The Most Successful Black-owned Business: A Ranking of Achievements

Choose the black-owned business you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 07:55
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate hub for discovering the most successful black-owned businesses that have made their mark in the world of entrepreneurship! Our team has compiled a list of remarkable businesses that have flourished under the leadership of brilliant black visionaries. But now, we want to hear from you! Cast your vote for your favorite black-owned business or suggest a missing gem that you believe deserves recognition. Join our thriving community of passionate voters, as we celebrate the accomplishments and innovations of these trailblazers, and together, let's create the ultimate ranking of black-owned business success stories. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn, engage, and be inspired!

What Is the Most Successful Black-owned Business?

  1. 1
    Founded by media mogul Oprah Winfrey, OWN is a cable television network that has seen great success since its debut in 2011. It offers programming focused on self-improvement, spirituality, and personal growth, and has become a go-to destination for viewers seeking inspiring and uplifting content.
    The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is a cable and satellite television channel that was launched in 2011. It is a joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery, Inc. The network features a range of original programming, including talk shows, documentaries, movies, and scripted television series.
    • Launch year: 2011
    • Type of channel: Cable and satellite television
    • Partners: Joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery, Inc.
    • Content: Talk shows, documentaries, movies, and scripted television series
    • Viewership: Available in 79 million households in the United States
  2. 2

    BET Networks

    Robert L. Johnson
    BET Networks, founded by Robert L. Johnson in 1980, is a leading provider of entertainment programming targeting African American audiences. The network offers a mix of original content, movies, and music videos, and has become a cultural touchstone for black Americans.
    BET Networks is a leading media company focused on serving the African American community and providing content that represents their culture and experiences. It is a subsidiary of ViacomCBS, and it operates various platforms including television channels, digital media, and interactive properties.
    • Launch Date: January 25, 1980
    • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
    • Television Channels: BET, BET Her
    • Digital Platforms:, BET+, BET NOW
    • Target Audience: African American community
  3. 3

    Essence Communications

    Edward Lewis
    Founded in 1970, Essence Communications is a multimedia company that produces the popular Essence magazine, as well as a variety of events and digital content. The company has become a trusted source of information and inspiration for black women, and its annual Essence Festival draws thousands of attendees each year.
    Essence Communications is a media company focused on celebrating and empowering black women. It aims to provide a platform for African American voices, culture, and perspectives. Founded in 1970, Essence Communications has become a leading brand in the black community, connecting and inspiring millions of readers and viewers through various mediums.
    • Year Founded: 1970
    • Headquarters: New York, United States
    • Founder: Edward Lewis
    • Primary Focus: Celebrating and empowering black women
    • Media Formats: Print magazine, online platform, events
  4. 4

    Johnson Publishing Company

    John H. Johnson
    Founded by John H. Johnson in 1942, Johnson Publishing Company is responsible for such iconic publications as Ebony and Jet magazines. The company has been a pioneer in the media industry, providing a platform for black writers, photographers, and other creatives.
    The Johnson Publishing Company was a pioneering black-owned media company in the United States. It was founded in 1942 by John H. Johnson, an entrepreneur and publisher. The company played a significant role in promoting African American culture, history, and achievements through its publications and other ventures. One of its most notable publications was Ebony magazine, which became the flagship publication of the company. The Johnson Publishing Company contributed to the representation and empowerment of black people in media and business. It operated successfully for several decades until significant changes in the media landscape led to its decline and eventual bankruptcy. The company's legacy remains an important part of African American history and the fight for racial equality.
    • Year Founded: 1942
    • Flagship Publication: Ebony magazine
    • Mission: Promotion of African American culture and achievements
    • Significance: Pioneering black-owned media company
    • Impact: Representation and empowerment of black people
  5. 5
    Radio One
    CillBill · Public domain

