‘Queen Boss’ Aims To Be The ‘Shark Tank’ For Entrepreneurial Black Women


Diversity is an issue everywhere we look, including prominent mass media like television.

Although, I must say that this year’s Golden Globes were more diverse than previous years. Actors and actresses like Donald Glover, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Viola Davis received prominent awards.

Speaking of diversity in television, new to the big screens on January 14 was “Queen Boss” on Black Entertainment Television Network (BET). It was originally a webisode series on the women’s platform Smart Women.

“SWSI (Smart Women. Smart Ideas.) provides a platform for women entrepreneurs and women in business to grow their businesses and career taking a unique approach to powering new brands so they can get known and go big.”

“Queen Boss” is on both BET and Centric, a BET women-focused network.

Zola Mashariki, Executive Vice President, Head of Original Programming, BET Networks, spoke about “Queen Boss”.

“Black women are and have always been pioneers and titans of industry — from Madame CJ Walker to Lisa Price of Carole’s Daughter (one of the guest judges on ‘Queen Boss’). We are proud to help nurture the next wave of women taking over!”

Society believes that women do not work as hard as men, but this show says otherwise. “Queen Boss” is evidence that women have that same fiery passion for business as men do, maybe even more. Zola also says,

“African-American women are not sitting around waiting for opportunities to fall in their lap. Whether it’s an online blog or a cupcake baking business or a multinational importing company, we aspire for more than just climbing the corporate ladder. Black women are choosing to bet on themselves and see their dreams through so they can grow real wealth.”

“Queen Boss” can be compared to “Shark Tank” in which contestants have to present in front of a panel of entrepreneurs but on the new BET show it’s all women of color.

They pitch their ideas to them just like they would if they were on “Shark Tank”. The only difference is that they do not stop there. They then proceed to the next level where they will compete with 17 other women to the finals.

Whoever wins in the finals, is crowned Queen Boss and wins $25,000.

Contestants benefit from this show by being mentored by top female entrepreneurs such as Angela Benton, Kandi Burruss, Lauren Lake, Carla Hall, Rakia Reynolds, Vanessa Simmons, Mikki Taylor, and Robin Wilson.

They also benefit from free advertisement which is something that many startups cannot afford.

Nailah Ellis Brown, founder of Ellis Infinity Iced Tea and recent contestant on “Queen Boss” says she always has the judges in her head when it comes to pitching something.

“I could hear the ‘Queen Boss’ judges’ comments in my head when I was preparing for the big meeting. I think my pitch was far stronger because of the tips and criticisms I received on ‘Queen Boss.’ ”

Working in the business world can be intimidating, but with the right mentors, the right resources, and the right mindset, you will be successful.

If you are a female startup and you are having trouble looking for support, check out www.swsimedia.com (Smart Women. Smart Ideas).

They offer services from digital strategy to content production in order to help you get exposure to the public and to funding ventures.

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Theresa Maloco

Theresa is a beloved Empress OG who never thought she’d be a writer. After realizing her potential, she quit her retail job to be part of several start-up projects. Join her on this journey to success.