The 3% Accelerator: Ryen Raquel Williams

January 27, 2021

The 3% Accelerator is a business and wellness initiative for women entrepreneurs of color. The program supports creative visionaries who are building the agencies and companies that they want to work for during the critical early years of entrepreneurship. The Accelerator addresses key business challenges, professional and business development, leadership, as well as personal support for the unique challenges that women of color in the creative industry experience.

Meet one of the nine women, Ryen Raquel Williams. 

Ryen Raquel Williams
Founder of Under Her Empire

Picture of Ryen with beautiful neon lights illuminating her face

Tell us about your background. Where are you from? What makes you you?

I was born and raised in Detroit, MI. It was there that I was introduced to culture, arts, music, and I was taught to be a proud young Black woman. In elementary school, I was writing my own scripts/cartoons, directing school plays, acting in theater school, singing in the choir, studying world cultures, etc. My parents obviously played a very big role in all of this... They really taught me that I could do anything in this world and be anything I want to be. They invested in me and my dreams poured into any interest that I had. All these experiences have shaped and molded me to be who I am today. Now, I work to mold culture, arts, and music to my business... A creative agency and media hub with black women at the helm.

Tell us about your company. What do you do? What prompted you to start it?

I am the founder of Under Her Empire, a community of creatives on a mission to create meaningful and inspiring content.

As a storyteller on a mission to create world-changing content, I'm constantly bringing people together to share stories that need to be told, in clever and inspiring ways. I decided to take matters in my own hands after years of feeling unheard/unseen in the world of media. We've grown since 2018 into a small but mighty team of Black women. We've been blessed to have extremely talented and beautiful individuals in our community, who want to come together and create for change.

What are some challenges you’ve faced in getting your business off the ground?

You never really learn about entrepreneurship in school and there was no one in my immediate family who could help me or give me the answers, so it's really just been a personal journey of learning lessons as I go. I do read a lot of books and have a few mentors which has been super helpful to my growth. I also have faced a few challenges of funding... Currently, I wear MANY of the hats working to get the business off the ground. All that being said, I do enjoy the journey. When you run into obstacles, you really just have to have faith that you will see it through and everything will work in your favor. This mindset has helped me to overcome many challenges. I do my best to find the beauty even in the struggle. I am and my business is a beautiful work in progress.

As a Black woman, who are your biggest inspirations?
My circle of friends, the incredible Black women in my life, my community, and my family inspire me. My parents #1, because they encouraged me to dream and imagine at such an early age which was vital to my growth. Also... I'm very inspired by Michelle Obama because of her journey, strength, and mission to tell her story and be an influence. Beyonce for how hard she works and how she's now using her voice and platform to uplift her people. Jordan Peele for his talent and vision. So many people to name but I'll just start there.

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