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Gwen Jimmere: An awesome tale of the fight for success

(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) What makes Gwen Jimmere stand out? What can you learn from her? Her tale will inspire you to take action on your own passion.

gwen jimmere

A success story

Once upon a time Gwen Jimmere had an idea for a unique hair product.

It would be easy to say that’s all it took. But you know, a lot of entrepreneurs have ideas. The challenge has always been to take the idea and cultivate it.

Starting from scratch

Gwen found herself laid off from her job and soon to be divorced. Not exactly the best combination to conquer the business world. But less than three years later, her company, Naturalicious, has hit the seven-figure mark with a product that’s patent protected and sold around the world.

The lesson to be learned here isn’t that Gwen came up with a unique product.

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It’s that she used a variety of resources to get the product from idea-on-paper to physical entity on a shelf.

Along the way Gwen became the first African American woman to hold a U.S. patent for a natural hair care product.

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Small fish in a big pond

Detroit is a city that is made of 82 percent African-American residents and 52 percent women residents, with an annual median household income of $26,000.

Minority entrepreneurs make up 15 percent of businesses and contribute $591 billion in revenue to the economy. To that end, an effort of inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship is growing.

Tale of the tape

There are several organizations that are helping to support minority entrepreneurs in Detroit specifically, in addition to helping entrepreneurs nationally and even on a global scale. Gwen sought out entrepreneurial mentorship and it made all the difference.

For the entrepreneur getting started, the Build Institute offers a very affordable eight-week small business class. Most of the entrepreneurs graduating start a retail, lifestyle or service based businesses. With over 600 graduates, the program has been a success helping entrepreneurs to launch their business.

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Pitchproof is another resource and one that Gwen, as co-founder, uses as a forum to mentor up and coming entrepreneurs. She coaches and trains entrepreneurs on how get to capital for their multimillion dollar ideas without going into debt by preparing for, entering and ultimately winning business pitch competitions and attracting equity investments.

Meanwhile, FoodLab Detroit provides business support for food entrepreneurs in Detroit of every background.

TechTown Detroit, on the other hand, is a nonprofit business accelerator and incubator founded by Wayne State University and the Henry Ford Health System. TechTown Detroit has expanded its entrepreneurship support programs into the neighborhoods, while ProsperUS does all of its work in the neighborhoods assisting immigrant and minority entrepreneurs.

Additionally, Bamboo Detroit offers all entrepreneurs a shared space to get their business off the ground and a community in which to grow.

In a sense, the story of Gwen’s success is not necessarily unique. What makes Gwen stand out is her determination, grit, and ability to use a variety of resources to make her product stand out.

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Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

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