Rattlers for Better Business

Instructor and Entrepreneur, Latanya White
Photo courtesy of SBDC FAMU

Better Business RattlersFlorida A&M University (FAMU) alumna, LaTanya White, is a modern day Renaissance woman specializing in all areas of business and entrepreneurship.

White owns and operates a number of businesses and earned her M.B.A. from the School of Business and Industry at FAMU in 2003 then went on to earned a B.A. in Hospitality Management from The Art Institute of Tampa in 2009.

For the past six months, White served as the Interim Director of The Meek-Eaton Black Archives (MEBA).

“That woman’s a beast,” exclaimed Dr. Elizabeth Dawson who served as the Director of MEBA prior to White’s arrival and played an intricate role in getting White settled in.

“Ms. White is bringing us into the new millennium,” Dawson expressed. “Everything we used to do manually, she has updated it electronically. She is exactly what we needed to take the Archives to the next level.”

The Miami native is the founder and owner of 71 Proof, where she offers bartender staffing and training, hospitality consulting services, and cocktail development.

In addition to 71 Proof, she owns The Concept Creative Group, runs the Open Book Innovation Institute and is visiting professor at the School of Business and Industry, she teaches entrepreneurship, and management from a business owner’s perspective.

Her newest project is developing the FAMU Innovation Ecosystem. The purpose is to take small or student-owned businesses and produce successful businesses.

“SBIans are always saying that no one teaches them how to be an entrepreneur, but that’s not really something that you can be taught,” White said. “I cannot make you into an entrepreneur, I just offer the resources to cultivate the students and connects the dots for them.”

MeShun Vann, the development and communications coordinator at MEBA, serves alongside White and says that they have been working together to rebrand the museum.

“She is just business-minded. White has a go-getter approach that has been contagious to everyone that encounters her,” Vann said.

While wearing multiple titles on campus, White has still maintained her two nonprofit organizations: the Concept Creative Group and the Open Book Innovation Institute.

White talked about what inspired her to become an entrepreneur.

“I never thought about being an entrepreneur until the end of my pharmaceutical sales contract in 2007,” White said. “I was a bartender at a friend’s party in 2006 and I enjoyed it so much that I enrolled in a class two weeks later. By April 2007, I decided to get my LLC and take my company serious.”

More information about Latanya White can be found on the Small Business Development Center’s website.