To help you best support Black-owned businesses, we asked Black business owners and leaders this question for their best recommendations. From promoting Black-owned businesses on social media to providing Black founders with more access to funding, several recommendations may help you offer the best support to Black-owned businesses as you celebrate National Black Business Month.
Promote Black-Owned Businesses On Social Media
Promoting a Black-owned business on social media can help others learn about and begin to frequent the business. Doing a 30-second video clip about the company, inviting them to talk about their business on your podcast, or creating a social post can increase engagement and their market reach. Creating a campaign that leads up to the event on multiple social channels can increase the likelihood of your followers engaging with the business in the future and long term. So, whether you have a small or large following will open up opportunities and exposure that may not have been possible for the business otherwise.
Annette Harris, Harris Financial Coaching
Funding as a Bridge to Opportunity
One of the ways that individuals can support Black businesses is to pay them for their work. We know a pay gap exists. Those most impacted by the pay gap are women, particularly women of color, most specifically Black women.
That pay gap translates into entrepreneurship, where there may be unconscious biases that undervalue products and services Founded or Led by Black leaders. Advocates must be aware of this reality and then take proactive measures to provide equity so that we reach equality for all.
Another area of opportunity would be the offer of VC funding to Black entrepreneurs. 34% of Black owners cite raising capital as their primary obstacle. And this challenge is substantially over-stated among Black entrepreneurs — only 24% of other demographics cite this as the top challenge. For example, employers may consider launching programs that support Black businesses and offer seed funding to scale efforts and bolster growth.
Chelsea C. Williams, Reimagine Talent Co.
Patronize Black-Owned Brands Consistently
An easy way to support Black-owned businesses is by adopting a lifestyle of consistent consideration. Many people make hundreds of buying and investment decisions every year and never even consider Black businesses. Consistent consideration will increase awareness of the value of Black businesses, which will naturally support increased spending with them because of how unique their market position often is.
Dawn Sizemore, Practical Education Solutions
Share Your Positive Opinion Online
Celebrate and support Black-owned businesses by sharing your opinion on social media! Word of mouth is a powerful and, most importantly for us, inexpensive marketing tool. Your opinion can help us grow from side hustlers to full-fledged business owners! People run to social media to broadcast bad encounters, but why not do that for businesses you want to succeed?
Jamie Stewart, The Audacious Crew
Shop at Black-Owned Businesses in Your Community
The best way to support Black businesses, or any business for that matter, is to pay for their goods and services continuously. Next time you're thinking about making a purchase, look to Black-owned businesses to fulfill your needs. Need an oil change? Looking for somewhere to eat? Search areas of your town with a higher Black population, and you'll find several Black-owned businesses that would be happy to have you. The same goes for independent contractors. Just check online or genuinely ask Black people in your daily life if they have a friend or relative who is seeking new customers. Stickers and social media posts are great, but cash is king.
Alex Harshaw, Harshaw Audio LLC
Share Black-Owned Business Content With Your Network
Social media allows small businesses to amplify their message, expand their reach and build an audience. Sharing their content supports their marketing efforts and introduces Black-owned businesses to your network and new customers. Sharing content is a form of advocacy and elevates the business' credibility with new audiences.
Nicole A. Thomas, Nicallyss Creative Group
Invest in Black Women Businesses
Access to capital has always been a challenge for women-led companies. Still, according to Forbes Magazine, Black women are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S., with nearly 2.7 million businesses nationwide. They are the least funded by Venture or traditional banking institutions. They are an overlooked population of owners that, with investment dollars, will directly impact the community level, from job creation to generational wealth building.
Saudia Davis, Ivy Strategy Consulting
Engage With The Culture Behind a Black-Owned Business
There are many ways to support Black-owned businesses, but one way that resonates with me is engaging with the culture behind the business. For example, my fashion brand, Kegonii, aims to incorporate unique African prints with everyday wear, and we’re currently building our brand presence on social media. Due to how many Black businesses leverage social media, support for the culture could be as simple as re-sharing the brand mission to friends, commenting on interesting posts, and following to build brand recognition. Organic support expands the culture, the brand, and ultimately more growth into new markets and consumers.
Kodi Agbasi, kegonii
Purchase From Black Women-Owned Businesses
As the rate of Black-owned businesses continues to grow, we must focus on the key levers that will close the wealth gap for these groups. The last 24 months have seen unprecedented rates of women of color entering entrepreneurship. Although small business innovation is at an all-time high, women of color are at the highest risk for bankruptcy and lack access to resources to reach the mature phase of business.
A recent report found that minority women-owned businesses disproportionately suffer from cash flow issues – leading to business closures. So this national Black business month, support by purchasing a product or service from a Black woman-owned business. From the "Buy From a Black Woman" directory to uber badges, there is no shortage of ways to identify these businesses. Not only does buying from these businesses support cash flow, but going the extra mile to share your great experience with your friends, family, and the network pays dividends.
Marguerite Pressley Davis, Finance Savvy CEO
Provide Black Founders With More Access To Funding
One way to support Black-owned businesses is by providing Black founders with more access to funding. Historically, Black founders have not always had equal access to funding. The most important thing that investors and lenders should consider is the product's viability, rather than the ethnicity of the Company’s founder. Black founders have had to be resourceful, doing a lot with a little. Providing financial backing will help to accelerate a Company’s success by enabling them access to resources to scale and grow.
Yemisi Harrison, AYOCATHY LLC
Copyright © 2023 SCORE Association, SCORE.org
Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.