Leading the way

Nurse entrepreneurs of color make possibility a reality

Four alumni seized the opportunity to start their own businesses. Now they are helping patients and communities in their own ways.

Cleopatra Kum knew she wanted to establish a business with a family-centered care model that allowed older adults to age in place. But entrepreneurship concepts were not a part of her nursing education.

“It was hard at the beginning because, as you might guess, as a nurse I had close to no entrepreneurial knowledge,” says Kum, a 2021 graduate of UC’s PhD in Nursing program and a UC College of Nursing faculty member.

With help from regional organizations and mentors in the business and nursing fields, along with many hours of business trainings and research, Kum made it happen. After going through the process, she hopes to bring more awareness to entrepreneurship in nursing and inspire other nurses, especially nurses of color.

For decades, health organizations like the Institute of Medicine and American Nurses Association have called for more support for nurses to lead in creating and adopting innovative care models, health devices, IT products and more. On the frontlines of health care, nurses are poised to recognize these opportunities, yet only 0.5% to 1% of working nurses worldwide are entrepreneurs.

Kum and several other UC Nursing alumni and women of color are part of that small group who took a risk to improve access and patient care delivery. Their lived experiences bring an added understanding of the cultural and practical needs of their communities, and they serve as an example and resource for others in the profession who did not previously see themselves reflected in the nursing or health care entrepreneurship fields.

“I recognize that I am one of few people who has ventured into business, and I recognize my role as a role model for other Black women who want to establish businesses in health care, and I take that really seriously,” Kum says.

Get to know Kum, plus three more UC Nursing alumnae — Anyinke Atabong, Randi Horne and Corinn Taylor — and learn why they chose to venture out on their own, how they have achieved success as entrepreneurs and how they are helping their patients and communities thrive.

Clepatra Kum, PhD '22

Cleopatra Kum

Cleopatra Kum’s culture emphasizes caregiving, especially for elderly community members.

Kum, PhD, lived in Cameroon, Africa, until about a decade ago when she emigrated to the U.S. to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She quickly saw an opportunity, or perhaps a necessity, for a nurse to build a better home health care model for older adults. So, she did.

Read Cleopatra's story.

Anyinke Atabong, Post-MSN Certificate ’17

Anyinke Atabong

It is perhaps no surprise that Anyinke “Anyi” Atabong started her own clinic focused on mental health and wellness. Early in her career as an emergency department nurse, she felt a pull toward patients with psychiatric needs.

“My colleagues started realizing this and would say, ‘Those are Anyi’s patients,’ and I would say, ‘Yeah, you give them to me. I’ll take care of them.’”

Read Anyi's story.

Randi Horne, MSN '15

Randi Horne

Randi Horne has taken every opportunity to further her nursing career, and it has paid dividends. Now, she owns a concierge business, offering facial injectables and skin care in her hometown of Houston, Texas.

While working in orthopedic surgery, she took a per diem position in a plastic surgery practice, which piqued her interest in the industry.  

Read Randi's story.

Corinn Taylor, MSN '01

Corinn Taylor

It took Corinn Taylor decades to realize her own strength and find her purpose.

As one of five children living in poverty in a single-parent household in Toledo, Ohio, Taylor developed an unyielding resilience that she used to defy others’ expectations and earn her diploma in nursing and a UC Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Community Health Nursing.

Read Corinn's story.

Related Stories


Just in: UC tops 50,000 students

August 21, 2023

The University of Cincinnati is anticipating a record fall enrollment with a projected 50,500 students. The growth represents a 5.39% increase and reflects the university's core values around academic excellence, access and inclusion, and affordability.