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Black Business

Black Business Month isn’t over just yet! Amazon has announced that they are testing a new badge that aims to help boost the exposure of Black-owned businesses that buy and sell products through its online store.  The initiative, which comes just after the anniversary of the app’s first Black Business Accelerator program, will highlight to customers when a Black-owned business sells a featured offer product.  That way, customers can discover, shop, buy and support Black-owned businesses, ultimately helping small business owners expand their clientele and reach a broader demographic.  “As part of

Many startup cofounders have exciting stories to share about how they met. From bonding as college roommates or former colleagues to surprise encounters leading to entrepreneurial adventures but for some, that perfect cofounder is found through a match-making platform. Damilare Ogunleye is the co-founder and CEO of FoodLama. He runs the Google-backed startup with his cofounder – 18-year-old Santiago Schmitt. But how does the startup work? FoodLama is a free-to-install-and-use browser extension that simplifies online grocery shopping with preferences. By taking into account your household’s individual allergies, preferences, and needs,

Black-owned digital bookkeeping platform, Pastel, has raised $5.5 million in a seed funding round. The round led by pan-African venture capital firm TLcom Capital also included other VC firms such as Global Founders Capital, Golden Palm Investments, DFS Labs, Ulu Ventures and Plug and Play, and Soma Cup.  Pastel, co-founded in 2020 by Abuzar Royesh, Olamide Oladeji, and Izunna Okonkwo, is a platform designed to help build digital tools to provide a solution to issues small businesses across Africa face. The platform’s primary goal is to unlock the potential of

LA-based tech non-profit, Minor-IT has expanded its I.T. training services to help African American and minority youths hoping to succeed in the I.T. industry.  Minor-IT, founded in 2019 by Stephen Jones, works to enable minority youth to help them pursue I.T. careers through educational experience, peer-to-peer learning, and networking.  They offer guidance and mentoring to help students with the tools needed to achieve unlimited career success. They also sponsor counsel and network with children and teens to help facilitate change in an underrepresented industry.  “For me, breaking into I.T., getting

Black-owned scheduling platform Calendly has been named one of the world’s top private cloud companies on Forbes’ Cloud 100 list.  Calendly is a cloud scheduling company on a mission to revolutionize how the world schedules. Tope Awotona launched the platform in 2013 and it is now worth a staggering $3 billion.   The app uses an automated tool to make the process of scheduling easier. Users can sync their calendars with the platform and share a link that will bring people to their Calendly page. People will not be able to see your

Business accelerator program, Comcast RISE, has dedicated $1 million to supporting Philadelphia BIPOC-owned businesses.  The program, which was initially launched in 2020 as a response to help small business owners of color who were impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, will award more than 100 Philadelphia small businesses owned by women and people of color with $1 million in grants.  According to a press release, Comcast RISE has distributed over $16 million in grants to early-stage businesses, and $75 million in in-kind support for marketing and technology services, impacting more than 9,500

Black-owned SaaS startup, Stimulus recently closed a $2.5 million seed round. The funding round was led by Black Ops VC and included Genius Guild, Morgan Stanley, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, REFASHIOND Ventures, Bronze Valley, The BFM Fund, Plain Sight Capital, Penn Medicine, and a few angel investors.  Stimulus, founded in 2017 by Tiffanie Stanard, is a relationship intelligence (SaaS) platform that uses data insights and relationship-building tools to help companies make the best purchasing decisions while assisting them in optimizing, nurturing, and growing their supplier ecosystems.  The company’s mission is to help businesses

Backstage Capital, one of the first venture capital firms to pave the way for hundreds of underrepresented founders, has announced Bank of America as the latest investor in its Opportunity Fund I.  The investment firm, founded by Arlan Hamilton, has been investing in underestimated founders since 2015. As a result, the platform has one of the largest portfolios of underrepresented founders in venture capital. Their portfolio comprises 200 companies led by women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ founders.  According to a press release, Bank of America recently announced that it had

Black-owned digital health platform, She Matters has closed a $1.5 million pre-seed investment fund. The funding round included participation from Oxeon Ventures, Chingona Ventures, New York University, The Fund, and Techstars.  The platform, co-founded by Jade Kearney and Marguerite Pierce, is a social networking platform designed to support Black mothers who experience postpartum comorbidities. The organization provides mothers access to a community, culturally competent healthcare, and culturally relevant resources. Additionally, they train healthcare providers on culturally appropriate healthcare and help them understand Black women’s challenges.  She Matters’ original mission was

Black Business Month is well and truly underway. To celebrate, video-sharing platform TikTok has announced it is now accepting applications for its third annual ‘Support Black Businesses’ accelerator program.  The accelerator program, launched in 2020 in the wake of the George Floyd protests, aims to help elevate the voices of Black-owned businesses on TikTok. Through the initiative, Black entrepreneurs will have exclusive access to resources, benefits, and networking opportunities.  The program will also offer entrepreneurs custom virtual training sessions across four weeks to help them accelerate their business on TikTok.

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