Richelieu Dennis’ New Voices Foundation Purchases Madame C.J. Walker Estate and Will Use as Think Tank for Black Women Entrepreneurs

Rich Dennis, who famously sold Sundial Brands, owner of Shea Moisture to Unilever, then turned around and purchased Essence Magazine is keeping busy. He purchased the private estate of famed black hair care entrepreneur, Madame C.J. Walker, for his New Voices Foundation. He plans to use it as a think tank for black women entrepreneurs.

Image Credit: Historic New England/David Bohl

The “Villa Lewaro” estate was famous for hosting the likes of Zora Neale Hurston, W.E.B. Dubois, and Langston Hughes during the Harlem Renaissance. The home was privately owned and did not give public tours, though they have been known to host private events and tours in the past. You can take a virtual tour here.

Rich Dennis is known to be an avid supporter of women in business. Just listen to him talk here and you can learn all the ways he has helped women-owned indie brands thus far. So his plans to turn the first self-made women millionaire’s home into a think tank for self-made women is a perfect match.

“This includes utilizing Villa Lewaro as both a physical and virtual destination where women of color entrepreneurs will come for curriculum-based learning and other resources aimed at helping them build, grow and expand their businesses,” he continued. “When people think of entrepreneurship services for women of color, we want them to think of the New Voices Foundation and Villa Lewaro. (Essence)”
Read more about the acquisition here.


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