As summer 2023 is coming to an end, so is AFROTECH Executive. On Sept. 22, the multi-city series is making its last stop in Brooklyn, NY at The William Vale. The event will feature conversations with Arian Simone, co-founder and CEO of Fearless Fund, Abim Kolawole, chief audit executive at Northwestern Mutual, Wemimo Abbey, co-founder and co-CEO of Esusu, and more. Closing out the event, there will be a networking reception presented by Remitly. To secure last-minute tickets, click here. While you’re in the city of Brooklyn, below are Black-owned businesses to pay a visit to.
Sep 21, 2023
The mission behind this entrepreneur’s wine and cider company is shared in the essence of its name.
May 9, 2023
HBCU alumna Nia-Tayler Clark has experienced the power of community.
Jan 25, 2023
Being behind quality products is one thing, but scaling across industries is an even bigger feat. View this post on Instagram A post shared by 100 Coconuts (@100coconuts) After building his name in tech with apps such as SongBooth, Gregory Lowe II took a leap into consumer packaged goods (CPG) by launching 100 Coconuts in 2019 — marking it as the first Black-owned coconut water brand.
Sep 28, 2022
Taking trips to the local beauty supply store is the norm for the majority of the Black community. Whether it be to pick up hair for a new protective style or to re-up on natural hair products, the store is the place for one’s needs. However, not many beauty supply stores are led by Black owners. According to a report, “Of the 9,000 beauty supply stores the Black Owned Beauty Supply Organization estimates are in the United States, about 3,000 are owned by Black people.” Closing out Black Business Month, AfroTech is highlighting a few Black-owned beauty supply stores.
Aug 31, 2022
When the business idea stems from your own need for something the market does not provide, it’s bound to be a hit! For 13-year-old Aaliyah, the idea for Awesomeliyou came from her own need to have a heating pad on the go due to the effects of her menstrual cycle. “One day I was on my period and I was on my couch and I was cramping really badly and my mom had to go and pick up a relative so I had to come with her and I was so upset because I had to part ways with my heating pad, but I just sucked it up and went,” she shared in a video posted on the Internet. “As I was going out the door, I was talking to my mom and I was like, ‘You know, somebody should create a leak-proof period panty with a heating pad that’s like portable.’ And my mom was like ‘You should do that.'” I love it pic.twitter.com/43QVldK8H9 — Tamorah Shareef Muhammad (@ModestyQueen19) August 11, 2022
Aug 15, 2022
The world of animation doesn’t have much color, and this couple is on a mission to change that. Jermaine and Whaketa Hargrove are making history with a first-of-it’s-kind Black-owned animation network, The Animation TV Network, per a report from ESSENCE. “We are using Animation TV and exclusive content to bring awareness to the lack of diversity and inclusion in the animation industry,” said Jermaine in an official news release. “By offering distribution to global animation creators, we will amplify the voices that sometimes go unheard. Structuring a theatrical partnership with a major film Studio for some of our stronger animation IP’s is also a goal of Animation TV. We are currently looking to finance, develop and distribute all forms of animation content(2D/3D) from creators all over the world.”
May 16, 2022
Black-owned businesses are out here thriving, and we love to see it. As previously reported by AfroTech, Young King Hair Care launched in more than 1,200 Target and Walmart retailers just shy of two years of becoming the destination for haircare tailored specifically for young men. Now, they are headed for the famous NBC’s “Shark Tank” and founders Cora and Stefan Miller hope that this continues the company’s growth. “Prior to filming our segment, our business was experiencing exponential growth since our launch in December 2019,” said Cora in an exclusive email interview with AfroTech. “The Sharks were very complimentary regarding the business we built. They actually even called my husband a ‘brilliant marketer,’ which as our CMO, whose professional background is all-around marketing, made him feel so proud.”
Mar 25, 2022
It’s one thing to break into the beauty industry, but another thing to come in and shift it. Founder and CEO Monique Rodriguez has built an empire within the space through Mielle Organics, an organic and natural haircare line created to produce healthier results for your hair. She is rightfully a pioneer in the haircare game, taking her line of products from being sold from her garage to barely staying on the shelves in giant retailers including Target, Walmart, CVS, and more. “My kids have been able to witness their mother, a Black woman, have a dream and go from their kitchen to big-box retailers, something that has changed my family’s life and for me that’s fulfilling,” said Rodriguez in an interview with AfroTech. To date, Mielle Organics is worth more than $100 million, drawing in a hefty $14 million in 2021, despite being in the midst of a pandemic. The company continues to soar to new heights with new products that keep the same energy that the company had when it was first...
Mar 23, 2022
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...
Dec 14, 2021
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...
Dec 2, 2021
As part of Harvey Ventures, Steve Harvey and his daughter Lori Harvey have invested in a variety of Black-owned businesses. The company’s website explains that in addition to investing in such companies as Wish and 23andMe, they’ve invested in Black-owned businesses like Brotha Bakes. Now, too, Harvey Ventures has added MOON Ultra to their investment portfolio. Co-founded by Edward Madongorere and Dishen “Dixon” Yang, this Black-owned business has invented a product that was named one of TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2020.” For Lori Harvey, though, the investment in the company was a natural one. “With the fast-paced growth that digital innovation continues to bring into our creator economy, it was important to me to align myself with a company that prides itself on empowering not only its internal team, but its direct consumers to be the best versions of themselves,” she told AfroTech exclusively. “And for me, that is MOON Ultra.” Based in Austin, TX, MOON Ultra has created a...
Nov 16, 2021
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...
Nov 3, 2021
Hollywood mogul Issa Rae is always rooting for everybody Black, and today is no different as she pushes for all Black-owned businesses to officially certify their brands through a newly-launched program. According to a press release shared with AfroTech, the producer and actress is supporting American Express and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.’s (USBC) joint effort to expand their ByBlack initiative with the launch of the “first national certification program exclusively for Black-ownership designation.” Photo Credit: American Express The free first-of-its-kind platform — which was designed as a directory for Black-owned businesses — will now offer Black business-owners the opportunity to easily obtain approved accreditation that their customers and other companies can trust when spending with them. “We are thrilled to team up with the USBC to expand the ByBlack platform,” Jessica Ling — senior vice president of Global B2B Marketing at American Express — tells AfroTech. “Seventy-five...
Sep 8, 2021
Visa is piloting its Tap to Phone technology in Washington, D.C., with hopes of aiding in the close of the digital divide for small Black-owned businesses and communities. This is the first time the multinational financial services corporation is bringing its new tech to the U.S. after piloting it in 30 other countries, Visa shared in a press release. Visa is also looking to provide resources and education through Visa Street Teams , an initiative it created to digitally-enable 50 million small businesses. Following this launch in D.C., Visa will be taking its tech to Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and Miami as part of its small business revitalization initiative. “The way we shop and pay has forever changed. During the pandemic, tapping to pay and contactless checkout became more commonplace – and are now expected,“ Mary Kay Bowman, Visa’s global head of buyer, seller, core and platform products, said in a press release. “With our technology, networking and community...
Jun 16, 2021