According to the United States Black Chambers, Inc., there are more than 2.6 million black-owned businesses in America. Black business owner Antwon Davis told NBC news that up to 80% of these businesses fail within their first two years, due to “a lack of exposure, a lack of capital, and a lack of business acumen.” Poverty, homelessness, unemployment, crime, poor education and even police brutality, can all be improved by the mere support of more black-owned businesses. It’s time for the black community to change this statistic and begin to invest more in each other economically. Here are four black-owned businesses to support this spring!
You’re likely already familiar with the billion-dollar corporation, YouTube, which boasts an average of 1.5 billion viewers every month. Despite the company’s unprecedented success and popularity, it’s no secret that black content creators struggle to reach the same level of success as their white counterparts on the platform. Black youtuber Francesca Ramsey stated, "I think there's people from all walks of life on YouTube, but I think many people of color struggle to reach the same level of visibility on YouTube as white content creators. Historically audiences are more likely to gravitate towards creators that look like them, and are used to/comfortable seeing POC in very limited or more stereotypical roles." Thankfully, BlaqSpotTV is the alternative solution to YouTube, where black content creators are free to bring unapologetically Afrocentric content, commentary and news without fear of content being unfairly demonetized. BlaqspotTV is a live streaming and video-on-demand platform that allows you to broadcast live videos and upload videos straight from your device. You can also interact with your favourite creators by leaving hearts and comments on their videos. Join BlaqSpotTV today to connect with like-minded individuals on a platform that is free of the “social pressure, trolling and oversight” that black people are often forced to endure on traditionally white-owned media outlets.
2. CRWN Magazine
CRWN Magazine is a print magazine that aims to showcase black natural beauty and celebrate natural hair, as well as to offer an alternative to the traditional standard of beauty we often see in the media. President of CRWN Magazine, Lindsey Dey, said of the company: “Black women are so diverse and a huge segment of our sisters are consistently ignored and/or misrepresented. CRWN serves all types of black women, and our goal is that every woman who flips through our pages will be able to see themselves represented in some way. From Harlem to Compton, from London to Johannesburg – CRWN is showcasing the natural beauty of our community and redefining existing norms for good.”
According to their website, CRWN magazine’s goal is to “create a progressive dialogue around natural hair and the women who wear it”. Instead of just being a short-lived trendy movement, the magazine aims to “address the whole Black woman; a woman who is more educated, well-traveled and sophisticated than ever before – largely because generations before her have fought to ensure her seat at the table”. Click here to order your copy of the next issue of CRWN Magazine!
3. Official Black Wall Street (OBWS)
Although black people in America have a buying power of $1.1 trillion dollars, less than 5% of that money is invested towards black-owned businesses. Well, Official Black Wall Street is here to change this troubling statistic! Official Black Wall Street (OBWS) is a digital company that highlights black-owned businesses and gives aspiring black entrepreneurs a chance to succeed. The company’s name Official Black Wall Street alludes to the Black Wall Street community of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was a thriving mecca of prosperous black-owned businesses in the 1920s. Although the original Black Wall Street has since been destroyed, Official Black Wall Street aims to recreate the sentiment behind this iconic community by making black-owned businesses more accessible to the general public. For starters, it is extremely easily for black entrepreneurs to create listings for their companies on the OBWS website. Likewise, users who have downloaded the app, will be alerted whenever they’re near a Black-owned business. The app also gives special, exclusive offers and deals from Black-owned businesses and encourages customers to leave reviews and share their experiences with companies. Interested in recirculating the Black dollar and strengthening the Black community? Sign up for Official Black Wall Street today!
You may have already heard of WeBuyBlack.com, the largest online marketplace for black-owned businesses and black entrepreneurs. Just like Etsy, Amazon, Ebay and Shopify, business owners can register on WeBuyBlack to showcase and sell their products to an international market. When asked about the future of WeBuyBlack.com, the company’s founder, Shareef Abdul-Malik stated, "We built this site so that we can improve the overall negative situation we as Black people face in our day to day lives. We built this platform for our children so that they can avoid joblessness, poverty, homelessness, crime, and imprisonment. We built this platform to help our dollars circulate at a rate equal to or better than any other race of people. We built this platform to allow the world to finally buy from our people directly, to experience our culture directly, and to bridge the gap of that disconnects Black people of America to our family abroad.”
5. One United Bank
Run by Kevin Cohee and Teri Williams, One United is America’s largest black-owned bank and only black-owned internet bank. The company understands the importance of buying from black-owned companies and using black banks, so that money can circulate through the black community and in turn, create jobs, businesses and wealth. Not only do black lives matter, but black money matters too! Join the movement and click here to #BankBlack and receive affordable financial service!
"Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law."