Should You Start a New Business After the Pandemic? - The Dough Roller

Should You Start a New Business After the Pandemic? - The Dough Roller


Should You Start a New Business After the Pandemic? - The Dough Roller

Posted: 19 May 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Let's start by looking at some trends before digging deeper into what type of business you might want to start and ultimately, where to find your financing.

Table of Contents:

Should You Start a New Business After the Pandemic?

Whether or not you should start a business depends on a variety of factors. But to help frame your thinking a bit, consider a few pieces of data.

Big Names Have Emerged from Recessions

Incredibly successful companies such as Uber and Slack came out of the last recession–and these are just two examples. Crisis can be the inspiration for new ways of doing things, so if you are sitting on an idea that could help make life easier for people, now might be the time to act.

This just goes to show that the economy doesn't have to be booming for new ideas to prosper. As long as you have a product or service that people want, you price it appropriately, and you market the company well, you can achieve success.

Data Shows More and More People Want to Be Entrepreneurs

According to a study by Babson College, 27 million Americans are either starting or running new businesses. The same study showed that over 50% of Americans found that there was opportunity for new businesses, while 36% planned on developing and delivering an innovative service or product as their core offering.

As more and more Americans are laid off or furloughed, I can't help but think those statistics are climbing, as people consider their options on how to make money. And in today's environment, you no longer need a brick and mortar store to set up shop and make money.

In fact, according to an interview of Joe Galvin, chief research officer for Vistage (an executive coaching company for small to mid size businesses), people who are focused on digital transformation with their businesses have the opportunity to be incredibly successful. He said because people are staying home, so much energy is being focused toward online businesses, and it'll ultimately accelerate the death of the brick and mortar business.

Before you completely decide if it's time to start a new business, read on for more information to help inform your decision.

Industries Doing Well During the Pandemic

Businesses are having to quickly adapt to the changing environment due to the coronavirus pandemic. No longer can companies survive as solely a brick and mortar business, waiting on customers to walk in their door and spend money.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put together a list of 15 different types of businesses that are thriving during the pandemic. Many of them come as no surprise, but there are a few I want to highlight.

Delivery Services

Many of us have either been told by our government to stay home or are just too nervous to go out and buy things like food, so delivery services have seen a huge uptick in demand.

A great example is Instacart. The food delivery app recently had to hire 250,000 more workers just to meet the growing demand for grocery delivery during the pandemic.

I can attest to this and the level of frustration I felt during this surge in demand. Before the pandemic, I was able to order groceries through Instacart and have them delivered later that day, no problem.

But since demand for delivery blew up after the coronavirus came, I was either unable to get a delivery or had to sometimes wait a week or more. Now, considering the circumstances, I didn't mind, but it was frustrating to have to project grocery needs that far in advance.

The silver lining, of course, is a tremendous amount of opportunity for delivery. So whether you work for a company like Instacart or you start your own delivery-based service, chances are there will be a high demand even after things calm down.

Cleaning Services

As fear continues to spread from the coronavirus, both corporate and residential cleaning companies have seen a boom in demand.

While it may seem like this will peak during the pandemic, I surmise that these types of businesses will be in incredibly high demand after we go back to work and resume somewhat normal daily activities.

This pandemic has caused us to shift the way we think about everything. For example, have you ever washed your hands as much as you do now? I know I haven't. In fact, my hands were raw a few weeks ago since I was washing them so much with antibacterial soap.

So we want to be clean and we want our environments to be clean, too. Thus, a business opportunity is born for people to clean homes and businesses. Plus, the more sterile you are (i.e., wearing a mask, gloves, and making sure things are totally sanitized), the more business you'll have.

Sean Ludwig, contributor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, cites two small cleaning businesses in the article that have seen so much demand they have had to hire more people than ever before to keep up. I can't see this type of demand going away any time soon.

And beyond the traditional cleaning services, enterprises have sprung up to fill the demand for personal protection. Clothing manufacturers across the country first helped to make face masks for medical professionals, but now that the CDC recommends everyone wear masks in public, existing companies have switched production to fill this emerging need.

Fitness Equipment Companies

Companies like Tonal, Mirror, and Peloton are booming right now since people are stuck inside but still want to work out. Mirror, for example, has a "mirror" product that you can stick on your wall and do live workouts while seeing your progress (since it is a mirror, of course).

And we all know about Peloton at this point–their bikes and treadmills continue to sell as people look for a way to get a quick workout in at home, while still enjoying the benefits of a live class (you know, that whole human interaction thing?).

