation is a global platform that states that its mission is to “close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital.” Part of their mission involves awarding black women a grant to make it possible to see their dreams of starting a business become a reality. SoGal partners with Twilio, Winky Lux, twelveNYC, and Bluemercury to decide on awardees for their $10,000 and $5,000 grants. These awardees will also have access to an extensive knowledge base and mentors within the SoGal Ventures team. This team will also help the awardees find more funding to scale their business by aiding them in the application process from start to finish.

3. NBMBAA® Scale-Up Pitch Challenge

Every year the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) holds a Scale-Up Pitch Challenge to provide a funding opportunity for its members.

Their yearly awards include a:

  • 1st place award of $50,000
  • 2nd place award of $10,000
  • 3rd place award of $7,500
  • People’s Choice award of $1,000

There are eligibility requirements you must meet to apply for this grant money.

  • Applicants must be a member of the NBMBAA
  • At least half of the company must be black-owned
  • Applicants must be 18 or over and a US resident
  • Business ideas pitched must be in the early stages of development.

The statistics may discourage for BIPOC entrepreneurs, but Tenora Mia Edwards is proof that success is not just reserved for the privileged few. With her first annual Pink and Black Honors gala, she is shining a spotlight on Black entrepreneurs who have defied the odds and overcome the barriers that have held so many back. Tenora’s work to build a more inclusive and equitable world is truly inspirational.

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