The year 2020 was not the year most people imagined. Small businesses, particularly Black-owned ones, were hit hard by the pandemic. According to Facebook’s Global State of Small Business Report — which surveyed more than 35,000 small business leaders — approximately 33 percent of Black businesses reported being closed, compared to 18 percent of non-minority-owned businesses. While this statistic is daunting, Black business owners did what our people have done for centuries: They persisted. They survived. They were resilient. And although the pandemic made it difficult, not all was lost.
This Black Business Month, Facebook Elevate is rising to the occasion, providing resources to Black businesses and amplifying those entrepreneurial voices. The online community of over 40,000 is doing the important work of ensuring entrepreneurs of color have the opportunity to reach an expansive audience in need of their products and services.
As part of Facebook Elevate’s mission to support and amplify Black voices, Facebook announced its #BuyBlack Summit, to be held on Aug. 24 starting at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. EST. Interested attendees can register here. The summit will be full of learning, connecting and celebrating Black businesses. It builds on Facebook’s commitment to support Black-owned brands. Facebook is dedicated to the continued work of eliminating barriers and working to ensure Black business owners can succeed despite systemic challenges and oppression.
The free one-day summit will be hosted by actress and comedian Michelle Buteau. #BuyBlack Summit has put together a power-packed lineup of speakers and panelists that include:
- Daymond John, CEO and Founder, FUBU
- Ron Busby, President, US Black Chambers, Inc.
- Shelly Bell, CEO and Founder, Black Girl Ventures
- Donald Cravins, Executive Vice President, National Urban League Members
- Ayris Scales, CEO, Walker’s Legacy Foundation
- Arian Simone, Co-Founder and General Partner, Fearless Fund
- Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook
- Maxine Williams, Chief Global Diversity Officer, Facebook
Topics slated for discussion include tools on how to secure funding, selling products on social media and tips for unlocking unknown opportunities. In addition to the scheduled sessions, business owners will have the chance to network and connect, and the day will culminate with an exciting surprise performance by a Grammy-nominated recording artist (to be announced).
Initiatives like the #BuyBlack Summit are important for the vitality of the economy and the sustainability of Black businesses. With the threat of future lockdowns and the emergence of new COVID-19 strands, business owners must determine how they can position themselves to survive a pandemic that shows no signs of slowing.
Facebook Elevate is doing the vital work of helping businesses situate themselves for longevity. This first-ever summit will allow business owners to become educated and inspired. Entrepreneurs will gain resources for maintaining their operations and growing and scaling their businesses — all while tapping into the great opportunities and resources offered by Facebook’s business tools.
You can learn more about the #BuyBlack Summit and register for the virtual event here.
This editorial is brought to you in partnership with Facebook Elevate.