Many books on startups and business talk about how there are right and wrong reasons for starting a business. So, we asked a handful of successful founders about their reasons and the thought-process behind starting their business.

Melvin Cotton III | Film Producer & Music Artist

The thought process behind the creation of my production company “CTK & Affiliates” was I wanted to create inspiring content that entertains. Everything that I produce has purpose. Whether in film, music or digital content made for television; my goal is to encourage people and promote the love of Jesus Christ. I want my viewers/listeners to walk away with more than laughs and a good time, but also have gained something that will aid them on there life journey. Read more>>

Pedro Camacho | Creative Entrepreneur / Artisanal Craftsman

As a productive person, who thrives when I am most busy, I enjoy cultivating hobbies that are both enjoyable and have practical applications in my life. My apothecary started as just an idea, to bring a store to life that encompassed natural products and homemade goods, with an artisanal twist. It was at that intersection that I decided to take a leap and build a brand doing not only what I enjoyed but could also be a profitable pastime while bringing a bit of old charm to a saturated commercial market. Read more>>

Quincey Yates | Creative Director & Artist

The main thought process behind starting our brand was pushing the culture forward with a new creative lane and also showing others the excitement and importance of collaboration. Read more>>

Ennis Payton | Songwriter and Rapper at Payton Place Entertainment

I’ve always been the leader type that’s my mentality and I never liked working for other people despite the fact that I’ve acquired good paying jobs through out my life. Read more>>

Leila Centner | Co-Founder of Centner Academy & Philanthropist

Meet Leila Centner, founder of the first “happiness school” in the United States, which draws on the latest research in the field of mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and the science of happiness. An education visionary and innovative entrepreneur, Leila would be a great leader who can comment on the timely topic of why she founded a school focused on students’ emotional and mental well-being. It’s no secret that education systems around the world are facing challenges in preparing students to deal with the demands of unpredictable environments and as a result, depression and suicide among youth are serious issues. Leila’s background in finance at Arthur Anderson and Deloitte prepared her for the headline sale of her husband’s company Highway Toll Administration, where she served as CFO. Read more>>

Stephane Elias | Entrepreneur & Philanthropist

When I started my company, I was working as an office manager at a multi-specialty clinic in the Little Haiti/Little River area of Miami, FL called the Center for Haitian Studies, Health & Human Services, Inc. During that time, former President Barack Obama had passed the Affordable Care Act. In the clinical setting that I worked, we were making adjustments to our inner systems in order to be in compliance with Federal standards. One of the adjustments required us to transition from paper charting to electronic charting. I took the lead on that initiative. I had to research an EMR/EHR system, present it to our Board of Directors, implement this new software and train both our clinical and non-clinical staff on how to use it. From that experience, the idea of E-nnovative Health began. It all began with me recognizing a void within the healthcare industry that needed to be filled. Then coming up with a solution to that problem. Read more>>

Buster Brown | Founder

My passion for kombucha and belief in its medicinal benefits spurred me to try every brand and every flavor I could get my hands on. This quest for the best kombucha stretched many years and many states. A natural progression led me towards my hobby as a kombucha homebrewer. This was an exciting 5-year experiment of trial-and-error, formulating new flavors and tinkering with my recipes. As my hobby increased in volume and precision, an opportunity arose when the only local commercial kombucha brand relocated to Texas. The void was apparent, and time was of the essence. It was only a matter of time before another local homebrewer transitioned from hobby to business. With the confidence of knowing I could make a quality product and the minimal investment that was needed to get the business started. Read more>>

Thalita Pascual | Personal Trainer & Entrepreneur

It actually started very organically. I’ve been a “healthy eater” for over a decade and most of the time I cook my food, bake my bread, cookies and it was no different with the granola. I felt there was no clean granola in the market so I would to make my own, but it’s the type of thing you make it as a batch and so I would give away to friends and neighbors that right after started reaching out asking for more. It was when I realized I could make a business out of it. Read more>>

Leomise Allen | Founder of Butterfly Effect Girls Mentoring Inc.

