Back Black Business!
By Lynn Branigan
August is National Black Business Month. The founders – John Templeton and Frederick Jordan Sr. – launched the month of recognition in 2004 to generate a positive impact on policies that affect Black business owners. As expressed by Denice Moore, CEO of the Black Business Alliance in Peoria, Illinois, this month is “an opportunity to intentionally focus on a community that is too often underrepresented in terms of access to capital and opportunities to build wealth.”
Jordan and Templeton encourage local government officials, community leaders, and venture capitalists to create a more hospitable environment for black-owned businesses. But policy makers aren’t the only ones who can have an impact. All of us can.
We can support Black businesses by making a purchase, referring others, sharing and tagging on social media, and giving positive reviews. If you want to find Black-owned businesses in your city or neighborhood, you can check out sites like this one, which provides links to multiple directories. You can also type “black owned businesses in my neighborhood” into your browser and find local lists.
For She Runs It, we will celebrate the month by evaluating submissions for our START program, an early-stage, start-up accelerator launched with digitalundivided to provide
coaching, mentorship, and grants to women of color founders at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey. We are focusing on women of color because our industry – marketing, media, and martech – is profoundly under-indexing on these workforce populations. START is designed to bring the powerful ideas and emerging business concepts of these women to fruition for our industry.
Recognizing that Black-owned businesses account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses, we encourage women to submit their business ideas here by August 17.
One of the best ways to back Black businesses is to help build them, and that’s what the START program was designed to do.