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How One Philly Entrepreneur Went from Unemployed to Employer of Seven

After being laid off from jobs in public relations and television production, Rakia Reynolds founded Skai Blue Media in 2008. Today her company employs seven people and has 22 prominent clients. She says President Obama's plan to create jobs would make it easier for other entreprenuers to duplicate her success

Looking back at 2011, it's clear that one of the most rewarding parts of working on the White House Business Council has been the opportunity to meet innovative, inspiring small business owners from across the country, Americans who are working hard to create jobs and opportunities in their own communities. This week we are highlighting a few of their stories.   

After being laid off from various television production jobs and not being able to find her dream job, Rakia Reynolds launched Skai Blue Media in 2008. Her company started with one employee and one client and has grown into a seven-person firm that represents more than 22 prominent clients. Skai Blue Media is now a leader in the public relations industry in Philadelphia, providing business development, marketing, and message strategy to nonprofits, boutiques and restaurants, among other businesses.

Reynolds’ path to business ownership was fueled by her desire to pave her own way to a stable future in a career that she enjoyed. She makes it work because she has to, and most importantly because she wants to. Setting a proper example for her children is important to Reynolds and her husband, “We want our children to embrace their future, and find inspiration in everyday life. They see how much fun my husband and I have with our careers, and I think that is one of the most important lessons we can teach them; to identify your talents and use them to pursue a fruitful career.”

“By supporting President Obama's plan to create jobs, I am agreeing with the fact that our economy has suffered and it won't be easy to rebuild it,” Reynolds said. "I started my business while collecting unemployment insurance, because Pennsylvania is one of the few states in the country that allows you to become an entrepreneur while receiving that assistance. The President’s plan would make what I did possible anywhere in America. I think that’s a good thing.”

Ari Matusiak is Executive Director of the White House Business Council