There’s a Surge in HBCU Students Becoming Business Owners

HBCU students know how to open windows when doors are closed and now some of them want to share their success stories.

While major companies have launched initiatives to recruit more HBCU grads, as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, many Black students are saying they will opt-out and instead create their own Black-owned businesses. In fact, businesses created by HBCU students appear to be increasing and with it the support for them.

Recently, a few young entrepreneurs from HBCUs shared how they launched their own business as college students.

1. Tanaja Brown, Delaware State University C/O ‘20

Tanaja Brown, a Delaware State University alum, says she studied art education and is a self-proclaimed, “artrepreneur.” She launched her business called TMB Artistry. Brown hosts painting events for corporations and general celebration events.


2. Yusuf Lewis, Morehouse College C/O ‘21

Yusuf Lewis, attends Morehouse and is also the founder of RefreshCoATL, a tech-based cleaning service based in Atlanta that allows users to schedule a cleaning service in 60 seconds. According to Essence, Lewis wanted to create a cleaning service that provided a professional, stress-free experience for customers so he prioritized pairing an experienced and professional cleaner to care for the customer’s home.

3. Gia Taijae Tejeda, Spelman College C/O ‘23

Taijae Tejeda, is a student economics major at Spelman with a minor in management and organization. She developed All Things College (A.T.C.) as a means to advocate for quality education by informing students and parents nationwide about college readiness, standardized test-prep, and scholarships to increase the minority economic growth and college retention rates.

4. Tahir Murray, Howard University C/O ’21

Tahir Murray attended Howard University and created LegacyHistoryPride, also known as LHP, it’s a collegiate lifestyle brand that designs and develops apparel inspired by HBCUs and Black culture.