My thought process behind me starting my own business, was really just a thought. I had a vision for many years to start my own business but procrastination and fear kept me for pursing it. It was in 2018 that my sister put the fire under me to get up and start the business. After all , I was already doing the work in the community as a mentor. Read more>>

Paul Bunting | Quick N Mobile Inc.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) for myself, I started my own business at 19 years of age. At that point, I realized working a w2 scenario would not work for me. Read more>>

Shiri Sarfati | Licensed Esthetician, Beauty and Wellness Expert

I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs so being an entrepreneur is truly part of my DNA. I’m a second generation esthetician and my mother launched her line of professional spa treatments a year after I was born. Today her global brand, Repechage is in 50 countries worldwide exclusively used by professional estheticians at salons and spas. I got my first facial at the age of 3 and grew up going to and working at spas, experimenting with products, and traveling to over 25 countries meeting with and educating estheticians and beauty professionals all over the world. I later would earn a Masters in Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing from FIT and taught an undergraduate class as an adjunct professor for the beauty program there. I also am a practicing licensed esthetician and see clients at skin care clinics in Miami. Read more>>

Melissa Davis | Owner of Melissa Davis Designs, Inc.

I have always had a passion for creative design and beautiful aesthetics. When I started working in Advertising in New York City one of my favorite work responsibilities was styling food on commercia photo shoots. I loved the colors and textures of food and table top. . After moving home to Miami when I was 26 and taking over a family business (The Sweet Treat Emporium) a gourmet chocolatier gift basket store, I especially loved designing the accessories and gifts for weddings. When I sold Sweet Treat I had three wonderful long time customers ask me to plan a Mitzvah and 2 Weddings. Twenty-three years later those initial events are three of the most wonderful events I have planned and designed. In 1997 I had the confidence to start my own Wedding and Event planning company. I knew I could take a passion and turn it into a career. Read more>>

Giselle Roca | Calligrapher & Artist

I had definitely always been an artistic kid and kept it with me while I grew up. It wasn’t until I had a friend encourage me to create something for her and from there create more and make a business. Definitely was something new and even a little frightening because it was something that had never crossed my mind to do. Yet, I did not allow fear to hold me back. I knew it was something I loved to do and with time and practice I would grow and get better. Til this day I’m still learning and improving as an artist. I went for it and don’t regret it sense! Read more>>

Marlene “Marley” Holmes, Ph.D Student, MSW | CEO & Founder, The BFCA Experience LLC

The BFCA Experience LLC is a company that is based on my personal and professional experience. In 2016, I entered the world of entrepreneurship by launching my own meditation business. I was mesmerized by how my passion and journey could impact others’ lives; however, I knew there was more to do. In 2018 I started to realize that my athletic journey from 7th grade threw college prepared me for almost every experience in my life. I felt my life-changing and decided to shift my research focus as a doctoral student from just social work to social work and athletics. When starting a business, you must do your research, and I quickly found that my experience as a black female athlete was unique, but rarely discussed. For the first time in my life, I realized that my professional background was successful due to both positive and negative athletic experiences. Read more>>

Stephanie Guerra A.K.A. Mzs. Stiletto | Musician & Entrepreneur

I always knew that I one day wanted to have my own business. I knew that I wanted to be able to call my own shots, make my own rules and provide a great working environment for others that would eventually lead them to one day being business owners themselves. I just needed a push, a sign, something to tell me to press go and to not look back. Suddenly, in came Xelda, my now two year old, going on three, little girl. After becoming a mom, I struggled with the thought of having to return to my regular full-time job and not being able to spend time with my daughter, missing the most important moments in her life like taking her first step, saying her first word and seeing her grow minute by minute and hour per hour. Xelda, or Poochichi as I like to call her, has given me the determination, drive and force to actually push me to get to my goal of becoming a successful business owner. Read more>>