Black Women Business Owners thrive when they receive the proper support. We’ve seen this in real-time as we've supported Black Women-Owned Businesses from startup to mature and even six-figure businesses. But when you look at the reality, where Black Women are underserved, denied, left out and ignored, only 3% of the 2.7 million Black Women-Owned Businesses make it to maturity.
You can help change this number though. You can be a part of meaningful change that helps:
Close the pay equity gap: Black Women Founders earn 5x less than other women founders.
Strengthen Black businesses: Black businesses could generate $676,356,621,618 if they were able to increase their revenue to the level of other businesses.
Supports communities: Small businesses help strengthen local communities by creating jobs (12.9 million jobs in 25 years), investing in local infrastructure, driving innovation and diversity, and supporting cooperation.
But let’s get into it, how can you actually be a part of this change? Here are three simple things that you can start doing today:
1. Understand What It Means To Be In Partnership With Black Woman Business Owners
Slacktivism and performative support are particularly damaging to Black Women-Owned Businesses because they’re already at a severe disadvantage. This means doing seemingly harmless things like buying products for the Gram and returning them later, demanding free products or labor in exchange for support, or leaving negative reviews for things that are out of their control (like shipping) can literally be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Black Women Founders need partners who are willing to invest in the relationship long term. Partners who are:
Comfortable supporting their vision and their dream
Willing to support both their short- and long-term goals
And able to extend grace and allow space for mistakes
Find Black-Woman Owned brands that you believe in, that make your life better, and then consider how you can be in partnership with them long term.
2. Explore Support Beyond Conventional Norms
[picture of marathon runners who ran for BFABW with caption explaining what they did]
Of course buying from Black Women is one of the most effective ways to support them. It allows them to reinvest that money in inventory, marketing and other operational costs. But depending on who you are and what you do, you could also potentially:
Ask them what they need and then supply it or help them get it
Give them a cash donation
Pay for a tool, service or subscription they need to run their business
Contribute to their professional development by helping them pay for certifications, conference tickets etc.
Donate or barter your services
Recommend them for a contract or vendor opportunity
Introduce them to influential people in your network
Volunteer at their events or in their business
Engage them on social media and help promote their content
Check in with them from time to time, ask them how they’re doing!
There’s no limit to the ways that you can support and show up for Black Women. Just watch what they’re doing to see how you can fit in, check in with them to make sure they’re good with it, and then commit to supporting them in some way on a regular basis.
3. Show Up For Black Women Business Owners
Image via Hubspot
According to Hubspot, a brand champion is someone who promotes and builds support for your brand internally and/externally. Similarly, the dictionary definition of brand champion according to Cambridge Dictionary is “a manager who is responsible for creating and developing a brand and encouraging support for it, both inside and outside a company.”
I’m extending what it means to be a brand champion beyond the conventional definition because I’ve seen first-hand what really works for us.
A Black Woman Brand Champion is someone who shows up for Black Women Business Owners consistently and supports them in ways that sustain their business long term.
Show up for Black Women long term, but be present on their terms. It’s as simple as that.
You Can Be A Part of Their Success Story
Pick a brand. Figure out how you can support them sustainably. Commit to doing so long term. And then do it.
The beautiful thing about this is you’ll actually get to be a part of their journey and watch as they grow, while playing your part in building a more equitable future. So do it, be a brand champion! Here’s a directory of Black Woman-Owned Businesses that you can choose from.