The magazine’s ‘Next 1000’ spotlights rising entrepreneurs and small business leaders, like Maryland’s Alyscia Cunningham, who demonstrate resilience and what it means to thrive – even in a pandemic.
SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND— Maryland native, Alyscia Cunningham, has a new honor to add to her growing list of accolades. Forbes recently featured her in its third installment of entrepreneurs on the Next 1000. Cunningham, who owns Her House Media, joins the list of other inspiring business owners across the country who are redefining what it means to run a business today.
“Receiving the honor was proof that my work not only has an impact but it's also being recognized for the impact it's creating. I'm excited about that and proud to receive the honor,” she said.
Presented by Square, the Next 1000 spotlights a total of 1,000 entrepreneurs — many from diverse, underrepresented communities — in quarterly installments of 250 standouts. According to Forbes, these business leaders and entrepreneurs are redefining what it means to build and manage a business in the age of COVID-19.
“Despite financial uncertainty, entrepreneurs prove that being resilient and willing to pivot when faced with challenges is critical for small business to flourish,” said Forbes Senior Editor Maneet Ahuja. “The third class of Next 1000 entrepreneurial heroes offers hope for the future as we emerge from the pandemic on the path towards economic recovery.”
For Cunningham, running a business, especially during a pandemic, has been humbling. While many businesses have experienced losses in revenue and are being forced to reduce hourly pay, honorees like Cunningham have remained resilient and committed to keeping their businesses afloat, according to Forbes.
“I've learned through blood, sweat and tears (literally) that hard work and dedication pays off, and it is absolutely worth the time and commitment, Cunningham said. “I used to think it's sounds so cliché when successful people would say ‘just do it.’ Running a business has showed me just that. The act of ‘just doing it’ along with taking a step back to re-evaluate my progress and sometimes shifting gears, creates progress. It's hard work but I wouldn't have it any other way. The 9 to 5 world simply wasn't for me.”
The Next 1000 list is determined by an expert panel of A-list judges from every sector, who evaluate semi-finalists with Forbes editors. A variety of factors are considered, including revenue, total funding ownership stake in business, business model and impact, as well as personal story.
As for what’s next for Cunningham? The future is bright. She ultimately plans to expand her film production company, Her House Media, to other female filmmakers for production and distribution support. Currently, she is working on two big projects: a documentary and a horror film.
“Oddly enough, documentary and horror are my two favorite film genres, so I'm excited to have the opportunity to expand my reach in both,” she said.
To view Cunningham and the other honorees on the Next 1000, click here.
ABOUT ALYSCIA CUNNINGHAM: Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Alyscia Cunningham is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, filmmaker and photographer with contributions to National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online and the Smithsonian Institution. After the success of Cunningham's first book, Feminine Transitions: A Photography Celebration of Natural Beauty, she continues her contribution to social-change with her new book and upcoming documentary film, I Am More Than My Hair: My Outward Appearance Does Not Define Me.