Mandy Bowman is the founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street, a digital platform and community that supports Black entrepreneurs and helps consumers discover and shop from Black-owned businesses. She is a dedicated advocate for economic empowerment within the Black community. After studying Entrepreneurship and Global Business Management at Babson College, she felt a strong calling to address the economic challenges faced by Black-owned businesses, especially in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
Since launching Official Black Wall Street in 2015, followed by the app in 2017, Bowman has been a leading figure in the #BuyBlack movement, working tirelessly to support Black entrepreneurs globally. Her efforts have garnered recognition, including being named one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 Powerful Women in Business and receiving the Forbes Magazine Next 1000 Honoree title. Additionally, she was honored with PayPal’s Emerging Leader Award.
As a two-time TEDx speaker, Bowman’s superpower lies in her unwavering faith and optimism, which have helped her overcome challenges and continue making a positive impact. Her work demonstrates the importance of representation and mentorship in helping younger women of color navigate their own career paths. Mandy’s proudest achievement is the positive impact she has had on Black entrepreneurs and the broader community, making strides towards a more equitable economic landscape.
Why did you select your career?
I became an entrepreneur because I had a deep desire to help those in my community. Growing up I was blessed to have a grandmother who was also a business owner. Witnessing the way she created a safe space and community for those within our neighborhood influenced me to aspire to do the same. After noticing a number of Black owned businesses closed down in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York, I saw a pressing need to address the economic disparities facing Black entrepreneurs and businesses.
Briefly describe your responsibilities as the founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street.
My responsibilities as the Founder/CEO of Official Black Wall Street include overseeing the overall vision and strategy of the organization, building partnerships and collaborations, advocating for economic equity, and continuously finding ways to empower and uplift the Black business community. As a life coach I work with clients to help them develop and execute strategies to improve the quality of their lives and reach their personal and professional goals.
What do you consider your superpower(s) to be?
As a Black woman, my superpower is my faith and optimism. I believe that faith is what has guided me throughout my journey as an entrepreneur and advocate. In the face of challenges and adversity, faith has given me the perseverance and clarity to stay positive and continue moving forward. That unwavering belief in myself and what I am working on has allowed me to overcome feats and manifest the life I’ve wanted to live.
Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
It is important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities because our diverse perspectives bring about more inclusive and equitable outcomes. When we are in positions of influence, we can advocate for policies and practices that benefit marginalized communities, and see to it that corporations prioritize creating an environment where diversity and inclusion can truly thrive.
If you could thank any Black woman for her contributions to history and society, who would it be and why?
If I could thank any Black woman for her contributions to history and society, it would be Madam C.J. Walker. She was a trailblazing entrepreneur and philanthropist who not only built a successful beauty empire but also empowered other Black women to achieve economic independence.
Why is it important for more experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color?
It’s crucial for experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color because mentorship and guidance can make a significant difference in their career paths. Representation truly matters and by offering support and sharing our experiences, we can help younger women better navigate challenges, and expand their vision of what is possible.
As a successful woman in business, what is your greatest or proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement as a successful woman in business is the positive impact I’ve had on Black entrepreneurs and the broader community. Knowing that Official Black Wall Street has helped countless businesses thrive and that I’ve played a role in promoting economic empowerment is incredibly fulfilling.