Michelle D. Jackson
Entrepreneur | Author | Nonprofit Director | Influencer
Michelle D. Jackson is the CEO/President of PR Solutions LLC, an award-winning strategic marketing and public relations firm. She is the founder of two subsidiaries Direct2Author.com, an online self-published book marketplace, and the i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. In addition, she is the Executive Director of LifeSkills Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization based in New Orleans, LA dedicated to youth and youth entrepreneurship, a 3x published author and the founder of the Black Writers Workspace, an online community of over 15,000 black writers and avid readers.
Jackson’s passion for entrepreneurship ignited during the 10 years she spent managing shopping malls in Alabama and Georgia. This was followed by her six-year stint working for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED). While at DBED, she led the policy development effort to create the InvestMaryland program, a first-of-its-kind legislative initiative that raised $84 million for seed and early-stage companies. In addition, Jackson led the Agency’s first division focused on innovation and entrepreneurship and created the InvestMaryland Challenge, the state’s first international business competition. From 2012 to 2015, Jackson helped the state award close to $2 million in cash and in-kind prizes to high-tech start-up companies from across the U.S. and abroad.
She published her first book, The Heart of a Man, a Christian fiction novel, in 2010. In 2014, the book was awarded a top prize in The Author's Zone Annual Writer's Competition, General Fiction Category. She was also the recipient of the Princeton Literary Review Gold Standard. Her second novel, From Darkness to Night: Book One - Family Secrets, was released in 2020. It was selected as an Award-Winning Finalist in the American Book Fest's Fiction: African-American category of the 2020 Best Book Awards. In 2022, she is set to release her third book, Poppi Makes Cajun Popcorn Magic: The 10 Step Guide to Building a Successful Food Startup, a graphic novel based in New Orleans and crafted to teach young entrepreneurs how to launch a business.
Jackson was a contributing writer for The Mount Christian Lifestyle Magazine in Pittsburgh and has had articles published in Essence Magazine, Biz Magazine New Orleans, Nia Magazine, CityBusiness New Orleans, and many other print and online publications. She was selected as a Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Fellow.
In 2016, Jackson created i.Invest, a six-month web-based competition and mentoring program designed to showcase the innovative ideas of aspiring entrepreneurs, 13-19 years-old. Since its’ inception, i.Invest has trained 13 teams from across the country and awarded $50K in prizes. Participants have raised over $250K in pre-seed funding, hired staff, enrolled in the best business schools in the nation, and received ongoing media coverage for their ventures. In 2020, Jackson, working on behalf of LifeSkills Foundation, launched the Tech2Talent Career Expo to help youth and young adults in Louisiana learn about tech training and job opportunities.
Jackson is the wife of a retired military officer and has one son. She has a Bachelor’s degree in communications from The University of Alabama and Master's of Public Administration from Central Michigan University.