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black-owned business

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This Family Runs Happy Day Dessert Factory, Pittsburgh's First Black-Owned Ice Cream Parlor

What makes visiting this ice cream shop even more of a sweet experience is that you’re supporting a Black-owned business.

Ngozi Nwanji

Aug 2, 2023

Jay-Z Dining At Black-Owned Restaurant Leads To Boost After Being 'Up And Down' For 11 Months

A Chicago, IL, soul food restaurant saw a boost in customers after receiving a visit from Jay-Z.

Samantha Dorisca

Jul 27, 2023

Fifteen Percent Pledge Could Potentially Shift $14B To Black Entrepreneurs And Businesses, Report Says

In 2020, Aurora James shook up the business world with a disruptive idea. As previously reported by AfroTech, the designer founded the Fifteen Percent Pledge following the murder of George Floyd to demand corporations to commit 15 percent of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Now, nearly three years later, it appears that James’ call for action has paid off.

Ngozi Nwanji

Jun 21, 2023

Mother-Daughter Duo Relaunches Unbraiding Tool Engineered To Take Down Up To 8 Braids Simultaneously

This mother-daughter duo’s story is a testament to the power of timing.

Ngozi Nwanji

Feb 24, 2023

Heinz' Black Kitchen Initiative Is Back To Equip Entrepreneurs With Grants Starting At $15K

Heinz has become a restaurant and household staple for decades. Now, the beloved brand continues to work toward a greater cause by teaming up with Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice to equip Black restaurant owners with the resources needed to win big. Thanks to a partnership between Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice, Heinz, as well as a plethora of bakers, chefs, and restaurant owners to offer grants that range between $15,000 and $25,000 to Black-owned food establishments as they work to scale and grow their businesses, a blog post revealed. “I really want to make sure that these Black-owned restaurants are seen, heard, and can build these legacy businesses,” said Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice Founder Cheryl Day. “From the heart, I want to make sure they are sustainable and that we’re offering what they need.” Heinz Black Kitchen Initiative is back for year 2 of championing and supporting Black-owned restaurants, eateries & food initiatives with our partners...

Shanique Yates

Jul 21, 2022

This Black & Latinx-Owned Company Is Using Blockchain Technology To Combat Homelessness

EquityCoin is not your average company using blockchain technology. In fact, they may be the only company that is not only Black and Latinx-owned but also uses the new technology to combat the homelessness crisis in America — with an ultimate goal to reach $1 billion in wealth in communities of color by the year 2030. In a press release announcement, EquityCoin revealed that their first step to creating equitable and affordable housing using blockchain technology was by creating a digital token. Its next phase of development involves the creation of what they’re calling EquityShare, which streamlines the tokenization process between the prospective unhoused buyer and real estate agents. The transactions will take place on the Ethereum -based blockchain. “By marrying blockchain technology and affordable housing, we will revitalize urban areas from coast to coast, building a more healthy, livable, and sustainable society. It’s not only important to do the work, but also to have the...

Missouri Mom Gifts Her Kids A Vending Machine In An Effort To Lead Them Down An Entrepreneurial Path

Ciearra Baker probably never thought she’d become known as the “Vending Machine Mom” when she made a Christmas Eve post on Facebook. The single mother from St. Louis, MO, quickly went viral when she posted a photo of her children with a rather unconventional “present.” “Let’s not handicap these kids making their lives easy,” wrote the woman who would become known as the Vending Machine Mom. “I’m not buying toys my kids most definitely will understand. Life is not easy and making the right choices with money & etc… So I came up with the idea to invest in a vending machine for the kids as Christmas gift #Young bosses in the making 👌💪🏽👏🏽🤑 MERRY XMAS!” Some commenters thought the idea was a good one. “I love this so much! I started selling candy at school when I was little to make my money and now I’m 24 and have a small business and I love it!” wrote one woman. Others, however, weren’t as welcoming to the idea. “Not you shaming other parents for getting their kids gifts instead of...

James Brown's Estate Sells For $90M To Primary Wave Music To Carry On His Legacy

Growing up in poverty, James Brown understood — perhaps better than anyone — t he importance of education. He also knew that for many Black men and women like him, college was an impossibility due to finances. That’s why, in his lifetime, the Godfather of Soul wanted to use his estate to fund scholarships for those who needed it. Now, 15 years after James Brown passed away, that dream has become a reality thanks to a new deal made with Primary Wave Music. Bloomberg reports that the company — which has made similar deals with the likes of Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, and Prince’s estate — has just agreed to purchase Brown’s estate for an estimated $90 million. But this deal is not without its issues. For the past 15 years, several people — including five children of James Brown — have been battling it out in probate court to gain control of the estate. Before any money can be paid out, lawsuits must be decided and settled between current and former executors of the estate. It’s...