So while these larger companies are seeing success, it doesn't mean small businesses can't, too. Whether you're selling workout equipment or creating a service that allows people to have live, human-interaction (like a personal trainer) from the comfort of their own home, there's a lot of opportunity to take advantage of here.

Should You Open One of these Businesses? Or Join One?

Whether or not you should open or join one of these businesses depends on many factors. You need to address your personal financial situation first. Do you have the capital to start a new business (more on this below)? What happens if it doesn't work out, do you have a fall back plan?

I think now is an amazing time to start a business. There are so many opportunities, and more and more of them are popping up with the pandemic and our new way of living.

So if you think you're ready, you need to go for it.

According to Bernhard Schroeder of Forbes, three of the biggest excuses we typically make for not starting a business are a fear of failure, the fact that starting a business is hard work, and a lack of security that comes from a steady paycheck.

He outlines a handful more excuses, but he makes the point that these excuses no longer matter. For example, he makes an excellent point about "security" with our regular day job. Schroeder states that "the real issue is that unless you work for the government, there is no guarantee of jobs for life."

And he's right. Pandemic or not, there's no real guarantee for your employment. So think about that for a while before you make an excuse.

Where to Find the Capital to Start Your Business

You have several options for finding the capital to start a new business. While all of them can work, some are more desirable than others. But that doesn't mean that a less desirable source of funding (i.e., credit cards) can't work for you if you're smart.

Here are the main options you have:

Direct Lenders

You can get a small business loan directly from a small business loan lender. It's always wise to check with your current bank or local credit union first, but in case they don't offer what you're looking for, I have a couple of (possibly better) solutions for you (though some require that you've already been in business for a while).

The first is Kabbage. You may have heard about Kabbage on the radio or through some other form of advertisement. Their bread and butter is small business lending. You can get up to $150,000 by meeting only a few simple requirements. The downside is that APRs can be high and terms can be short.

The second option is a company called OnDeck. They too specialize in small business loans and offer two different options: term loans and lines of credit.

You can get up to half a million dollars in a small business loan if you've:

a) been in business at least a year,

b) have at least $100,000 in gross revenues each year, and

c) meet their other lending requirements (i.e., credit score, etc.).

Peer-to-Peer Lenders

I think a better option is to go with a peer-to-peer lender (P2P). A P2P lender is one that provides funding through other people. So, you're essentially borrowing money from others and using a lending company as a middleman.

My favorite is Prosper. They're the O.G. of P2P lending as they were basically the first one to hit the market around 15 years ago. While they don't offer "small business loans" per se, you can get an unsecured loan through the platform for up to $40,000 at some pretty favorable rates.

Another option I like is LendingClub. Here, you can get a small business loan, but need to meet certain requirements–among them, be in business for at least a year and have at least $50,000 in revenues. Starting rates are pretty good, but if you have poor credit, rates can be astronomical. Which leads me to my next option…

Credit Cards

Hear me out before you say that you're not willing to fund a new business on a credit card. First of all, standard rates on credit cards can sometimes be better than a rate you'd get with a small business loan–you just have to shop around.

But I'm not talking about standard rates, that's only a backup. I'm talking about cards that offer excellent promotional offers for opening the card–giving you a low APR (or even 0% APR) on purchases and balance transfers.

A great example is the ABOC Platinum Rewards Card. This card gives you 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months and on purchases for 12 months. That means you can get your business started and pay no interest on your balance for a year.

In addition, you'll get $150 in statement credit after spending $1,200 in 90 days after opening the card. Plus, the card had great rewards. You'll earn a point on every dollar purchased and 5x points–up to $1,500 every quarter–on dining, groceries, travel and gas.

So you can see, using a credit card wisely can actually help you get your business started at a low cost. Check out our complete list of the best balance transfer credit cards and the best interest-free credit cards for more information.

Other Options

Use Your Savings

A riskier option is to use your emergency savings. I don't recommend it, but if you are out of other options, you might consider tapping into your savings to fund your new business. Just be smart about it and make sure you have a game plan for both earning money and a fail-safe if things don't work out.

Borrow from Family

You can ask to borrow money from family, as painful as that might be. In many cases, your family members might help out if you have a good business plan–and they'll be even more likely if you're willing to either pay them back with interest or cut them in on the business profits if and when it becomes successful.

How Are Things Different for Small Businesses Now and Moving Forward?

In the short-term, most of us are working from home, kids are going to school online, and we're practicing social distancing. But what happens in the long-run? How will things change?

