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How 3 Black Women Turned Into Entrepreneurs After Their 40th Birthdays

| Super User | Elevate

Unforeseen issues prompted each of these women to form their own ventures.

On December 22, 2018, Nikki Howard and Jacqueline Wright discovered the government had shut down and they wouldn't be paid for a long time. Their financial security was in jeopardy just before Christmas.

Howard and her sister came up with a project concept with their mother's aid. The women agreed to bake for their family for a while. Thousands of people ordered just two varieties of cheesecake. Within a few weeks, they couldn't possibly keep up with all the new business. Today, Furlough Cheesecake operates a location near Washington, D.C. , and i t has also been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Like many female founders, they had a perfect storm of conditions and chances that led to their company's success.

Equal rights through entrepreneurship

Each generation builds on the achievements of the previous one to attain its own defining moments. Women's suffrage was a key aspect of equality in the United States during the twentieth century. Women and their allies could use entrepreneurship to fight for gender equality, workplace participation, and financial security in the 21st century.

Today, it appears that the Great Resignation is part of a larger trend. More women-owned enterprises have appeared in the last two years, even as t he pandemic has cost millions of jobs and made it harder for people to meet their financial and caregiving demands. In the midst of so many ups and downs, older women are looking for new ways to make money.

Young individuals don't always make the best entrepreneurs. A 2019 MIT study showed that young individuals don't always make the best entrepreneurs. In fact, that research showed that the ideal entrepreneur is middle-aged, not youthful. In the study, the typical age of founders among the fastest-growing new businesses was actually 45.

Becoming a beacon in dark times

That's fantastic news for women over 40 who want to start enterprises. To start a firm after 45 was risky for Mebane, CEO of Infrared Vision, but she pressed through anyway. As she put it, a cancer scare, the death of her only child, and an unfulfilling work drove her to discover her passion and purpose.

To Mebane, life felt repetitive. She kept repeating the same things and experiences until she began to question if she was truly alive. That's when she recognized she needed a fresh start. Mebane is now a mentality and financial coach for those over 40 who are struggling with work, ageism, finances, and major life events like divorce. She is also a speaker and author. During the pandemic, she launched her company, Infrared Vision, to help her customers find new jobs.

She believes her company's name was inspired by infrared light's qualities because it reflects her own journey. “Infrared light gives you the ability to see things in the dark,” Mebane says. “I help people discover what they cannot see. I help them create a vision for themselves through the right mindset, to execute their visions.”

The experiences of Howard, Wright, and Mebane reveal resilience, purpose, and a new sense of self. After losing their consistent income, Howard and Wright had to find new sources of revenue. Mebane's life faced several challenges that made her consider her needs and desires. With so many women considering their work values, we may soon see more women starting their own businesses.