A few months ago, I got together with my team and expressed a burden that I had for our community. A real burden that stuck with me for days. I desire nothing more than to see our community thrive. Families, businesses, people. We’ve all got to contribute. We all work hard, but we all know – we can do better. For years, I’ve run my own business and for the most part, we’ve focused on helping entrepreneurs, young professionals and small business owners grow, expand and maximize their opportunities. It’s been fulfilling, but we started thinking about how we could do more.
As a black man, I haven’t been able to NOT think about the lack of successful black businesses in our communities. I wasn’t alone in this thinking. In having this conversation with my team, it became evident to us that despite the success of our country, the decline of the black business has continued. There isn’t one single reason, but we believe that we can be a part of creating a solution. Who better to focus on our community, than us? Who has been focused on building up the businesses that we’re all so eager to support? Who’s teaching them about Branding? Marketing? Social Media? Financial Planning? Customer Service? …and for how much?
No one. The truth is no one. We’re a gifted people, but the knowledge and resource gap has become unbearable. These gaps should no longer exist. Together, we decided that we would change that, and today we’re going public with our plan.
We’ve launched the ‘Black Business Project’ and it has one collective purpose. We want to offer existing black-owned small businesses the CHANCE. The chance to compete. The chance to grow. The chance to become a viable force in today’s marketplace. The only (and best) way to do this, is to offer these services to qualifying business owners, for free. Have you ever wished your favorite soul food restaurant had online ordering? An app maybe? Have you ever wanted to schedule your car service online? Maybe you’ve received nasty customer service at your favorite hair salon? We’re partnering with other service providers to provide FREE solutions to existing small businesses – so that together we can improve. Collectively, we can thrive. Our goal is to stimulate 1,000 black businesses across America by July 2020, and we’re starting in Atlanta next month.
We need your help. This is a huge project – and we can’t do it alone. We need some partners (designers, trainers and financial professionals) to make this work. We’ll track the progress of each business on our website – and at our website you can also donate, partner with us or sign-up to receive updates on our progress.
It’s longer than I thought it would be, but please go to www.blackbusinessproject.com and poke around. Share, Share, Share! Everyday we’ll have an update. Follow us everywhere @blackbizproject and be sure to like our “Black Business Project” page on Facebook.
I believe in black business. I believe in black people. Please join with us to make a lasting change in our communities and in the world.
Intent to see change,