Minority Professional Network (MPN)

Minority Professional Network (MPN)        


MPN Profiles Onyx Woman Magazine

The Entrepreneurial and Financial

Magazine for Women of Color


Article Written By Thomas Brooks

MPN Senior Webzine Editor


©2002 Minority Professional Network.  All Rights Reserved


MPN's Thomas Brooks:  Tell us about your company and how you got started.

Onyx Woman Magazine's Ola R. Jackson:  Onyx Woman is a career, entrepreneurial and financial magazine exclusively for African-American women. The mission of Onyx Woman is to help African-American women on their adventures up the corporate ladder and on
their journey through entrepreneurship and on to financial self-sufficiency. Our goal is to provide women with information that will empower them financially, politically, and spiritually. Onyx Woman offers a no-nonsense magazine where women of color can now read about professionals, as well as aspiring and successful business-owners just like themselves. Onyx Woman is the absolute MUST for the black woman contemplating, already operating, or possibly losing ground in the business world. We also created a sell-out business and financial conference for women that will be held in Philadelphia in April 2002.

I got started because I saw Black women being left out of the growth and development of our society. I first started Onyx Woman as a newsletter. It became so well accepted that we were able to expand into a magazine.  Women constantly wrote me thanking me for providing them with a no-nonsense publication.

Ola R. Jackson


MPN:  What were some of the hurdles you faced in launching your business?

Jackson:  Like most minority owned business, capital was a challenge for us. I had to find ways to keep my expenses down and still maintain quality service and a product that exceeded the expectations of both clients and readers.  I started out home based and only used freelancers and independent contractors.

Another hurdle is dealing with racists who really do not want to do business with you. I have dealt with that by going over the person's head, or being assertive enough to demand a good reason for not getting the work. In other words, we must hold people accountable.

MPN:  How successful have you been, and what has been the key to your success?

Jackson:  I have been in business for 11 years. I have reached goals that I have never expected. My key to success is plenty of prayer, determination, and the ability to build relationships. At the end of the day that is what it is all about.

MPN:  What are your target markets?

Jackson:  We target African-American women readers, but we also target corporations interested in reaching a minority audience.

MPN:  How do you serve your target markets better than other businesses of your type?

Jackson:  We try to do what they do not do. We avoid certain issues and have a more narrow focus. For example, you won't find articles on "How to get a man" or "how to keep a man" in our magazine.  If a Black woman wants to read about finances from a Black woman's perspective, then we have the magazine for her.

We also have a different channel of distribution.  In addition to newsstand sales, we go directly to women's organizations, professional groups and sororities.

MPN:  What general lessons have you learned that can be applied to businesses in any product category?

Jackson:  Know your product, stay abreast of your industry and the industry leaders, and hone your skills. Also build relationships with people in the business and those who offer complementary services.

MPN:  How can the MPN user community contact your company?

Jackson:  I can be reached at (412) 731-5159, or by e-mail at  onyxwomanmag@aol.com or www.onyxwoman.com.  I am also available for public speaking.  I love sharing my message with women from all economic backgrounds.



Thomas Brooks is the Vice-President of Marketing and Senior Webzine Editor for Minority Professional Network, LLC.  Follow this link for Thomas' Bio.


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