Stacey Abrams is an American politician, Black activist and entrepreneur. She shot to fame in 2018 when she was nominated as the candidate for the U.S. Democratic Party in the governorship race in the state of Georgia.
The nomination made her the first-ever Black female nominee for governor in the U.S. Abrams lost to the Republican Party candidate but if she had won, she would have made history as the first Black woman to be elected governor in the U.S. as well as the first Black governor and the first female governor to serve in Georgia.
A lawyer by profession, Abrams was born in 1973. She was raised in Gulfport, Mississippi, as one of six children. She moved to Atlanta as a teenager where her parents, a college librarian and shipyard worker, both attended Emory University and studied divinity to become United Methodist ministers.
There, Abrams became the first African-American female valedictorian of her high school. She then went to complete her undergraduate degree at Spelman College, a master’s degree from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Yale University. At the age of 19, she addressed the nation about youth participation in governance.
In 2006, Abrams was elected to the Georgia state House of Representatives. She became the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and was also the first African American to lead the state’s House of Representatives. That same year, she gave an impassioned speech on economic inequality at the Democratic National Convention where she backed presidential nominee, Hilary Clinton.
In 2013, she founded the New Georgia Project to combat voter suppression. But the real test of her commitment to this subject came after 2018 when she lost the gubernatorial elections to the man who had so carefully chosen the electorate. Losing by just over 50,000 votes to Brian Kemp would have broken, quite rightly, the souls of many. But Abrams set up Fair Fight Action and through her work, became celebrated nationally and internationally too.
Abram’s profile portrays her as a core politician and activist but on the side, she is an entrepreneur in the fintech space. The 48-year-old is the co-founder of the fast-growing fintech company called Now, which she started in 2010 to provide small businesses a quicker method for getting invoices paid.
According to her, she entered into entrepreneurship reluctantly due to her wide range of interests. “I became an entrepreneur and a political leader at the exact same time, so I would say they’re mutually reinforcing. Whether you are trying to pass a bill, win an election, or start a company, clarity is incredibly important. Taking the time to write out the steps of how you’re going to get it done and understanding the obstacles and the opportunities are skills I’ve had to foster and hone in both spaces,” she said.
Starting Now is not Abrams’ first business venture. She started Nourish, a line of formula-ready baby bottles pre-filled with purified water, but it failed due to a lack of funding to fill orders. The African-American woman didn’t allow failure to define her.
Throughout her political and entrepreneurial life, Abrams has accumulated a decent net worth although she became embroiled in a tax scandal in the past. For instance, she was accused of owing $54,000 to the IRS in self-employment taxes which she did not settle in time in 2018.
“There also was $96,000 in student loan debt and $83,000 in accumulated credit card debt. Thankfully she was able to pay it all off in 2019,” according to Blackamericaweb. Now, as she launches a second bid for governor this year, Abrams says she has a net worth of $3.17 million. According to AP, when she first ran four years ago, she had a net worth of $109,000.
A spokesperson of Abrams told AP how she has made her money. According to Seth Bringman, the activist gave 37 paid speeches in 2021, including a 12-stop fall tour of stand-alone appearances. Abrams has also co-written or reissued six books since 2019, with another reissue on the way.
She was also paid more than $700,000 over three years as executive director of the Southern Economic Advancement Project which aims to improve economic equity in the South.
Aside from investments in her business Now Account Network Corp., Abrams in November joined the board of Heliogen, a renewable energy technology company unlocking the power of sunlight to replace fossil fuels. She reported 65,000 in Heliogen stock.