The short answer is we just don't know.

According to Joe Galvin in the interview I cited above, this is what's called a black swan event–meaning that it's totally unpredictable and it has a lasting, long-term effect. (The term black swan was popularized by a writer and former trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who wrote a book with the same title.) Galvin says that the coronavirus will have a profound and long-term effect on us, and, until we reach the bottom, we won't know how severe the impact is.

We can guess on how small businesses will fare in the future, but that's only a guess. I fully expect people to be more tentative about social interaction–at least for the next year or so.

This means that fewer people will want to shop in brick and mortar stores, go to gatherings and sporting events, or possibly hit the bar for an after work happy hour as often.

And within that lies business opportunity. Think remote services that people can access from their homes and still get the human-need of social interaction.

What Resources Are Available for Me?

As a small business owner (or an aspiring one) there are plenty of resources available to you. To start, here are four of our resources that will help you ideate on businesses to start:

Another resource I found particularly helpful was one that Columbia University put together, which covers possible grants and other support you can find as a small business owner. To name a few:

Finally, a super-robust resource comes from the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. They put together a very deep guide on COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses. There, you'll find all types of information to help you with your small business during the pandemic.

Related: How Can Small Businesses Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic

Other Banking Services

Once you get your business up and running, you'll want to keep your business and personal finances separate. There are loads of banks that offer small business programs, but one that can be done online is Bank Novo. They are designed specifically for small businesses with a low fee structure. They only offer one type of account–a free business checking account–and it comes with discounts on things small businesses often need, like Stripe for processing credit cards and Salesforce for tracking leads.

Open an Account or Read the Full Bank Novo Review

Bottom Line

In short, do your research, but don't be afraid to take the jump if it's what you want to do. Crisis can be devastating, but they also offer up a chance to innovate. If you've been mulling on a business idea, now might be as good of a time as any to make it happen.

75 Black-Owned Businesses To Support - Forbes

Posted: 05 Jun 2020 03:34 PM PDT

Voting with your pocketbook is one of the best ways to effect change in a capitalist society.


The U.S. is home to roughly 2.5 million black-owned businesses, according to the Census Bureau. Although the vast majority are sole proprietorships or small-scale affairs, an increasing number have regional reach and national ambitions. Below, we resurface 10 black entrepreneurs who have recently been featured in Forbes and provide a directory of an additional 65 black-owned businesses to support. It is by no means an exhaustive list: We aren't including numerous high-profile celebrity entrepreneurs like Oprah Winfrey or Rihanna or the many successful black business owners who sell services to other corporations, like World Wide Technology's David Steward. These entrepreneurs and owners sell cosmetics, clothing, books, cars and financial products that you can buy. Fewer offer healthcare or consumer tech products, in part, because they lack access to venture funding. If you are interested in learning more about other black-owned businesses, there are a number of apps and directories online, including The Buy From A Black Woman Directory, The Black-Owned Market, Etsy's Black Owned Shops, Black Enterprise's Top 100 list, Bank Black and Bon Appetit's list of Black-owned restaurants.

Here are 10 black-owned businesses we've highlighted in print and online.

Founded by Maitland in 1995, the $9 billion investment firm is an expert in defensive investment strategies involving convertible bonds, designed to protect against downside while capturing most of the stock market's gains. The firm's $500 million publicly-traded closed-end fund, Advent Convertible & Income (Ticker: AVK), is the easiest for public investors to access with no investment minimums, but it carries the most risk due to a leveraged structure. Principally owned by Maitland, whose surgeon father once operated on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 55% of Advent's staff are women and minorities. (For more, see our Forbes magazine feature.) 

One of the top-performing investment firms in the world, Brown Capital's flagship Small Company Fund has generated an average annual return of 12%-plus since 1992, about double the Russell 2000 Growth Index. While that fund is closed to investors, Brown Capital has successfully expanded into international small-cap stocks and mid-cap stocks, which are funds anyone can buy. A former T. Rowe Price portfolio manager, founder Eddie Brown started the business in 1983. Now fully-owned by employees, 70% of the fast-growing firm's workforce are minorities. (For more, see our Forbes magazine feature.)

