The Top 10 Black Entrepreneurs


Inc. magazine released its annual ranking of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. The Inc. 5000 list, now in its fourth year, showcases America’s accomplished and independent-minded entrepreneurs.

The following business owners are the top ten Black entrepreneurs on this year’s list. Congratulations to them, and may their success inspire you to keep pushing your small business forward!

Top 10 Black Entrepreneurs on Inc. 5000:

1. Leah Brown, President and CEO

  • A10 Clinical Solutions
  • Cary, North Carolina
  • No. 92
  • 2009 Revenue: $8,315,797
  • Three-Year Growth: 2,714.29%
  • When one of Brown’s close relatives passed away from AIDS, she was inspired to start A10 Clinical Solutions, which manages and oversees clinical trial processes in humans to get drugs approved by the FDA. Focusing on ailments prominent within minority communities, Brown’s company has also started opening medical “check-up centers” at businesses, airports and bus stations.

2. Dennis Christmas, President and CEO

  • Enterprise Solutions Realized
  • Marriottsville, Maryland
  • No. 103
  • 2009 Revenue: $4.8 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 2,408.37%
  • Enterprise Solutions Realized is a developer of a line of business systems for public and private sector entities, with the federal government as its current primary client. The company recently developed software for the FDA that helps them automate the process of convening panel experts when approving new medications.

3. Andrew Harold, Jr., President

  • A. Harold and Associates
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • No. 182
  • 2009 Revenue: $4.3 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 1,563.6%
  • A. Harold and Associates is a technology training services firm. A former Navy pilot, Harold and his employees focus on computer-based systems for the military, such as providing training for customs and border patrol and basic operating systems in aircrafts.

4. Hany Malik, Chairman and Founder

  • Suntiva Executive Consulting
  • Falls Church, Virginia
  • No. 223
  • 2009 Revenue: $10.8 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 1,333.52%
  • After working as a clinical psychologist for several years, Hany Malik realized his true passion was helping others to develop leadership skills, and founded Suntiva Executive Consulting, a management consulting company. Suntiva provides a myriad of services, including optimizing the IT operations of businesses and advising the federal government in company acquisitions.

5. Richard Lewis, President and CEO

  • RTL Networks
  • Denver
  • No. 331
  • 2009 Revenue: $15.3 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 900.93%
  • Lacking a sense of stability within the corporate arena of the telecom industry, Richard Lewis diverted from his career path to start RTL Networks, a technology sales and solutions firm that has nabbed clients from the U.S. Department of Defense to the NBA. RTL Networks focuses on selling computer-networking services such as routing, fire walling, and VoIP to businesses, then providing troubleshooting and ongoing maintenance to those businesses.

6. Jean Orelien, President and CEO

  • SciMetrika
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • No. 374
  • 2009 Revenue: $4.8 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 802.86%
  • SciMetrika is a consulting firm that helps federal, state and local health agencies develop and implement programs and studies, such as ensuring that students in public schools are compliant with immunizations. The company also subcontracts data collection tasks, such as phone surveys, to other agencies.

7. Karen Cooper, President

  • SmartIT Staffing
  • Indianapolis
  • No. 384
  • 2009 Revenue: $9.7 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 787.77%
  • SmartIT is a staffing and talent acquisition firm that provides IT consulting to companies in the private and public sector. Initially headquartered in Indianapolis, Cooper and her leadership team opened another office in Cincinnati to take advantage of the city’s industrial opportunities.

8. Kevin Jennings, CEO

  • Millennium Corporation
  • Arlington, VA
  • No. 424
  • 2009 Revenue: $7.7 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 702.73%
  • After Jennings retired from the U.S. army, he wanted to continue supporting soldiers in war combat. He found a way to do that through Millennium Corporation, which works on behalf of the federal government in executing program management with large contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Millennium has also been instrumental in delivering equipment to soldiers in Iraq, such as devices to protect against IED blasts.

9. Tracy Barnes, Founder and CEO

  • Indianapolis
  • No. 516
  • 2009 Revenue: $4.1 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 586.01%
  • ENTAP is an IT consulting firm that works with government, higher education and commercial entities in implementing technology solutions to manage business operations. The company also boasts the state of Indiana as one of its primary clients, having serviced office systems for all three branches of its government.

10. Mark Wilson, President and CEO

  • Ryla
  • Kennesaw, Georgia
  • No. 520
  • 2009 Revenue: $14.7 million
  • Three-Year Growth: 583.36%
  • When Wilson’s former employer, Dun & Bradstreet, decided to outsource its call center operations, Wilson jumped at the chance to start Ryla, which provides call center services to corporate giants like IBM, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Boasting more than 3,200 employees, Ryla has a campus-like call center headquartered in Georgia, as well as a recently-opened center in Saraland, Alabama.


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