Slay like Bey: The best entrepreneurship skills to learn from Beyoncé

entrepreneurship skills

Everyone knows Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

Her success as an R&B singer, songwriter, and dancer has garnered millions of fans worldwide. With a record-breaking 32 Grammy wins, many chart-topping albums, and multiple sold-out world tours, Beyoncé is one of the world’s biggest names in show business.

What most people don’t know, however, is that show business isn’t the only thing she’s good at. The pop star has launched various businesses and entered lucrative brand partnerships over the years, using her entrepreneurship skills to build her empire.

  • Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour in 2023 made US$4.5 billion for the US economy, as much as the 2008 Olympics generated for Beijing.
  • Outside of her music performances, Beyoncé has branched out into different industries, from film and video production, an athleisure brand, a fashion label, and even a vegan meal delivery service.
  • In 2013, Beyoncé and Jay-Z became the music industry’s first billionaire couple, thanks to their many ventures within and outside the industry.

How did she become such a successful businesswoman and role model for women around the world?

entrepreneurship skills

Destiny’s Child consisted of Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, who have all gone on to have successful solo careers. Source: AFP.

The girl-next-door from Texas

Dubbed Queen Bey by fans, Beyoncé first rose to fame in the late 1990s as a member of the R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time.

During the group’s hiatus in 2003, she released her debut album Dangerously in Love, followed by multiple top-charted albums in the years to come.

Over the years, she made a name for herself with her art, creating music and even making her big-screen debut in notable movies throughout the decade.

After her marriage to Jay-Z, she founded her own entertainment company, Parkwood Entertainment, to focus on video and film production. Their debut project was the musical biopic “Cadillac Records,” which Beyoncé starred in and co-produced. 

Since then, she’s gone on to break several records, such as scoring the most Grammy wins, being the first black performer to headline Coachella, and creating the highest-grossing tour by a female artist in history.

Now, her net worth is valued at over US$800 million, with Forbes ranking her at #36 on its annual 100 Most Powerful Woman List. 

Besides her several accolades, the megastar is also a successful entrepreneur and has incorporated her skills into her art.

But what is entrepreneurship?

Well, according to Professor Howard Stevenson, the godfather of entrepreneurship studies at Harvard Business School, entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.

Being entrepreneurial (which is what Beyoncé does) means being innovative, flexible, dynamic, risk-taking, creative, and growth-oriented in a business sense. Meanwhile, the media defines the term as starting and operating new ventures.

Now, let’s look at the skills that Queen Bey has implemented in her entrepreneurial journey.

entrepreneurship skills

Prior to her performance at Coachella 2018, Beyoncé underwent a strict health regime to regain her strength after giving birth to twins. Source: AFP.

8 best entrepreneurship skills from the queen of music business

Future-forward thinking

The singer has always displayed a savvy approach to thinking about long-term profit, such as signing her US$60 million deal with Netflix to release an exclusive, behind-the-scenes documentary chronicling her 2018 Coachella performance. 

In 2015, Uber offered Beyoncé US$6 million to perform at a Las Vegas event. She turned it down and requested to be given stocks in exchange. Uber was a relatively mid-sized, private company at the time, though it was already making a name for itself in the startup industry.

Four years later, Uber went public, and the stocks in Beyoncé’s name were now worth around US$9 million

entrepreneurship skills

Beyoncé performed on The Pyramid Stage as the headline act during the last day of the Glastonbury Festival, Europe’s largest music festival. Source: AFP.

Commitment and dedication

“There’s quality in everything she does,” says Emily Eavis, the co-organiser of the Glastonbury Festival, who booked Beyoncé as the all-important closing act in 2011. Her performance was a success, described as “earth-shaking” by some viewers as a reference to her impeccable vocals and dancing.

What most people didn’t know was that she had rehearsed for 80 hours off-site in the week prior to the event. 

A performer at heart, Beyoncé still makes it a point to continuously rehearse, prepare and work on new compositions and performances. She is renowned for her tenacious work ethic and commitment to excellence in all she does, which is reflected in her live performances and music quality.

Seizing control of her work

When Beyoncé started out as a singer, she was managed by her father, Mathew Knowles. He was the manager of Destiny’s Child before moving on to manage Beyoncé’s solo career after it took off.

It came as a shock when Beyoncé sacked her own father in 2011 in favour of managing her own career. 

When asked why she did that, she insisted that ensuring she was always doing things the right way was important to her. She had always been careful about the editing of her music and videos, and she wanted full creative control of her art without being managed by others, including her family. 

entrepreneurship skills

Beyoncé made headlines when she was cast as Nala in Jon Favreau’s The Lion King. Source: AFP.

Bold and unconventional marketing tactics

In 2013, Beyoncé released her fifth solo album with zero warning or promotion. 

Back in the day, pop music still relied on traditional marketing tactics like advance singles, promotional pushes, and teasers. Despite pushback from her company, she released her album Beyoncé on iTunes without any of those promotions.

This tremendous move was part of Beyoncé’s three-fold strategy, showcasing her exceptional entrepreneurship skills. 

Firstly, she wanted to release the complete album at once. Secondly, she wanted to dodge any leaks. And last but not least, she wanted a video to accompany each song. And it worked.

The album sold 617,000 copies in its first three days alone, easily soaring to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Diversified income

Queen Bey is no stranger to diversification. Although her roots began in music, that’s not the only way she makes money. 

Besides her entertainment company, she frequently negotiates and partners with big brands.

She has a US$50 million endorsement deal with Pepsi, a three-part deal with Netflix for a reported US$60 million, previous collaborations with Adidas, and she even opened and closed her own activewear brand Ivy Park.

In her spare time, she’s also a successful investor, even being named a “significant investor” by the companies she’s put her dime on.

entrepreneurship skills

Beyoncé sang the National Anthem during the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in. Source: AFP.


Beyoncé has proven her influence extends well beyond her voice by making friends in high places. Even Barack Obama has called the singer a role model for his daughters and has even unabashedly shared some of her songs on his social media

Despite being an introvert, the superstar is a powerhouse when it comes to networking and securing collaborations. She has worked with huge names such as Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj.

And yes, we’re still waiting for part two of Telephone. 

Building a community

Beyoncé’s Beyhive is more than just a fan club; it’s a vibrant community of supporters. 

The singer regularly connects directly with her fans, understands their needs, and mobilises them for various causes. She makes it a point to use social media often to speak to her community by sharing personal moments, promoting messages of empowerment, and expressing gratitude to her fan base.

In return, Queen Bey is fiercely backed by millions of supporters worldwide. 

Inspiring others

Since the beginning of her career, Beyoncé has had a powerful network of women who have helped shape the trajectory of her success. So to her, it made sense that her message through her music, ultimately, is about empowering women.

“I try to write songs and sing songs that we as women need to hear,” she said. “I know sometimes it’s hard to realise how amazing we are. I’m very happy to be able to do that to women around the world.”