A single mother and breast cancer survivor, Cashmere Nicole founded Beauty Bakerie in 2011 as a new lipstick brand that was vegan, non-toxic and cruelty-free. Beyonce featured the nascent brand on her website, and Nicole (she goes by Cashmere Nicole for business) began marketing her long-lasting lipsticks on Instagram, where it now has 1.2 million followers. Today, Beauty Bakerie has raised $10 million from such investors as Unilever's venture arm, New Voices Fund and top black execs like Kenneth Chenault (former CEO of AmEx), making Nicole the rare black woman to raise that level of venture funding. "America is at an interesting inflection point," Nicole says. "Now is a time for everyone to create change and a lasting legacy." (For more, see our online story.)

Three years into a stint on the commodities desk at Goldman Sachs, Twine's mother died in a car accident. The tragedy pushed her to reconsider her career path. Inspired by her mother, a chemist who had developed a natural face cream, and her grandmother, who taught her how to make products with natural ingredients, she spent weekends and nights researching the beauty industry. In 2014, she launched natural haircare brand, Briogeo, that targets customers by hair texture (wavy, coily, dry, thin), rather than ethnicity; it was profitable from the start and revenues grew quickly to $10 million by the end of 2018. It launched internationally in 2018, and is now sold on Sephora shelves around the world as well as through online U.K. retailer CultBeauty. She sold a minority stake in the company to Drunk Elephant investor VMG last year for an undisclosed sum. (For more, see our Forbes magazine story.)

After putting herself through college at California State University Sacramento, Dellinger got an internship, and eventually a job, at Intel. While at the tech giant, she spent nights and weekends on her idea for a natural hair care line. She launched Curls in 2002, bootstrapping the business. Her big break: landing a partnership with Target. Today roughly 80% of the company's revenue comes from selling many of her 150 products in stores such as Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and CVS; the rest comes from online sales. She's written a book about her journey "from the projects to the penthouse" and had her own TV show on Oprah's OWN Network—Mind Your Business with Mahisha—helping other women-led businesses reach the million-dollar mark. (For more, see our online story.)

Forbes Under 30 social entrepreneurs, Nigerian-born entrepreneur Wemimo and his business partner Goel co-founded Esusu in 2019. The mobile platform helps individuals mostly from marginalized communities save money, access capital and build credit. Renters typically don't get credit for making their monthly payments on time; Esusu's platform has helped change that. It partnered with Equifax in January to use its rent-reporting platform to power credit scores for renters. In May, Esusu launched a fund that provides rental assistance for those most affected by Covid-19. It's since raised nearly $200,000 for the fund. With more than 200,000 users to date, the startup expects revenue to reach $1.2 million this year. (For more, see our online story.)

Founded in 2013 by Imira, 39, Mayvenn is a venture-backed digital salon where customers buy human hair extensions and wigs and book appointments with stylists. Mayvenn employs 63 people (81% of whom are people of color) and it directs business to 3,000 black stylists across the country. Since salons have been forced to shut down during the pandemic, Imira has raised $1.3 million in relief cash that he's giving to his network of stylists. (For more, see our Forbes magazine story.)

For nearly half their lives, Robin McBride and Andréa McBride-John didn't know the other existed. The half sisters, who were coincidentally raised in wine regions, in California and New Zealand respectively, met for the first time in 1999. Six years later, they launched their wine business. Last year, McBride Sisters Collection sold nearly 100,000 cases, putting it in the top 3% of the nation's wineries. Today, 90% of their staff are women and more than half are people of color. Up next: canned spritzers, slated for this summer. (For more, see our online story.)

Back in 2007, Dr. Gentles, who had worked at Texas Children's Hospital, teamed up with Bryant, a friend from church who had worked as a consultant on technology implementation and training, to start an urgent-care center just for kids. Today, NightLight Pediatric has eight pediatric urgent-care locations, with 130 employees (80% of whom are people of color) and revenue of $11 million last year. An alum of our 2017 Small Giants list, the company remains entirely owned by its three founders. (For more, see our online interview with Bryant.)

Konte founded Red Bay six years ago, and expanded it to include five Bay Area cafes and robust corporate sales. Since March, the pandemic has taken a toll. Though Red Bay's coffee roastery is running, its cafes had to shut down and it lost lucrative contracts to supply the offices of Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb. Fortunately, its wholesale and retail businesses spiked between March and May. Awareness that Red Bay is a black-owned business tripled online sales in the first three days of June, says Konte, 53. "People want to support us in these times," he says. A visual artist and former activist who organized protests in San Francisco following the 1991 beating of Rodney King, he says he's inspired by the Gandhi quote, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Pre-pandemic, he had 60 employees, all of whom were of color, including 25 people who were formerly incarcerated or who grew up in foster care. His headcount has shrunk by half. "We had to make some painful and drastic cuts," he says. (For more, see our online story.)

