The theme of this Black History Month is 'Saluting our Sisters' and writer Shakira Peronet explains why she's inspired by Sharmadean Reid MBE.
Where to begin? If you type Sharmadean Reid into Google you’ll see many of her accolades, she has an MBE, she’s an entrepreneur and founder who created WAH nails, Beauty Stack and now has a women led community called The Stack World. What makes her so impressive is that she continually carves out space in creative innovative ways despite the fact that as a Black woman, the odds are completely against her.
Despite the high rates of Black women entrepreneurs in 2023, Black women receive just one per cent of venture capital making their entrepreneurial challenges staggeringly more difficult to their white counterparts. Yet it’s not just Sharmadean’s business success that inspires me, (she does this all whilst being a single mother by the way), what stands out the most is her desire to take as many women, especially Black women, with her as she climbs the ladder.
Her desire is to take as many women, especially Black women, with her as she climbs the ladder.
In a world that so often saves a seat, maybe two, for Black women, she is relentless in elevating her Black counterparts to be on the stages with her. When it would have been very easy to feel like the ‘golden goose’ and hoard her success she instead reached out to others to sit at the table with her. Her devotion to extending her hand to help others reach their goals. It makes me think of the verse in Luke 12:48: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
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Understanding the challenges that her predecessors are going through she created a small group of women entrepreneurs, invited them to her home and created a safe space to discuss the challenges of running a Black business during a cost of living crisis. Again this, reminds me of the gospel: "And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, 'When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment'." Luke 14:12.
She created a small group of women entrepreneurs, invited them to her home and created a safe space to discuss the challenges of running a Black business.
When I think of Sharmadean Reid I think of a woman with vision and tenacity who wants to lake a mark on the world that outlives her and I think she’s doing a remarkable job at doing so!