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Looking For Black Businesses Online? Try These 11 Black-Owned Digital Marketplaces

E-commerce is the future of retail experiences around the world, and it’s a common trend that many businesses and platforms are starting to pick up on. The last year-plus in the pandemic has taught consumers a valuable lesson when it comes to online shopping and has birthed an era of mass conversion for businesses pivoting to the digital landscape. To celebrate Black-owned businesses, it’s only right that AfroTech spotlights the handful of apps and platforms that exist to show how technology can be a helpful tool in the e-commerce space. There are hundreds and thousands of Black-owned businesses waiting to be discovered online, so it’s up to these platforms to streamline connections between brands and their potential customers. If you’re not sure where to go to find new Black-owned businesses, check out these digital marketplaces that are making the discovery process a lot easier.

Njera Perkins

Aug 17, 2021

David Rawlinson Hired As CEO Of Parent Company To QVC And HSN, Qurate

Qurate Retail has a new chief executive officer (CEO). According to The Wall Street Journal, David Rawlinson II is the next CEO of the parent company of QVC and HSN as the online retailer looks to make changes that reflect the ever-evolving habits of consumers. Rawlinson will serve as president and CEO-elect of Qurate Retail, Inc. for a two-month period before taking the role on Oct. 1. Current Qurate CEO Mike George will retire at year-end before Rawlinson steps into his new role. For Rawlinson, the new role is proof that representation matters as Qurate joins other companies who have been working to diversify their boardrooms, executive suites, and workforces following the racial reckoning in the U.S. after the murder of George Floyd. “Representation matters,” said Rawlinson in an interview. “It’s important for every young person to see that their future is limitless.” The 45-year-old says that the job drew his attention thanks to his mother who watched QVC and HSN during his...

Shanique Yates

Jul 26, 2021

James Harden Is The Newest Board Member Of Luxury E-Commerce Company, Saks

NBA star James Harden is taking his business and investor expertise to Saks’ luxury platform. The high-end e-commerce company has appointed the Brooklyn Nets player to its board to share his unique perspective as a fashion enthusiast in an effort to help expand its high-potential consumer brands. “I am honored to join the Saks board and to be a part of a company that is paving the future of luxury retail. This is an exciting opportunity for me to combine two of my personal passions – a love of fashion and teaming up with brands that have the potential to lead while making an impact on the communities they serve,” Harden said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the Saks team, and to having a direct impact on the company’s future success, the fashion community and its customers.” A press release reports that Harden’s appointment comes as the latest milestone for Saks’ strategy to become the premier luxury e-commerce platform in the fashion industry. With a proven track...

Njera Perkins

Jun 14, 2021

Sterling Smith Helps Black Founders Launch E-Commerce Apps In Less Than 10 Minutes

As we look toward the future of retail for Black founders many questions come to mind. What do retailers want? How can they be successful? For founders like Sterling Smith, the answer is simple. “Retailers want freedom,” he tells Will Lucas on the latest episode of the Black Tech Green Money podcast. “Retailers want flexibility and they want the ability to say ‘hey, I’m with Shopify one day but it isn’t allowing me to service my customers in this way, using this third-party integration partner so let me go to BitCommerce. They also want minimum to zero lag time and downtime.” He also explains that retailers also want to be able to not only complete transactions with their customers but also want to be able to leverage the data and own their customer data. “Technologies like Sandbox Commerce allows for growing brands and retailers to do just that in the same way that larger brands snd retailers that you may find in stores like Nordstroms are doing,” continued Smith.   View this post...

Shanique Yates

Jun 8, 2021

BLCK Market Founder J.O. Malone Created A Hybrid Marketplace To Help Black Businesses Thrive

For the country at large, it may seem as though it wasn’t until last summer that prioritizing support for Black-owned businesses became a popular trend. However, that is hardly the case for this Houston-based marketplace. BLCK Market was founded back in 2017 with a mission to provide a safe space for small Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs to showcase their quality brands and curate a vision of financial literacy, support, and creativity for the local community. The marketplace, considered Houston’s largest gathering of Black-owned businesses, started out holding in-person events in some of Houston’s Black museums like the Houston Museum of African-American Culture and then moved onto the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum. According to founder Jeremy Malone (who also goes by J.O.), he created this powerful concept to find a positive outlet for his creativity and also give back to his city in a way that makes a statement for all Black businesses. “Being a creative in Houston is...

