The BET 100 Entertainers & Innovators of the Year | Business Execs And Entrepreneurs

See who superseded our expectations.

BET 100 | Business Executives And Entrepreneurs - The brilliance of Blackness knows no boundaries. It shines through in boardrooms, tech hubs, startup incubators and academia despite a world that is often hostile toward us. So determined and strong are we, even a global pandemic couldn’t keep us from building business empires, fighting corporate injustice or creating must-have products. Here are execs and entrepreneurs that are not only at the top of their game, they are changing the game and inspiring generations to come. —Written by Jarod Hector Plus, don't forget to check back each day this week to find out who else we've added to the BET 100 list...we're just getting started. (BET Digital Design/Getty)

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BET 100 | Business Executives And Entrepreneurs - The brilliance of Blackness knows no boundaries. It shines through in boardrooms, tech hubs, startup incubators and academia despite a world that is often hostile toward us. So determined and strong are we, even a global pandemic couldn’t keep us from building business empires, fighting corporate injustice or creating must-have products. Here are execs and entrepreneurs that are not only at the top of their game, they are changing the game and inspiring generations to come. —Written by Jarod Hector Plus, don't forget to check back each day this week to find out who else we've added to the BET 100 list...we're just getting started. (BET Digital Design/Getty)

Erika James - On July 1, Erika James became the first woman and first Black person to serve as Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Though breaking through glass ceilings isn’t anything new for her. In 2014, she was named dean at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, becoming the first Black woman to lead a top business school program in the nation. James told CNBC, “My hope is that we start to normalize this experience and one day we won’t have to start stories with ‘What does it feel like to be the first’ because people just become so accustomed to it.” (Photo courtesy of LinkedIn)

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Erika James - On July 1, Erika James became the first woman and first Black person to serve as Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Though breaking through glass ceilings isn’t anything new for her. In 2014, she was named dean at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, becoming the first Black woman to lead a top business school program in the nation. James told CNBC, “My hope is that we start to normalize this experience and one day we won’t have to start stories with ‘What does it feel like to be the first’ because people just become so accustomed to it.” (Photo courtesy of LinkedIn)

Jon Platt - As Chairman & CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Jon Platt is the highest-ranking Black executive in music. In October, he was named to the prestigious Berklee College of Music’s Board of Trustees. In response to the killing of George Floyd, Platt wrote a call to action for his colleagues in Variety: “Music companies have rushed to pledge solidarity with the Black community since the atrocity committed against Mr. Floyd. But I often remind my team of a fact that might seem odd for a music man to point out: People see better than they hear. Timely action must follow the industry’s lyrics. Otherwise, words are ultimately empty.” (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

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Jon Platt - As Chairman & CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Jon Platt is the highest-ranking Black executive in music. In October, he was named to the prestigious Berklee College of Music’s Board of Trustees. In response to the killing of George Floyd, Platt wrote a call to action for his colleagues in Variety: “Music companies have rushed to pledge solidarity with the Black community since the atrocity committed against Mr. Floyd. But I often remind my team of a fact that might seem odd for a music man to point out: People see better than they hear. Timely action must follow the industry’s lyrics. Otherwise, words are ultimately empty.” (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Michael Seibel - Michael Seibel is CEO and Partner of Y Combinator, which provides seed funding to startups. The Silicon Valley venture has launched over 2,000 companies, including Stripe, Airbnb, Cruise Automation, DoorDash, Coinbase, Instacart, Dropbox and Reddit. Seibel also co-founded Socialcam and Justin.tv (later known as Twitch.tv) and both were sold for a combined $1.1B dollars. In June, he was named to Reddit’s board of directors, replacing co-founder Alexis Ohanian (Serena William’s husband) and becoming the company’s first Black board member. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

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Michael Seibel - Michael Seibel is CEO and Partner of Y Combinator, which provides seed funding to startups. The Silicon Valley venture has launched over 2,000 companies, including Stripe, Airbnb, Cruise Automation, DoorDash, Coinbase, Instacart, Dropbox and Reddit. Seibel also co-founded Socialcam and Justin.tv (later known as Twitch.tv) and both were sold for a combined $1.1B dollars. In June, he was named to Reddit’s board of directors, replacing co-founder Alexis Ohanian (Serena William’s husband) and becoming the company’s first Black board member. (Photo by Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Beatrice Dixon - Beatrice Dixon is the founder and CEO of Honey Pot, a 100% plant-based feminine care and hygiene company, which made waves early in 2020 with a Target commercial that some white people found racist. The ad stressed Black excellence, particularly for women. Thankfully, the protests failed. The attention increased Honey Pot support and sales. In a conversation with BET.com Dixon said: “The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so the next Black girl that comes up with a great idea, she can have a better opportunity." (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

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Beatrice Dixon - Beatrice Dixon is the founder and CEO of Honey Pot, a 100% plant-based feminine care and hygiene company, which made waves early in 2020 with a Target commercial that some white people found racist. The ad stressed Black excellence, particularly for women. Thankfully, the protests failed. The attention increased Honey Pot support and sales. In a conversation with BET.com Dixon said: “The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so the next Black girl that comes up with a great idea, she can have a better opportunity." (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

God-is Rivera - Twitter’s global director of culture and community’s bio says it all. Inclusion warrior, social and strategy nerd, and possessor of #BlackGirlMagic. Regarded as a star within the social media company, God-is Rivera used her role to magnify Black voices during the most turbulent time in recent history. Rivera launched a national billboard campaign that featured real Black Lives Matter tweets in cities across the country as George Floyd protests waged on. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for ADCOLOR)

