Having produced over 50 events, workshops and seminars dedicated to the economic development and sustainability of entrepreneurs and small businesses, Lena Graham-Morris was raised by entrepreneurs when people were still trying to figure out what “entrepreneur” meant. During this time, she started to see the way that different people were treated. When she had her own studio, she would see different obstacles that she went through from being an entrepreneur. Ms. Graham-Morris was in the hospital for 45 days experiencing three surgeries, and her show was canceled. After that, she had the opportunity to work for the African American Chamber of Commerce. It was then that she saw all of her experiences come together. She had a passion inside of her to help small businesses and women-owned/ran businesses to have a seat at the table.
Currently, Ms. Graham-Morris is the founder and chief executive officer of Studio 277 Cosmetics and Imaging since 2006, vice president of market development and community outreach for Horus Construction since 2014, and a business coach with Entreprenista Enterprises LLC since 2015. She began her career as the marketing manager and on-air fundraiser for the Public Broadcasting Service in 2000, remaining in this position for five years while also working as a makeup artist at LGCD Inc., for 17 years. She then directed the business development section of the Central Florida Urban League Young Professionals from 2006 to 2008 and the community relations section of the Healthy Start Coalition of Seminole County Inc., from 2009 to 2010, and hosted “Soundview” from 2012 to 2018. Following this, Ms. Graham-Morris was active with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida for four years, also serving as director of operations from 2016 to 2018.
Prior to the start of her career, Ms. Graham-Morris pursued a formal education at the University of South Florida in Tampa, completing coursework in marketing in 2001. She then enrolled in the Western Governors University, based in Salt Lake City, through which she attained a Bachelor of Business Administration in management and operations in 2019. She also completed coursework in leading organizations and change through the Emeritus Institute of Management. In addition to these academic honors, Ms. Graham-Morris is a certified Evernote business consultant and certified in nonprofit/public/organization management through the University of Central Florida.
An advisory board member of the Infinite Scholars Program since 2017, Ms. Graham-Morris has also been on the board of directors for NAWBO Orlando and vice president of the board of directors for Dress for Success Great Orlando since 2018. She is also the host of a podcast, “Confessions of the Entreprenista,” a weekly show featuring the stories of successful female founders and what it’s really like to run a business. Ms. Graham-Morris also maintains involvement with numerous organizations related to her field including the National Association of Business Owners and Iota Phi Lambda.
In light of her achievements, Ms. Graham-Morris was named among the Women Who Mean Business and the Women to Watch by the Orlando Business Journal in 2018, and the Women on the Rise by Entrepreneur Diva in 2019. Moving forward, she would like to be a motivational speaker with a book tour. She also hopes to have multiple business models.