    Radio One

    Cathy Hughes
    Founded by Cathy Hughes in 1980, Radio One is a leading radio broadcasting company that targets African American audiences. The company owns over 50 radio stations in the US, and has expanded into other areas of media, including television and digital content.
    Radio One is a media company that primarily focuses on African-American audiences through its radio broadcasting, digital media, and entertainment divisions. It was founded in 1980 and has since become one of the most successful black-owned businesses in the United States.
    • Headquarters: Silver Spring, Maryland
    • Founding Year: 1980
    • Industry: Media
    • Primary Focus: African-American audiences
    • Divisions: Radio broadcasting, digital media, and entertainment
  6. 6
    Founded by Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin, and Carlton Brown in 1992, FUBU (short for "For Us, By Us") is a clothing brand that is widely recognized as one of the most successful black-owned businesses in history. The brand has been embraced by hip-hop culture and has become a symbol of black entrepreneurship.
    FUBU (which stands for For Us, By Us) is a clothing brand that was founded in 1992 by Daymond John, along with his friends Keith Perrin, Carlton Brown, and J. Alexander Martin. It was created as a response to the lack of fashion options available for the black community at the time. FUBU quickly gained popularity and became one of the most successful black-owned businesses in the fashion industry.
    • Year Founded: 1992
    • Industry: Fashion
    • Target Audience: Black community
    • Philosophy: For Us, By Us
    • Product Range: Clothing and accessories
  7. 7
    PNC Financial Services
    Huney420 · Public domain
    While not a traditionally "black-owned" company, PNC Financial Services has made a concerted effort to support black-owned businesses through its "Pathways to Growth" program. The program offers loans, mentoring, and other resources to help black entrepreneurs succeed.
    PNC Financial Services is a diversified financial services company based in the United States. It is considered one of the most successful black-owned businesses in the country, with a strong presence in banking, asset management, and financial services.
    • Headquarters: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Year Founded: 1982
    • Industry: Financial Services
    • Revenue: Approximately $16 billion (2019)
    • Number of Employees: Over 50,000
  8. 8

    Black Enterprise

    Earl G. Graves Sr.
    Founded by Earl G. Graves Sr. in 1970, Black Enterprise is a business magazine and digital platform that provides resources and information for black entrepreneurs and professionals. The publication has been a trailblazer in the media industry, and has helped to showcase the success of black-owned businesses.
    Black Enterprise is a popular multimedia company that focuses on entrepreneurship, business, and wealth-building in the black community. It provides various resources, including magazines, digital media, events, and television shows, to empower and inspire black entrepreneurs and professionals.
    • Founded: 1970
    • Headquarters: New York City, United States
    • Focus: Black entrepreneurship and wealth-building
    • Magazine: Black Enterprise magazine
    • Website:
  9. 9

    The Mane Choice

    Courtney Adeleye
    Founded by Courtney Adeleye in 2013, The Mane Choice is a hair care brand that has become one of the fastest-growing black-owned businesses in the US. The brand offers a wide range of products for all hair types, and has been embraced by black women seeking high-quality, affordable hair care.
    The Mane Choice is a successful black-owned business that specializes in hair care products for women with different hair textures. The company is dedicated to providing high-quality, effective solutions for common hair issues, such as dryness, breakage, and hair loss. The Mane Choice takes pride in using natural ingredients and innovative formulas to promote healthy hair growth and overall hair health.
    • Products: Hair care products
    • Target audience: Women with different hair textures
    • Focus: Healthy hair growth and overall hair health
    • Ingredients: Natural ingredients
    • Formulas: Innovative formulas
  10. 10

    Carol's Daughter

    Lisa Price
    Founded by Lisa Price in 1993, Carol's Daughter is a beauty brand that offers natural, high-quality products for hair, skin, and body. The brand has been a favorite of black women for decades, and has been endorsed by celebrities like Jada Pinkett Smith and Mary J. Blige.
    Carol's Daughter is a renowned black-owned beauty brand that specializes in natural hair and skincare products. It was founded by Lisa Price in 1993, who initially started making products in her kitchen. The brand gained popularity for its high-quality ingredients and commitment to creating products for diverse hair types and textures. With a focus on promoting self-care and embracing natural beauty, Carol's Daughter has become a leading name in the beauty industry.
    • Founding Year: 1993
    • Founder: Lisa Price
    • Specialization: Natural hair and skincare products
    • Product Range: Hair care, skincare, body care
    • Inclusivity: Products for diverse hair types and textures

Missing your favorite black-owned business?


Ranking factors for successful black-owned business

  1. Revenue
    The annual revenue generated by the business is a key factor when considering its success.
  2. Growth
    The rate at which the business is growing is an important indicator of success.
  3. Employee satisfaction
    The satisfaction of the employees working in the business can indicate the business's success and ability to retain talented individuals.
  4. Industry recognition
    The business's reputation within its industry and the recognition it receives from peers and organizations are important success indicators.
  5. Innovation
    The ability of the business to innovate and keep up with industry changes can indicate its potential for future success.
  6. Community impact
    The impact the business has on the community and its social and environmental responsibility can also be taken into account.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful black-owned business. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or black-owned business is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 181 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each black-owned business once every 24 hours. The rank of each black-owned business is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most successful black-owned business

Black-owned businesses have a rich history in America, dating back to the early 1800s when free blacks were able to own and operate their own businesses. Despite facing significant barriers and discrimination, black entrepreneurs have persisted and achieved great success in various industries. Today, black-owned businesses contribute significantly to the American economy, creating jobs and driving innovation. In recent years, there has been a renewed focus on supporting and promoting black-owned businesses, as consumers recognize the importance of supporting diverse and inclusive businesses. In this article, we will explore some of the most successful black-owned businesses and their impact on their respective industries.

Share this article