Brown Girl Bosses: Meet CEO, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Kerra Denel
Written by: Ashley Abdul
Kerra Denel is a household name to those familiar with the Caribbean entertainment industry.
Kerra has worked with artists such as Bunji Garlin, Skinny Fabulous and DJ Private Ryan. hosted shows and interviews, and is also a strong-willed woman of business in a male dominated industry. Her passion stems from the love of her culture. She has cultivated her work life, with something she truly believes in. As a full-time entrepreneur, she holds the titles of founder of Kerra Denel Ent., CWPL Global ‘The World’s First Global Network for Caribbean Women’ and the charitable foundation, Kerra Loves Kids.
Being an Indo-Caribbean woman is an essential part of what motivates her to do what she does for a living.
“My Indo-Caribbean identity complements my overall persona in many ways. I am resilient, fierce and empowered. The core of my being is a kind and compassionate soul. I am a vessel of love and helping others is my purpose. My free spirit and vibrant personality stems from the Caribbean way of life. There is an essence about me that I feel cannot be duplicated.”
When we asked Kerra about her Indo-Caribbean identity, through her many years in the industry, her stance was one that was fulfilling and motivating. She shared with us that representation is growing, and she is here for it.
“More networks and businesses are being inclusive of other communities. It is encouraging to see that there is more exposure and recognition for Indo-Caribbean people. We have a long way to go but we are definitely headed in the right direction,” she said.
Through Kerra Denel Ent., Kerra has been able to develop a strong understanding of public relations as she works to connect with the Caribbean community, and build healthy relations throughout the entertainment business.
As a women in the industry, she is often challenged to break barriers that exist for women of colour.
“It has not been easy! You have to be able to grow through the concrete. In all honesty, this industry was not designed with women in mind. We have to work ten times harder to be acknowledged or even respected, but never doubt your ability. Even though there is pressure both internally and externally, you have to stand firm in your faith, believe in yourself and keep going!”
Throughout these tough experiences, her dedication to the industry has allowed her to gain a deeper understanding of culture and our rooted Caribbean History.
“Working in PR within the music industry has deepened my appreciation and understanding for the music. I see the hard work that our artistes are doing to be heard and accepted on a Global platform. This industry speaks volumes about our culture. We are not just beautiful sounds and sights but we have depth and purpose. The Caribbean is a melting pots of races, religions and beliefs yet somehow we make this work. We understand and acknowledge the value in others. There’s a true connection amongst the islands… we embody Caribbean Pride!”
As an entrepreneur, we spend our time worrying about how we are going to make money. Through Kerra’s lens, one of her biggest challenges that she had to overcome, was to not look at the money as her only driving force, but to remember her ‘why.’
“Let your passion be your driving force and if you believe in your brand you must be willing to invest in it. Don’t focus on the money because that will eventually come. Trust your voice more than your fears. There is nothing to fear other than missing out on the chance to walk in your purpose and change your life.”
Kerra wears many hats. Her passion for philanthropy was brought to life through her non-profit organization, Kerra Loves Kids; which aims to "inspire underprivileged children worldwide while spreading joy." Kerra Loves Kids is "educating and engaging them, but also equipping each child with the necessary tools that they need to empower themselves." Later on, Kerra found her first ever Caribbean Networking Lunch, the Caribbean’s Women Power Lunch (CWPL).
CWPL was inspired to create a space for likeminded Caribbean women to come together and uplift one another.
“My passion for people and the desire to see others succeed drives this brand. Given that there are women from the Caribbean diaspora spread across the globe, it was important for me to expand my reach so that more of my Caribbean sisters are be empowered.”
CWPL has expanded across North America including Toronto, Trinidad, Tobago, California, and Florida. The atmosphere is filled with strong, confident women who are dedicated to uplifting those within the community.
The ‘no negative vibes’ is one that presents itself effortlessly.
With her plate full, running Kerra Denel Ent., CWPL, and Kerra Loves Kids, Kerra is changing the game for Indo-Caribbean business women in the entertainment industry. By opening this door for up and coming women of colour, she continues to push forward with her most favourite affirmation in mind, ‘Her Light is her Power.’
THAT it is.