What Does Leaning In Look Like For Minority Christian Women Entrepreneurs

By: Nora Jacques


“Leaning in” is more than just a buzzword, it’s a way of life. The Macmillan Dictionary defines “leaning in” as “to accept challenges and seek responsibility.”


For women, the days of sitting on the sidelines and watching others forge the pathways of history are long gone. Women have been breaking barriers for centuries and even in 2021, with the election of Kamala Harris as the first female of color elected as Vice President of the United States, and for the first time, two women of color are running Fortune 500 businesses. Women of color are shattering glass ceilings in sports, technology, arts, business and beyond.


As children of the most high God, we have access to a supernatural advantage. When we tap

into our faith, we can go beyond what is possible in the natural realm. We can press, persevere and persist to rise above every challenge.

“...For you are destined for all things and will rise victorious.” -Ephesians 6:13

Yet and still, far too many of us bow down to the disadvantages and disparities that face so many women of color.


According to a study conducted by Pew Research, “Women-owned firms made up sizable shares of some industries...but women-owned firms didn’t earn a proportionate share of industry revenues.”


Yes, we are women of power and women of color. We carry that spark, that God-given energy that has been cultivated through late nights of prayer, daily bible reading and a commitment to uphold the legacy of faith that has gone back to our grandmothers.


For centuries, we’ve been the breadwinners for our communities, exploring our own creative ways to serve our countries, write our legacies and feed our families in spite of racial injustice.


We’ve sung the song, “We’ve come this far by faith”, but are we activating our faith to go even further? Are we really “leaning in”? If we are so powerful, why aren’t we receiving the funding and favor that God has called us to?


If we want to fully realize our business potential and impact our communities in a way that translates to generational wealth, the traditional business model is not enough. We must find our own way of leading in life and in business that fully expresses the God-force living in us.


1. Brave the Wild

Oxford Dictionary defines entrepreneurship as “the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.” In other words, an entrepreneur is, by definition, a risk taker. There is a special set of challenges we must face as women of color living in and doing business in America. There are certain nuances that you must navigate that a white male may have never had to consider - such as how you wear your hair, the tone of your voice, how you convey executive presence while staying true to who you are.


Yet, you have a secret weapon - your faith.

"And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God (or we are powerless to please God) For we come to God in faith, knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who passionately seek him." -Hebrews 11:6

Woman of God, can I tell you that you have something powerful living inside of you? There are dreams yet to be fully realized, but first, you must have the faith, courage and tenacity to persist through every difficulty and every detour. You must be willing to keep smiling even in the face of a “No” - knowing that you’ll eventually get to a yes.


2. Break the Mold

Do not spend time trying to water down your message to appeal to everyone. There is no other business like yours. No one offers what you offer in the way that you do it. You bring something unique and special to the table.

If you’ve laid on your face seeking God for your business strategy, ignore what everyone else is doing, and do YOU.

Focus on your unique value proposition and do not compromise. When God made you, He broke the mold - so do it your way and do it well.


3. Now, Own It!

Own your differences. There are grants, communities and entire movements designed specifically for women like you. However, your tribe - the people, lenders, customers who are looking for the specific value that you offer - wouldn’t be able to find you if you are too busy blending in with everyone else.


You must stand out, own your uniqueness and share it with the world. Explore what others find valuable about your services or products and explore ways to elevate these traits.


Every aspect of what you do - from your website, service offerings, product packaging, business processes or customer experience - should reflect your values and authentic culture as a woman of color. Lean into your power as a member of your demographic. Be a representative of your community so that others may aspire to the blessings of entrepreneurship. Use your presence, gifts and strengths to represent God well. As you lean in and let your light shine, you will surely become a trailblazer by faith, opening Kingdom doors for God to get the glory out of your business.


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To learn more and connect with Nora Jacques, click here.