The Legacy of Black Entrepreneurs in Atlanta

The Legacy of Black Entrepreneurs in Atlanta

Atlanta is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit, and at The Life School, we're nurturing the next generation of game-changers. From the legacy of Black entrepreneurs like Alonzo Herndon and Lonnie Johnson, to our own student-run businesses and workshops, join us as we celebrate the entrepreneurial energy that's driving Atlanta forward!

Let's dive in!


Madam CJ Walker was a trailblazer in the beauty industry and the first African American self-made millionaire. She founded her own company, which became a major force in the beauty industry and helped establish her as a respected businesswoman. Her legacy continues to inspire many of our students who are pursuing careers in the same field and have completed internships and college courses in the area. Our students have also had the opportunity to intern at Iwi Fresh, where they got to work with the late Yolanda Owens, an amazing woman in her own right who also made her mark in the beauty industry.

Photo of Madam C.J. Walker


Up next, we've got the mastermind behind the Super Soaker, Lonnie Johnson! Not only is he a brilliant inventor, but he's also a big advocate for science and technology. His youth robotics center near Georgia State University is helping to inspire the next generation and get young people fired up about these fields. And get this - our school has had the opportunity to participate in their robotics team which competed at the national level, thanks to Lonnie's support! It's amazing to see how one person can make such a positive impact and help shape the future for the better.

Our students competing with Eve Robotics out of the Lonnie Johnson Center


The Water Boys of Atlanta are a prime example of entrepreneurial spirit. These young men have taken a simple idea - selling water at busy intersections - and turned it into a thriving business. Despite facing challenges and obstacles, these entrepreneurs have found a way to make a living for themselves and their families. They're out there every day, hustling and working hard to make their dreams a reality. The Water Boys show us that with a little creativity and determination, anyone can be an entrepreneur. They embody the spirit of hard work and innovation that's at the heart of the American Dream, and they're a reminder of just how much is possible when we put our minds to it.


In recent decades, Atlanta has become a hub for Black entrepreneurship, with a thriving community of Black-owned businesses and a supportive ecosystem of resources and networks. The city is home to numerous business incubators, accelerators, and networking organizations that help Black entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. Additionally, Atlanta is the headquarters of several major corporations, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, and Home Depot, which have provided opportunities for Black entrepreneurs to establish partnerships, form strategic alliances, and secure contracts.

Founding Principal Mikala Streeter recognized as CCI civic entrepreneur

It is important to recognize the role that organizations like the Center for Civic Innovation (CCI) have played in supporting Black entrepreneurship in Atlanta. CCI provides coaching, mentoring, and resources to social entrepreneurs in the city, including our school's founders in the early days of our development. CCI's support and guidance have been instrumental in helping us to build a thriving educational community that is dedicated to exploring social justice, community service, black history, anti-racism, and more.


At our school, we're lucky to have a community of parents who are entrepreneurs and business leaders. People like Samantha Watkins, the founder of Urban Perform, bring their passion and expertise to our students and help to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship within our school. Whether it's through sharing their connections and resources, or inspiring our students with their drive and energy, these entrepreneurial parents are making a big impact. They're helping our students to see what's possible and empowering them to chase their dreams. We're grateful to have such a supportive and engaged community, and we can't wait to see what amazing things our students will go on to accomplish.


At The Life School, we believe in fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in our students from a young age. That's why we offer classes that focus on design thinking, budgeting, business planning, and a whole range of tools that aspiring entrepreneurs need to get started. From Canva for graphic design to Python for coding, our students get hands-on experience with the latest tools and techniques. They also get the opportunity to meet with successful entrepreneurs and work on real-life projects, which helps them develop the skills they need to succeed. Our students have already made a huge impact, starting businesses in everything from commissioned art to healthy beauty products. With this foundation, they'll be well-equipped to make their mark on the world.

Student leaders attending a conference in Savannah

In conclusion, Atlanta is a thriving hub of entrepreneurial spirit, and at The Life School, we're proud to be a part of this vibrant community. From our student-run businesses and workshops, to our entrepreneurial classes and parent community, we're committed to nurturing the next generation of game-changers.

We encourage you to explore the entrepreneurial energy that's driving Atlanta forward and to be inspired by the stories of Alonzo Herndon, Lonnie Johnson, the Water Boys, and the many other Black entrepreneurs who are making a difference in the city.

Join us on our mission to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. If you're interested in learning more about our school or supporting our students, please get in touch with us. We'd love to hear from you and work together to shape the future of entrepreneurship in Atlanta.

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