Miss FVSU Tykerriah Moore and Mr. FVSU Ryan Thurman were officially crowned during Homecoming 2019. However, like Thurman, this isn’t Moore’s first leadership role. Even before she was crowned, she was putting her brilliance to work by diving deep into the unique challenges faced by black female entrepreneurs.
The number of businesses owned by African-American women increased by 164% over the past decade to total 2.4 million in 2018, a rate three times the growth in businesses owned by women as a whole, according to a report commissioned by American Express. Things aren’t all rosy for the black female business owners Forbes magazine recently described as the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country, however. The American Express report showed a drop in average revenue of 21% for African-American women-owned businesses over the time period studied, while revenue for non-minority-owned businesses rose by 17%, a 38% growth gap.
Moore went on a mission to uncover the secrets of success and failure for the group of enterprising women she hopes to join one day. She has presented her research, “The Hallmarks of Becoming a Successful African-American Female Entrepreneur,” on the national stage, including during the National Conference on Undergraduate Research this past spring.
The Moultrie, GA native examined why African-American female entrepreneurs tend to own smaller businesses and how they confront unique start-up challenges like access to capital, finding investors, and racial and gender discrimination. Her research pointed to the need for the women to create and implement business plans to help secure the resources they need to make their businesses successful.
“The use of a business plan will allow African-American females to understand the type of business they would like to build, the actions they need to take in order to do so, where they currently stand, and how they intend to get there,” Moore said. “The research I’m conducting will give an outline of what African-American women need to accomplish in the process of becoming a successful entrepreneur.”
FVSU, Moore said, believes in her vision and helped her get out of her comfort zone, manage her time more effectively, and begin speaking in public.
“My matriculation here at this institution has empowered me to explore beyond my horizon, network, accept a challenge and become a leader,” she said.
Moore is the 82nd Miss Fort Valley State University. In this role, she is one of the the university’s foremost student ambassadors and represents the university nationally as an embodiment of its values, culture, and tradition. Moore is a business management major from Moultrie, GA with a minor in marketing. She has been an active member of the Voices of Faith Choir, the Campus Ministry Praise Team, Miss Upsilon Sigma, a new student orientation leader, a McNair Scholar, treasurer for Honor Society and Entrepreneurship, and a member of the NAACP, the FVSU Models, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She volunteers with a summer feeding and enrichment program at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Pruitt Healthcare Nursing Home, and many other organizations. She has also conducted and presented research on entrepreneurship among African-American women. After graduation, she plans to earn an MBA and a PhD in entrepreneurship in addition to attending culinary art school with the hopes of opening a bakery business.