Practical ways to support Black business owners during Black History Month and beyond
Black History Month is a chance for us to celebrate Black people around the world. And as a small business community, it’s also a unique chance for us to reflect on how we can better support Black business owners. Whilst we support Black business owners all year round, it’s important to us to challenge ourselves to keep doing better. Rather than being part of the noise, we want to offer practical ways to engage all year round. So we’ve compiled a list of ways to support Black-owned businesses throughout the year.
What is Black History Month?
Black History Month (BHM) is celebrated in October in the UK and February in the United States each year. It’s a chance to recognise and honour the contributions and achievements of Black individuals around the world. BHM promotes a deeper understanding of ongoing systemic racism and discrimination, educating people around the world and offering and chance to unite and work towards a brighter future.
At Digital Boost, our mission is to empower the next generation of business owners with the skills and knowledge that they need to grow their businesses. The disparity that affects both Black and ethnic minority entrepreneurs is clear to us. So we want to be a part of the change that gets us on the road to true equality.
So what can you do to support Black business owners year-round?
Vote with your money
It’s a cliche, but voting with your wallet can be the best way to support Black-owned businesses. It also shows the industry that there is demand for these businesses! You can find amazing creators on websites like Etsy and Not On The Highstreet to purchase products and support their businesses.
Amarachi is one of the amazing founders in our small business community who sells her products through Not On The Highstreet. She’s the founder of Lucocoa, London’s first bean-to-bar chocolatier. Every single Lucocoa bar is hand-made by Amarachi and her team in London! Amarachi started Lucocoa after realising that the chocolate industry was broken. Child and slave labour are present in many cocoa farms, so with Lucocoa, Amarachi is taking a stand! By working with farmers that she knows and trusts, she can ensure that her chocolate is totally free of slavery and fair for all.
You can check out Amarachi’s amazing chocolate on her website here and follow her entrepreneurial journey here.
📸 image taken fromwww.lucocoachocolate.com/
Become a mentor
Helping business owners develop their skills is key to ensuring that Black business owners can thrive. If you have a skill that you’re willing to share, you can become a Digital Boost mentor and start mentoring today! All our mentors are volunteers, so our mentoring allows you to give back to the small business community. Our mentoring is totally flexible to you and your schedule, so it’s easier than ever to fit into your day!
Our platform allows you to indicate whether you’d specifically like to help certain underprivileged groups, so you can ensure you’re giving your time to those who need it most.
Support on social media
We know it’s a tough time financially for a lot of people, but support doesn’t have to cost the earth! Engaging with the social media accounts of Black businesses can increase their reach and grow their audience 🚀 Next time you’re on social media, remember to like and comment on any posts that you see – and if you can share or save the posts, even better!
Attend local events & pop-ups
Throughout the year lots of local events and pop-up shops are hosted to specifically support and promote Black-owned businesses. Check local Facebook groups and community newsletters to find out about upcoming events in your area and attend if you can!
One great example of this is Black Culture Market, which we’ve been able to support with our mentoring programmes. Black Culture Market offers Black business owners the opportunity to showcase and sell their products at iconic events across London. Black Culture Market exists to close the wealth gap and create more jobs and opportunities! You can find out more about Black Culture Market and the upcoming events here.
📸 image taken from www.blackculturemarket.co.uk/
Invest in Black business owners
The disparity in fundraising for Black business owners is well documented. Crunchbase has reported that Black entrepreneurs usually receive less than 2% of all VC dollars each year, and companies led by Black women receive less than 1% overall. This is why it’s so important for investors to be aware of this disparity and take action to close this gap. If you’re in a position to invest in a business, consider investing in a Black-owned business!
If you’re a fellow business owner or creator, consider collaborating with Black-owned businesses throughout the year. Collaboration is a great way to show support for other business owners and also amplify the voices of others! Collaboration could be running a joint competition on your socials, inviting guest blogs on your website, or hosting a mini-event together 💜
Support legislative change
Use your voice to support legislative change in local and national arenas. There has been lots of momentum in these changes over the last few years, but it’s important to keep pushing change forward! Sign petitions, talk to your local councillors and advocate for the change that you want to see.
There are many ways that you can support Black business owners throughout the year to ensure that equality is achieved for all. Whether you’re investing, adding your voice to the movement, or buying from Black business owners, any small thing you do will go a long way to achieving this goal!