After Being Fired By Google, Timnit Gebru Bounces Back With An AI Research Institute Of Her Own

About a year ago, Google fired their star artificial intelligence (AI) researcher. Now, she’s bounced back with a firm of her own that received $3.7 million in funding from the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kapor Center, Open Society Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. We are @DAIRInstitute — an independent, community-rooted #AI research institute free from #BigTech 's pervasive influence. Founded by @timnitGebru . — Distributed AI Research Institute (@DAIRInstitute) December 2, 2021 The Washington Post tells the story of Timnit Gebru, a prominent artificial intelligence computer scientist who just founded Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR) . The institute, according to the outlet, “aims to both document harms and develop a vision for AI applications that can have a positive impact on the same groups.” And there’s no better person to lead that charge than Gebru, who was instrumental in noting that facial recognition...

Black Ops Announces The Initial Close Of Inaugural Fund With Investments Totaling $13M

Black Ops Ventures, a Black-owned VC fund, has announced that it has closed its first fund with investments totaling $13 million. And, thanks to this fund closing, the company has announced its intent to exclusively back outstanding Black tech founders in the United States and Canada. According to a press release, “In securing investments for this initial close, Black Ops relied upon long-standing relationships with some of the most respected names in the tech industry.” Some of those names include Blavity, Inc. CEO Morgan DeBaun, Drew Houston, Jacob Gibson, Ben Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Jeff Bussgang. Bank of America and Northwestern Mutual led the fundraising round, according to the press release. “We are part of this community of Black founders, with better access to deal flow than other venture investors, regardless of their cultural background,” said James Norman , partner, in the press release. Norman is also the founder of Pilotly and co-founder of Transparent...

T-Pain And Normani Join Forces With Google To Encourage You To Buy Black

It seems that “whatever you need, you can get that Black” is the apparent mood for Google and its second annual #BlackOwnedFriday campaign, which features Grammy award-winning artist T-Pain and pop sensation Normani. The shoppable film is giving 50 Black-owned brands their flowers and will highlight over 100 products from beauty to home goods and more. The musical project will allow users to shop and connect with businesses in one click. Essence reports, the partnership felt organic for T-Pain because he has always advocated for Black-owned businesses long before it became popular. “I was thrilled when Google reached out about the second annual Black-owned Friday,” T-Pain said, according to Essence. “Last year, Google partnered with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. to reimagine Black Friday as ‘Black-owned Friday’ — a day to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses. This year, I’m proud to join Google and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. for another year of encouraging shoppers to...

Samantha Dorisca

Nov 19, 2021

Apple Supports Propel Center, A Global HBCU Leadership Hub, With $2M In Research Grants

The Propel Center, a global HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) hub, has announced $2 million in Propel Impact Grants to help establish institutions as repositories of research for global scholars, startup founders, policy leaders, culture creators and the world’s most influential business and entrepreneurial minds. In a press release announcement, it was revealed that the grants are launching with support from Apple, which is working alongside Propel to help develop curricula and provide ongoing mentorship and learning experiences, along with internship opportunities. Support from Apple — through the company’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative — will give HBCUs tools and resources to pursue new research and learning opportunities. “We envision a world where all people have access to the tools and resources they need to advance justice,” said Dr. Cortney Harris, vice president of impact and engagement for Propel, in the press release announcement. “This investment...

How Wieden & Kennedy's John 'JP' Petty Found His Identity At An HBCU — 'It Was Very Necessary'

When John “JP” Petty was promoted to an executive level at Wieden & Kennedy, he couldn’t help but shout out his Historically Black College and University (HBCU) alma mater, Lincoln University. According to Petty, the education he got from the acclaimed HBCU was indeed second to none — but in actuality, he got so much more, too. “Without Lincoln, I wouldn’t have gotten to know myself ,” he told AfroTech. “That’s where I came to my full realization of self, as a Black man — and how it helped me find my place in this world. It was there that I realized I didn’t have to be an athlete, or a rapper, to be a success in this world. I could do it on my own terms, in my own way — so, yes, I fully recommend that anyone who can, should absolutely attend an HBCU. It was very necessary for me, and it can be very necessary for you, too.” Until now, Petty has served as head of social for W+K’s New York office, where he has been integral in building a robust social practice, as well as helping to...

Jeff Bezos-Backed Chipper Cash Gets $2B Valuation After $150M Raised In Series C Extension

Chipper Cash, an African cross-border payments company, has announced its new $2 billion valuation after its recent Series C extension. According to NairaMetrics, this new Series C extension raised an additional $150 million for the company. The funding was led by Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX. SVB Capital, as well as other previous investors such as Deciens Capital, Ribbit Capital, Bezos Expeditions (owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos), One Way Ventures, and Tribe Capital, reinvested in this extension round. Chipper Cash, which was founded in 2018 by Ham Serunjogi and Maijid Moujaled, is a no-fee peer-to-peer cross-border payment service in Africa. Through their app, users can accept payments in Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa and Kenya — to name but a few places that use the app. In 2021, the company expanded again — this time, into the United Kingdom. By using Chipper Cash, users can send money from the United Kingdom to their...