Aisha Bowe has made it big in entrepreneurship months after it was announced that she will be the first Black woman to fly on a commercial flight to space with Blue Origin, established by Jeff Bezos.
According to Blacknews.com, the former rocket scientist, who is behind three multimillion-dollar enterprises, recently earned a billion-dollar federal contract. According to the news portal, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has given Exacta Solutions a new $947 million contract to “provide support to NGA’s total lifecycle acquisition management, strategic financial management, and strategic business management activities.”
When it was revealed in 2022 that Bahamian-American Bowe would be making history with Bezos, she was ready to become the sixth Black woman to cross the internationally renowned Karman line.Bowe’s historic voyage happened decades after former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman in space in 1992. Only four other Black women have flown into space: Joan Higginbotham, Jessica Watkins, Stephanie Wilson, and Dr. Sian Proctor of SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission.
“I’ve dedicated my life to helping people break stereotypes,” said Bowe at the time. “I am honored to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers as we begin to realize the potential of public access to space.”
Bowe was recommended by a counselor in high school to pursue cosmetology, but she knew she wanted more. So she enrolled at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor before moving to the University of Michigan, where she received an undergraduate and master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.
Bowe went on to work as a rocket scientist for NASA and as a State Department global speaker, inspiring many young people all around the world. She was recognized as a serial entrepreneur on Inc.’s sixth annual Female Founders 100 list, which honors 100 women whose inventions are making the world a better place. STEMBoard, her award-winning technology startup, was named to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies.
Bowe is also one of a small group of Black women who have collected more than $1 million in funding. The aerospace engineer’s LINGO, a venture capital-backed firm with 57% female ownership, teaches children how to code at home and is currently available on Amazon, Target, and Walmart. Bowe was named an honoree at Virginia Business Magazine’s inaugural Black Business Leaders Awards in January of this year.