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10 Entrepreneurial Journeys You Should Be Watching In 2017

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With entrepreneurship continually on the rise, it’s important to keep your eyes and ears focused on individuals who have built businesses, and have the expertise to lend. Check out this list of entrepreneurs making waves through the world.

1Gabi Gregg and Nicolette Mason

An important part of successful entrepreneurship is stepping into a void within the market and filling an unserved, or underserved populace. Gabi Gregg also known as GabiFresh and her partner Nicolette Mason are two women who capitalized on that idea and have leveraged their fashion blogs to create a clothing line. PREMME is a bright, and vibrant line of clothing for curvy women, that has drawn so much attention, the collection almost sold out its first day. Their example not only illustrates the idea of leverage in business, but highlights the need to identify a key audience and engage them appropriately.

2Gary Vaynerchuk {Vay-Ner-Chuk}

After building an online e-commerce site for his family’s wine business, and increasing sales from 4 to 60 million, Gary went on to become an early investor in the online space. After investing in Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and Venmo, Gary authored several bestselling books. Now a venture capitalist and CEO of Vaynermedia, Gary is highly sought after to deliver speeches, consult businesses, and his unrivaled marketing knowledge is spread through his YouTube show #AskGaryVee. Standing on his mantras of hustling, and knowing yourself, Gary has been this generation’s guru on investments, startups, and strategies. His unique mix of motivating, and practical videos provide viewers with the tools, and resources needed to bring their ideas to fruition.

3Jermaine “Jay” Morrison

Jay Morrison also known as “Mr. Real Estate” is an amazing example of the transformative power of dedication and hard work. Morrison was a three-time felon, who dropped out of high school, and sold drugs for a living on the streets of Somerville, New Jersey. He turned his life around and is now known for his inspirational journey, and maniacal work ethic which eventually led him to success in the real estate market. Morrison has since created an online mentorship program called “The Jay Morrison Academy” which is an online real estate school and mentorship program offering affordable wealth management education. His YouTube channel transmits the idea of “buying back the block”, a theme of ownership, and investing in self.

4Tai Lopez

Tai Lopez, like many entrepreneurs, didn’t grow up with much, but he was always looking for opportunities to learn from books and mentors. After realizing mentorship was vital to his learning process, he convinced 5 multi-millionaires to mentor him before becoming a Certified Financial Planner. Taking the knowledge he acquired from his newfound peers, and the experience he received from working in the world of finance, he became a founder, investor, and mentor to over 20 multi-million dollar companies. Tai was also one of the first entrepreneurs to begin using Facebook and YouTube as a marketing tool and now his videos have been viewed by millions of people across the globe. Lopez’ mantra is achieving not only wealth, but love, happiness, and health. His video content online encourages viewers to work towards creating financial freedom for themselves, and even offers an online course in social media marketing.

5Troy Carter & James Andrews

Another pillar in entrepreneurship that stimulates success is networking, and collaborating. Troy Carter, Global Head of Creative Services at Spotify, and James Andrews CEO of Smashd Labs are two great examples of the adage “team-work, makes the dream work.” In Culver City California the offices of Smashd Labs is taking steps to unify technology, culture and the hustle needed to succeed. Carter founded The Atom Factory, an artist management group, and made a name for himself by managing artists like Eve, Lady Gaga, and John Legend. He’s partnered with his long time friend James Andrews who also has a history in the music industry and broke artists such as Destiny’s Child, Nas, and The Fugees. Their partnership at Smashd Labs where James is CEO works to build brands and accelerate tech start-ups. With early investments in Spotify, Uber, and Dropbox, the two have already made waves within the culture, and plan on connecting more diverse groups of entrepreneurs to the resources they need to build long term success. Standing on the belief that culture, and ownership are imperative, their video content, and editorial blogs give viewers the mindset needed to work outside of typical business confineds, while staying authentic to their audience, and future proofing their businesses.

6Yelitsa Jean-Charles

While all entrepreneurship is rooted in capitalism, often times the start of a business can stem from social needs. Yelitsa Jean-Charles founded the company “Healthy Roots Dolls” with 3 other partners while enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design. She began the business after noticing the lack of diversity in children’s art and toys. The mission of her company has been to combat internal racism in young girls, by educating them on how to properly take care of their hair, and improve and repair the self esteem of girls who feel stigmatized due to their hair, or skin tone. The dolls, and books they create challenge society’s definitions of beauty, and open up the opportunity for girls of all races to feel beautiful. Yelitsa’s venture is an illustration of some of the world’s greatest businesses: combining commerce and consciousness for social change.

7Sophia Amoruso

At age 23, Sophia Amoruso began her career selling vintage clothing on eBay, calling it “Nasty Girl Vintage”. Now 33, she owns “Nasty Gal” a online retail store selling women’s clothing, and has been named in Forbes and Inc. magazines as owning one of the fastest growing companies in 2012, and one of the richest self made women in the world in 2016. Her YouTube channel is comprised of showcasing other female entrepreneurs who share their stories and tips for success, even popularizing the hashtag #girlboss. With the growth of female entrepreneurs continually on the rise, her content is especially important to a demographic that has historically been discriminated against.

8Tristan Walker

Tristan Walker began his career after graduating from Stanford Business School, as director of business talent at Foursquare. After leaving, he became the entrepreneur in residence at a venture firm headed by Andreessen Horowitz. At work one afternoon, he was told that rapper Nas was in an office close by and decided he would pitch his new razor blade idea to him. Walker pitched his now famous Bevel Blade to the Queen’s rapper, and is currently the CEO of Walker and Company, which delivers hair care products by mail. Similar to Gregg and Nicholette, Tristan is another example of an entrepreneur who was successful because he focused on an underserved market. Since the creation of the Bevel Blade, his company has gone on to create more innovative personal care products, and is still rolling out new ideas. Tristan has done a wealth of videos that have been uploaded to YouTube that lend help to other entrepreneurs.

9Jay Adelson

Jay Adelson is the founder of several online start-ups, but is most known for his contributions to ‘Digg.com’. It was created in 2004, and sold in 2012. Originally from Detroit, Jay graduated from Boston University in 1992 studying film and broadcasting with a concentration in computer science. In 2008 he was named in Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Now Jay gives back to the online community by having a solely educational channel on YouTube for entrepreneurs and startups. From Demystifying the start up process, to distinguishing running a business from starting a business, Jay’s channel answers a range of common and complex questions.

10Marie Forleo

With a natural ability to teach Marie Forleo is an amazing personality with a background in marketing, lifestyle, mentoring and has even authored a book. She is backed by the likes of Oprah, Inc. Magazine, and Forbes who named www.MarieForleo.com as one the Top 100 Websites for entrepreneurs. Her channel on YouTube is similar to Adelson, however she also brings a more holistic approach to business, making sure that the business, and the people running it are taken care of. She is also the founder of B-School, and online resource set up to assist people to do more than just start a business, but to create a happy and healthy life.

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Kip Sparrow
Kip Sparrow is a HipHop creative originally from Boston, MA, and residing in Miami, FL. Kip grew up on music from Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, and G-Unit, but when the south broke through mainstream media with artists like Paul Wall, Slim Thug, T.I. and Lil Jon, Kip fell in love with the 808’s and snares and began to create his own music, fueling his ongoing love affair with rap. While focusing on music production, and content curation, Kip uses writing, and podcasting as additional creative outlets to interact with the culture he loves. Kip’s focuses on highlighting quality content, and education within HipHop in an effort to continually push the culture forward.

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