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God-is Rivera - Twitter’s global director of culture and community’s bio says it all. Inclusion warrior, social and strategy nerd, and possessor of #BlackGirlMagic. Regarded as a star within the social media company, God-is Rivera used her role to magnify Black voices during the most turbulent time in recent history. Rivera launched a national billboard campaign that featured real Black Lives Matter tweets in cities across the country as George Floyd protests waged on. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for ADCOLOR)

David Steward - David Steward, one of the only 13 Black billionaires in the world, is the founder of World Wide Technology, a telecom service provider. While his business is tech, he has made it his mission to diversify hockey and racing. He is part owner of the St. Louis Blues, which won the Stanley Cup in 2019 and his company sponsors one of NASCAR’s only Black drivers, Bubba Wallace. To get fans of color, especially kids, excited about these sports, “they need to see diversity on the ice,” said Steward, “but also as coaches, as managers and in leadership roles.” (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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David Steward - David Steward, one of the only 13 Black billionaires in the world, is the founder of World Wide Technology, a telecom service provider. While his business is tech, he has made it his mission to diversify hockey and racing. He is part owner of the St. Louis Blues, which won the Stanley Cup in 2019 and his company sponsors one of NASCAR’s only Black drivers, Bubba Wallace. To get fans of color, especially kids, excited about these sports, “they need to see diversity on the ice,” said Steward, “but also as coaches, as managers and in leadership roles.” (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Tim and Kim Lewis - CurlMix started as a do-it-yourself subscription box service but has grown into a multi-million-dollar natural hair care line. Husband and wife founders Tim and Kim (as they are affectionately known to fans), appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2019 and famously rejected investor Robert Herjavec’s $400,000 offer for 20 percent of the company. The Lewis' went on to raise $1.2M dollars and are headed for $10M in annual sales. The products – targeted toward women with 4B and 4C hair – regularly sell out and recently made the coveted Oprah’s Favorite Things list for 2020. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) MARK CUBAN, ALLI WEBB, KEVIN O'LEARY, LORI GREINER, ROBERT HERJAVEC, KIM LEWIS AND TIM LEWIS (CURLMIX)

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Tim and Kim Lewis - CurlMix started as a do-it-yourself subscription box service but has grown into a multi-million-dollar natural hair care line. Husband and wife founders Tim and Kim (as they are affectionately known to fans), appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2019 and famously rejected investor Robert Herjavec’s $400,000 offer for 20 percent of the company. The Lewis' went on to raise $1.2M dollars and are headed for $10M in annual sales. The products – targeted toward women with 4B and 4C hair – regularly sell out and recently made the coveted Oprah’s Favorite Things list for 2020. (Eric McCandless via Getty Images) MARK CUBAN, ALLI WEBB, KEVIN O'LEARY, LORI GREINER, ROBERT HERJAVEC, KIM LEWIS AND TIM LEWIS (CURLMIX)

Killer Mike - The activist and rapper, born Michael Santiago Render otherwise known as Killer Mike was a sought-after voice during this summer of racial and political unrest. He received the inaugural Change Maker award at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, given to the artist or group that “speaks truth to power through their music and celebrity.” Just as noteworthy is his business acumen. Killer Mike became a founding member of Greenwood, a digital bank headquartered in Atlanta whose mission is to serve the large underbanked population in the Black and Latino communities across the country. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

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Killer Mike - The activist and rapper, born Michael Santiago Render otherwise known as Killer Mike was a sought-after voice during this summer of racial and political unrest. He received the inaugural Change Maker award at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, given to the artist or group that “speaks truth to power through their music and celebrity.” Just as noteworthy is his business acumen. Killer Mike became a founding member of Greenwood, a digital bank headquartered in Atlanta whose mission is to serve the large underbanked population in the Black and Latino communities across the country. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Bozoma Saint John - She was named Global Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix earlier this year. As one of the few Black women in the tech C-Suite, Bozoma Saint John has made a career of championing diversity. In a conversation with Yahoo Finance, she criticized companies for not doing the necessary work to hire more diverse teams: “Very much like the investment that we're seeing to outside organizations, I want business to make investments in their inside organization,” she explained. “And so that means hiring practices, that means internships, that means programs to help inclusion and support once people of color are inside of their buildings, because we know that retention is a real problem and a real challenge.” (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for IMG)

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Bozoma Saint John - She was named Global Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix earlier this year. As one of the few Black women in the tech C-Suite, Bozoma Saint John has made a career of championing diversity. In a conversation with Yahoo Finance, she criticized companies for not doing the necessary work to hire more diverse teams: “Very much like the investment that we're seeing to outside organizations, I want business to make investments in their inside organization,” she explained. “And so that means hiring practices, that means internships, that means programs to help inclusion and support once people of color are inside of their buildings, because we know that retention is a real problem and a real challenge.” (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for IMG)

Arisha Hatch - Arisha Hatch serves as the vice president and chief of campaigns at Color Of Change, an online racial justice organization that fights for voting rights, criminal justice and corporate accountability. She has been the driving force behind many of the group's narrative-shifting actions, including working to remove Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron from office for his mishandling of the Breonna Taylor murder case and holding tech giants like Facebook and Google accountable for practices that threaten Democracy. (Photo courtesy of Color of Change)

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Arisha Hatch - Arisha Hatch serves as the vice president and chief of campaigns at Color Of Change, an online racial justice organization that fights for voting rights, criminal justice and corporate accountability. She has been the driving force behind many of the group's narrative-shifting actions, including working to remove Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron from office for his mishandling of the Breonna Taylor murder case and holding tech giants like Facebook and Google accountable for practices that threaten Democracy. (Photo courtesy of Color of Change)