Tanika Harper, an entrepreneur owning four small businesses, has been designated the 2021 Notable Woman by the Knoxville Association of Women Executives. Harper accepted the award at KAWE’s September meeting.
Harper is founder and president of Shora Foundation and The Women Foundation. She also owns Elite Facility Maintenance and Harper’s Naturals. Shora was founded in 2008 with a mission to provide a safe-place culture in under-resourced areas. One program focuses on youth – academic achievement, mental health, food security and social justice. A newer endeavor involves small business development – providing resources including educational, social and financial.
Harper serves on the board of directors of the Knoxville Chamber and is a member of The Mayor’s Maker Council where she chairs The Maker City Summit. Her father, Baffin R. Harper Sr., founded B&B Lawn Services Inc. over 30 years ago. And her sister, Deidra Harper, was a candidate for Knoxville City Council earlier this year.
KAWE is a women’s organization designed to provide professional networking, professional and personal support, professional development and leadership development.
Leadership: Harper says a leader listens well and acts intentionally. “They put in the work. A leader gets into the weeds and does the work.”
When meeting with start-up entrepreneurs, she looks for people who want to do the work. “Lots of people want to be the next CEO or millionaire. But if they can’t learn and grow, if they won’t do the work, I tend not to work with them,” she said with a laugh. Harper tells them, “I can’t do it for you.”
Contact: Tanika Harper’s office is at 2425 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. Info: [email protected] or 865-505-1255.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.