It is often easy to forget the power we hold as consumers and that the decision to shop from an independent brand rather than a larger chain can have a huge effect on the success of smaller business owners. It can even go so far as making a significant social change and becoming an anti-racism ally.
The pandemic has proven difficult for businesses everywhere, however black owned businesses have struggled considerably for a number of reasons. One report found 41 percent of Black-owned businesses have been shuttered by COVID-19 compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses.
As a result, supporting black owned businesses is more important now than ever. Events such as the UK Black Business Show and initiatives such as Black Pound Day support black owned brands and encourage us to look deeper into the businesses we invest our money into.
The UK Black Business Show was set up in 2017 to inspire and connect black business owners and working professionals from a number of different industries.
Offering business exhibitions, deep-dive workshops, interactive panels, and seminars, delivered by industry pioneers, this event will enable personal, professional and corporate development.
According to Forbes, Black entrepreneurs are more likely than white business owners to refrain from applying for loans because they believe they would be rejected; some 37.9% of Black employer firms reported being discouraged, compared to 12.7% of white-owned employer firms.
This year, the show joined forces with HSBC UK as their exclusive headline sponsor. This partnership offers vital support to help the advancement of black entrepreneurs and professionals in the UK.
Raphael Sofoluke, the CEO & Founder of UK Black Business Show said;
“There are a number of challenges and barriers black entrepreneurs go through. Partnering with HSBC UK will allow us to collaborate and ensure that Black entrepreneurs are not neglected and are treated the same as every other race. HSBC are committed to making a difference and we are pleased to be working with organisations who are putting Diversity at the forefront of the company objectives”
Since May 2020, the Black Lives Matter protests sparked national discussions on racial justice and caused people across the world to become more aware of the importance of supporting black-owned businesses. During this time, searches for black-owned businesses increased by more than 7,000%. However, over time this has gradually decreased and proven to be more of a fleeting trend than a lasting habit.
Supporting black-owned brands runs far deeper than this and in order to make significant change, this support needs to become a continuous movement.
One vital effect of supporting black-owned brands is that in time we can begin to close the wealth gap. It has been reported that the net worth of the average Black household is roughly 1/10 that of the average white household. This wealth gap has existed for a significant amount of time and isn’t something that will change drastically overnight, however mindfully shopping from independent, black-owned brands helps to create a path for sustained, multi-generational wealth.
Shopping in this way also allows us to exercise our consumer power. By doing this, we are effectively communicating our expectations to larger and more established brands. Black people currently occupy only 3.2% of senior leadership roles in large U.S. companies alone and .8% of CEO positions for Fortune 500 companies. By making it clear that diversity is important to us as consumers we can send a powerful message to larger corporations and make a significant change.
We can of course support black-owned businesses by choosing to shop with them and investing our money into the brand. However, we do not all have a disposable income that allows us to shop continuously. If this is the case, there are a number of ways to show support without spending your last penny.
One simple way to support is by increasing a brand’s visibility and helping to drive others to the business. Writing a good review makes other customers considerably more likely to shop with them and boosts the profile of the brand.
Another free and easy way to increase a brand’s visibility is by following and sharing on social media. Social channels have become major platforms for advertising and their global reach makes it easier than ever to raise the profiles of small, independent businesses. Sharing content can help drive new customers to the brand and in turn support their growth.
Even simple steps such as visiting a brand’s website or signing up to their newsletter can make a huge difference. When a brand owner sees these clicks and views in their analytics, it can help them to better understand how to interact with their audience and what content, products or services are most welcomed by the customer base.
If pay day has arrived and you are keen to spend your hard earned cash wisely, look no further. Here we have carefully selected just a few of the amazing independent, black-owned businesses to check out now.
With a background in cosmetic science, founder Betse Coker created The Washday Co with the aim to make wash days a more enjoyable experience. Each product is designed for a curl-changing experience – cleansing, conditioning, detangling – using powerful natural ingredients that leave curly, coily or kinky hair soft, defined and deeply hydrated. Throw in some irresistible scents and you have a recipe for haircare success.
The Big For Your Boots Shampoo is packed with nourishing ingredients to remove dirt, excess oil and product build up whilst strengthening, softening and cleansing your locks.
Founded by Bianca Estelle a Harley Street-trained skin specialist, clinical trainer and director, the award winning brand bea Skin Care fuses cosmeceutical science with everyday skincare to create fully inclusive products to support healthy and radiant skin.
The Advanced Rejuvenating Cleanser is particularly beneficial for photodamaged and mature skin. It promotes deep exfoliation and stimulates skin cell turnover, which in turn helps to even out discolouration and promote collagen production.
The niche fragrance brand launched by Swedish born Maya Njie, marries fragrance with emotion and nostalgia.
With a focus on high quality artisanal blends, the scents are deeply rooted in Maya’s Swedish and West African culture. All formulas are developed in-house, using a variety of essential oils, aroma compounds and resins. Making use of both naturals and synthetics in her creations – it truly is nature and science combined.
The Tropica fragrance brings together notes of pineapple and coconut and instantly transports you to a tropical getaway. Sandalwood and synthetic ambergris brings a lingering earthy tone to complete the ultimate summer scent.
When founder Rachael Nsofor and her two daughters found themselves like many others styling their own hair during lockdown, they began their mission to create wigs and hair extensions that were easy to use, accessible and affordable.
plsLONDON was born, offering high-quality clip-ins and wigs that effortlessly elevate any look no matter the colour or texture. If that’s not enough, Pls has created a community for hair lovers. Their site features style inspiration and tips and tricks for hair extension newbies.
The bestselling Sade Pony adds 22 inches of glam. The reusable hair extensions are heat resistant up to 180 degrees and can be washed and styled as desired.