Njera Perkins

Jun 3, 2021

Black Women Lead Efforts To Launch Digital Marketplace HellaBlack For Black Retailers

Last year, founders Layla Nielsen, Natalie Robinson and Love-leigh Trimiew announced plans to launch HellaBlack, a new e-commerce marketplace for Black retailers and enthusiasts — now the digital shopping platform is officially live. In an op-ed for Blavity, Trimiew previously wrote about how her family’s story and desire to own her historical narrative inspired her to start her own Black-owned business. “In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, there have been many important articles written about the history of Blacks being denied the opportunity to thrive economically — Wilmington, North Carolina, and Tulsa, Oklahoma are often cited,” she wrote. “A lot of Black thought-leaders have written think pieces about the necessity of Black economic empowerment. I am neither a philosopher, historian or expert in African-American studies. I am a Black woman business owner, the descendant of West African slaves and an East African immigrant, looking to my own historical narrative of hope amid...

Njera Perkins

May 19, 2021

Zerina Akers' Black Owned Everything is Now An E-Commerce to Champion Black Businesses

Black-owned everything is a way of life. Zerina Akers is the millennial entrepreneur behind Black Owned Everything — the intersection between a marketplace and media culture when it comes to everything Black! Akers, the long-time stylist to Beyoncé and Chloe x Halle, has become a fashion household name for her work as a costume designer for Disney’s “Black Is King.” Not only does Akers’ Black Owned Everything empower a diverse community of creators, but she built the company on the foundation of inclusivity with a mission to amplify Black creators. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Black Owned Everything After the platform was introduced on Instagram in mid-2020, it took over! Today it has built a community of more than 200,000 followers and 14,000 registered Black businesses. “After seeing the overwhelming response from the @blackownedeverything Instagram page, I recognized the need for a luxury retail space for Black-owned businesses to have a global reach. It was a natural progression...

Shanique Yates

Feb 15, 2021

Inclusive E-Commerce Site Thirteen Lune Raises $1M With Help From Diddy to Expand Its Digital Platform

Last month, all-inclusive e-commerce platform Thirteen Lune kicked off its launch to support more Black and brown-owned beauty brands. Now the online beauty hub has raised $1 million to expand its development with help from several investors, including media mogul and entertainer Sean “Diddy” Combs, WWD reports. “I believe in the Thirteen Lune mission to build generational wealth for Black and brown business owners,” said Combs in a statement. “Nyakio and Patrick have the vision and grit to build a world-class platform, and I’m excited to be an investor and adviser.” In addition to Diddy’s participation, WWD shares that Thirteen Lune also enlisted other well-known early investors such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts, Gregg Renfrew of the Beautycounter, Tracey Cunningham of Mèche salon, former U.S. Ambassador Nicole Avant, venture capitalist Patrick Finnegan, and Sydney Holland of Urban and The Mystic. “Through this capital that we raised, $1 million with our friends and family, and...

Njera Perkins

Jan 19, 2021

Entrepreneur Feleg Tsegaye Launched Ethiopia's First Online Food Delivery Company

Forward-thinking innovations in Africa are what keeps the continent ahead of the game in leading the future for us all. Thanks to entrepreneur Feleg Tsegaye, Africa’s momentum in the food space is seeing an uptick after launching Deliver Addis, Ethiopia’s first online restaurant delivery company, Face2Face Africa reports. Tsegaye — who was born to exiled Ethiopian parents in the U.S. — moved to Ethiopia when he was 24-years-old to begin his ambitious business endeavor. He set up his Addis Ababa-based company in 2015 as both a platform and an app to deliver takeout restaurant food, groceries, and beverages, as well as flowers and books. According to How We Made It in Africa, Tsegaye’s reason for creating Deliver Addis was because he didn’t want to learn how to cook, but the mission grew to be much greater than that. For Tsegaye, launching this new venture was not only a way to generate new jobs in his home country, but also change the structure of dining culture for Ethiopia as a...

Njera Perkins

Jan 11, 2021

Isiah Thomas Launches E-Commerce Storefront For World's Largest Minority-Owned Champagne Brand With Thirstie

Former NBA player Isiah Thomas is taking his champagne brand to the next level and expanding its consumer reach. The NBA Hall of Famer introduced his brand, Cheurlin Champagne, to U.S. customers back in 2016, making it the largest minority-owned champagne in the world. According to a news release , Thomas has now entered into an innovative tech partnership with Thirstie — the leader in e-commerce and logistics solutions for beverage alcohol brands — to build an innovative direct-to-consumer purchase option for customers via the Cheurlin website. “I take great pride in being able to expand Cheurlin Champagne to U.S. consumers,” said Chairman/CEO Thomas in a statement . “This partnership with Thirstie is the next step in that journey.” Cheurlin — which was founded in the Aube in 1788 — has continued its hands-on tradition of staking its name and reputation on crafting France’s finest Champagne. The brand’s full suite of products is now available for U.S. customers to purchase here ....

Njera Perkins

Nov 19, 2020