By Caroline Clarke
A telltale West African accent peppers Adenah Bayoh’s speech and she freely quotes Maya Angelou and her mentor (in her head) Oprah, when talking about how she’s become perhaps the most successful young black female entrepreneur you never heard of.
How successful? Hailed at 27 for becoming IHOP’s youngest franchise owner, a decade later, Bayoh owns three IHOP restaurants employing a total of 213 people, and is in various stages of development on three multi-use real estate projects that will ultimately encompass more than 800 rental units and 16,000 square feet of commercial retail space, all in northern New Jersey. She approximates the current value of her real estate holdings alone at $266 million.
While the most prominent American entrepreneur of Liberian descent is currently Richelieu Dennis, co-founder of Sundial Brands and freshly anointed savior of the Essence brand, Urban Dictionary’s definition of Liberian is decidedly female: “A goddess, who is beautiful, confident and proud of her background. You know she’s the sh**, and she knows she’s the sh**.”
Source: Black Enterprise