Renata M. Black, founder of Seven Bar Foundation and EBY. Her mission is to generate consistent revenue streams to fuel microfinance.
After completing her degree at The University of North Carolina, Black traveled the world, visiting 12 different countries and discovering the local cultures through volunteer work. While in India to help rebuild villages shattered by the catastrophic 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, she was approached by a woman who rerouted her life. “She was strong-voiced, with piercing eyes,” recalls Black, “and she said to me ‘I don’t want your money, I want you to teach me how to make it myself. Will you?’”
This poignant request ignited her passion for microfinance and its impact on impoverished communities, which she studied intensively under 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh.
Black returned to India in 2005 and developed a grassroots microfinance program with 800 local women. During this time, she established the Seven Bar Foundation, a 501(c) 3 whose mission is to provide women with loans to start or grow their own small businesses via microfinance. Having experienced Indian culture for two years, Black developed a deep understanding of the respect sari-covered women held for something as intimate as their lingerie. With this appreciation, Black returned to the States where she saw the need for a societal paradigm shift – to reposition lingerie as a tool of empowerment, rather than one of seduction.
In 2017, Black partnered with Sofia Vergara to launch EBY, a subscription-based underwear company delivering everyday seamless panties on a quarterly basis. EBY drives profits with purpose, donating ten percent of its net sales to the Seven Bar Foundation. Chopra’s book “The Soul of Leadership” features a chapter dedicated to Black’s career. She has spoken about female empowerment and women in business at numerous institutions including the United Nations and Harvard Business School.
Micaela YoumansRenata Black
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