Gabrielle Jordan is a young mogul on the rise. At the tender age of 17, she's inspiring people of all ages as an accomplished CEO, award-winning author and international speaker.
Originally from Bowie, Md., Jordan is the sixth generation entrepreneur in her family. Her passion for business started at age nine, when she launched her own jewelry company called Jewelz of Jordan. Two years later, she expanded her talents to writing and published her first book, The Making of a Young Entrepreneur: A Kids Guide to Developing the Mind-Set for Success.
"I wrote this book to inspire young people to become entrepreneurs themselves," Jordan said. "My book teaches young people the mental and business development skills they need in order to be entrepreneurs at any age."
In addition to landing her jewelry in stores across the country and writing an Amazon best-selling book, Jordan finds joy in reaching back to those who look up to her. She is the co-founder of the ExCEL Youth Mentoring Institute, a virtual-based company that serves young entrepreneurs across the country. ExCEL stands for Excellence Created through Entrepreneurship and Leadership, and that's exactly what Jordan promotes.
"We want to create an institute where many young people can come for free, learn and not be hindered by their young ages to become entrepreneurs," Jordan said. "We really want young people to embrace the idea of entrepreneurship and start on their own."
One of Jordan's mentees is nine-year-old Te'Lario Watkins II, a plant enthusiast from Ohio who started his own company, Tiger Mushroom Farms, LLC. Watkins II sells mushrooms at farmers markets and other stores in Ohio.
"Gabrielle taught me that kids can make a big difference," Watkins II said. "She taught me how I can be more successful in my business by working hard and never giving up."
Jordan's advice speaks volumes in a society where many young people are afraid to stand out and would rather blend in with their peers. Growing up, Jordan embraced her unique gifts and never tried to stick to the status quo.
"I found that I was much happier when I was being myself; when I wasn't trying to be anybody else," Jordan said.
This mindset propelled Jordan to launch her own weekly podcast series, The Unique Value (UV) Effect, which highlights the importance of being yourself to make positive changes in the world and in the lives of others.
"I seek to empower and remind people that we are created to be different, and that we are created to take our special gifts -- our special talents -- and create something wonderful," said Jordan.
Her dedication to community service has led to several awards and media spotlights, including features on Black Entertainment Television with the former FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, The Huffington Post and The HARRY Show to name a few. This year, she was highlighted in the entrepreneurial guidebook, She's So Boss, and was featured on the TLC reality show "Kid Tycoons."
"Being on 'Kid Tycoons' was exciting," Jordan said. "The show helped boost traction to my Jewelz of Jordan website, and I've really grown as an international speaker. I'm way more proud to travel and do what I do, because it's not about me. Being a speaker is more about being able to change someone's life. I'm happy that God is utilizing me in this way."
In September, Jordan will inspire thousands at the 2017 INBOUND event alongside speakers such as Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Elaine Welteroth and Michelle Obama. In preparation for INBOUND, Jordan is creating a brand-new speech about The UV Effect, which she will deliver to current and aspiring business professionals.
"I am excited to bring this speech to a big stage like INBOUND," Jordan said. "I really want to be able to empower and enlighten people."
As she prepares to take the INBOUND stage in September, Jordan has her eyes set on even bigger accomplishments in the near future. Her goals include potentially going to college to major in Psychology or Business, along with expanding Jewelz of Jordan to stores on the West Coast. She plans to continue her international speaking tour and host an ExCEL Youth Mentoring event in 2018. Jordan is also writing her second book and aims to become a New York Times best-selling author.
"Those are just a few of the bigger things that I'm looking at, and I'm just going all in," Jordan said. "I'm ready."
For other young people who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, Jordan provides words of wisdom and encouragement.
"Don't wait too long to start your business, and too long means tomorrow," Jordan said. "Even if you don't feel confident enough to start creating something right away, you can always start learning. Google and YouTube will forever be your best friends. When you're doing research, remember not to mimic people. Learn from them and add your own personal twist that makes whatever you do, you!"
To learn more about Jordan or book her for speaking engagements, you can visit her website at gabriellejordaninspires.com.