Women play many roles and take on numerous responsibilities while caring for their families, pursuing their careers, and contributing to their communities. Despite their challenges, women continue to demonstrate their resilience and ability to thrive in multiple spheres of life.
Jermelle Matthews is a multifaceted individual who dons several hats, including the boss, marketer, graphic/web designer, crafter, community impact specialist, mother, and wife. Her entrepreneurial spirit was ignited at a young age, having been exposed to the business acumen of her mother and grandmother. During her high school years, she engaged in various money-making activities, such as braiding hair, printing church programs, creating invites, and cleaning houses. Jermelle’s story is particularly inspiring, given the obstacles she has had to overcome as a Black woman in the competitive and challenging corporate and business world.
Academic and Professional Background
Jermelle Matthews holds an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication from Auburn University, a Master of Education in Instruction Technology, and an Education Specialist degree in Adult Education with a graduate certificate focusing on Extension Education. Jermelle has worked with technology in planning, instruction, implementation, development, education, and branding.
After working for over a decade in education, she entered corporate America and was gainfully employed as Program Coordinator and Youth County Agent at Tuskegee University, Scholarship Advisor and Instructor at Auburn University, Implementation Specialist and Community Impact Specialist at EVERFI, Inc. All these experiences (academic and professional) enabled Jermelle to understand both customer/client and stakeholder-driven perspectives. In her most recent role, she is the Community Impact Specialist for an international edtech company and recently earned a certification in Social Media Marketing.
Uplift and Celebrate Each Other
Jermelle (Jay) Matthews, like many other women, observed the challenges of burnout, underappreciation, and the desire for more in life among her peers. To address these issues and uplift black-owned businesses, she founded Boss Mom Enterprise (BME), which supports, empowers, and celebrates women in business through networking, social events, and building relationships with like-minded business owners. Jermelle’s unique niche is teaching business owners how to bridge the gap between policy and human experience, connecting with adult learners and consumers through subjective assessments that address the needs of stakeholders. BME also assists clients in enhancing the employee experience, customer engagement, and brand awareness.
Members of the BME Community have the chance to be recognized as “Boss of the Month” or nominated for “BME Boss of the Year.” At the annual BME Women in Business Weekend, held in the first weekend of February, female entrepreneurs come together to celebrate, network, and connect in person through various events such as the Networking Meet and Greet, Bosses Brunch, and Photoshoot, while also donating a portion of the proceeds to the BME Scholarship Fund. Potential clients can also connect with BME and hire an experienced business strategist, Jermelle. She wants to teach and share as much knowledge as possible to be an example of the Boss Mom Enterprise motto, “Let’s Boss Up Together!”
Navigating Hurdles and Giving Back
Being a Black businesswoman came with its own set of challenges for Jermelle, who also took some time to truly appreciate the importance of self-advocacy. “You have to define your own place, create it and be bold about it, or move on to where you are celebrated and not tolerated. Empowering black women is also about celebrating accomplishments and life-changing milestones, no matter how big or small. While we cheer for everyone around us, we forget to cheer for ourselves. Hence, Boss Mom Enterprise is a safe place to learn, share, grow, and celebrate,” said Jermelle.
BME supports the community through a scholarship for Black Belt students in Alabama and financial literacy education for high schoolers. They also host pop-up events to support local businesses and offer professional development opportunities both in-person and virtually.
Taking the Leap of Faith
Jermelle Matthews had a strong desire to pursue entrepreneurship, despite being aware of the challenges it would entail. Adversities did not deter her from her mission of empowering women and leaving a legacy behind. And that is precisely what she wants to tell other women as well – to stop waiting for the right time and opportunity and just start, even if in a small manner. Risks are imperative in any business, but it is important to be smart and stick to a plan. She also advises them to pray, meditate, and refocus to seek clarity and alignment. And for any other help, BME is always there to hold your hand and lead you on.
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