Name: Zaneilia Harris
Business: Harris and Harris Wealth Management, a program to empower women in finance
Type of Business: Other–Finance
Location: Upper Marlboro, Maryland, U.S.
Reason for starting: I started because I have a passion for sharing my experience and knowledge with women who want to be empowered financially. It is because of my grandmother, I saw how she handled and in some cases struggled with managing the household finances and I knew I wanted to help other women overcome those challenges and grow their money.
How do you define success? Success for me is being able to leave a financial and knowledge legacy to my family that lives beyond me and being able to create a successful foundation to educate girls about money, investing, and making smart financial decisions. Also, supporting other women owned businesses so they can succeed. This is extremely important to me because I want my daughter to grow up seeing successful women and knowing that her mother was a partner in their success.
Biggest Success: I feel my biggest success is being featured in two major publications and having my blog recognized by a major financial publication. My focus is ALWAYS to create brand awareness which for me leads to company growth. That’s why I’m considering doing a book to further my brand recognition. I want my company to be recognized locally so women can say “I’ve met her” or “I’ve heard of her and she does good work and really cares about her clients.”
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge is attaining new clients. I’m not a large institution and so gaining trust is a huge factor for my business. How I overcome that is by writing a blog to share with the world my expertise, gaining knowledge through continuing education and sharing it in writings and speaking. I have strived to get recognized in the industry and in the media.
Who is your most important role model? I’m in an industry where there aren’t many women. So, I don’t have one in the industry but I look up to Oprah Winfrey, Sheila Johnson and Cathy Hughes. These are African American women who were determined to be successful and didn’t allow hinderances to hold them back.
Edited by The Story Exchange