See below for 65 more black-owned businesses grouped by categories like finance and haircare.


AJ Crimson Beauty 


Founder: AJ Crimson

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Description: makeup for all ethnicities, shades

Website: ajcrimson.com

Instagram: @ajcrimson


Black Girl Sunscreen 


Founder: Shontay Lundy

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Description: sunscreen products  

Website: blackgirlsunscreen.com

Instagram: @blackgirlsunscreen


Danessa Myricks Beauty


Founder: Danessa Myricks

Headquarters: New York City

Description: cosmetics brand

Website: danessamyricksbeauty.com

Instagram: @danessa_myricks


Foot Nanny 


Founder: Gloria L. Williams

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Description: aromatherapy foot products

Website: footnanny.com 

Instagram: @footnanny


Golde


Founders: Trinity Mouzon Wofford, Issey Kobori

Headquarters: New York City

Description: smoothie boosters and face masks made with superfoods

Website: golde.co

Instagram: @golde


KNC Beauty 


Founder: Kristen Noel Crawley

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Description: natural, collagen-infused face masks 

Website: kncbeauty.com

Instagram: @kncbeauty


The Lip Bar


Founder: Melissa Butler

Headquarters: Detroit

Description: custom, vegan lipsticks

Website: thelipbar.com

Instagram: @thelipbar 


Mented Cosmetics 


Founders: KJ Miller, Amanda Johnson 

Headquarters: New York City

Description: cosmetics in inclusive shades 

Website: mentedcosmetics.com

Instagram: @mentedcosmetics



Pat McGrath Labs


Founder: Pat McGrath

Headquarters: New York City

Website: www.patmcgrath.com

Description: cosmetics brand from influential makeup artist

Instagram: @patmcgrathreal


Uoma Beauty 


Founder: Sharon Chuter

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Description: cosmetics in inclusive shades

Website: uomabeauty.com

Instagram: @uomabeautyon


Camille Rose 


Founder: Janell Stephens

Headquarters: Macon, Georgia

Description: handmade and all natural hair and skin products 

Website: camillerose.com

Instagram: @camillerosenaturals



Curlbox 


Founder: Myleik Teele

Headquarters: Atlanta

Description: monthly subscription box of curly hair products 

Website: curlbox.com

Instagram: @curlbox


CurlMix


Founders: Kimberly and Timothy Lewis 

Headquarters: Chicago

Description: organic haircare products for curly hair

Website: curlmix.com

Instagram: @CurlMix


The Cut Buddy


Founder: Joshua Esnard

Headquarters: Pittsboro, North Carolina

Description: hair template for cutting

Website: thecutbuddy.com

Instagram: @thecutbuddy

Myavana


Founder: Candace Mitchell

Headquarters: Atlanta

Description: personalized hair products 

Website: myavana.com

Instagram: @myavanahaircare


Melanin Haircare 


Founder: Whitney and Taffeta White  

Location: Boston

Description: natural hair products designed for black women 

Website: melaninhaircare.com

Instagram: @melaninhaircare


Pattern Beauty


Founder: Tracee Ellis Ross

Headquarters: El Segundo, California

Website: patternbeauty.com

Description: hair products for five hair texture types between 3B (medium curly) and 4C (super kinky)

Instagram: @patternbeauty


Rucker Roots 


Founders: Ellen and Ione Rucker 

Headquarters: Waxhaw, North Carolina

Description: natural hair products designed for black women 

Website: ruckerroots.com 

Instagram: @ruckerroots


Aminah Abdul Jillil 


Founder: Aminah Abdul Jillil

Headquarters: Las Vegas, Nevada

Description: luxury shoes and boots for women and kids 

Website: aminahabduljillil.com

Instagram: @aminahjillil


BLK MKT Vintage 


Founders: Kiyanna Stewart, Jannah Handy

Headquarters: New York City

Description: vintage collectibles celebrating black culture

Website: blkmktvintage.com

Instagram: @blkmktvintage


Bolé Road Textiles 


Founder: Hana Getachew

Location: Kingston, New York

Description: textiles made by artisans in Ethiopia

Website: boleroadtextiles.com

Instagram: @boleroadtextiles 



Brother Vellies 


Founder: Aurora James

Headquarters: New York City 

Description: handcrafted shoes and accessories from African artisans  

Website: brothervellies.com

Instagram: @brothervellies 


Cherry Blossom Intimates


Founder: Jasmine Jones

Headquarters: Glenarden, Maryland

Description: bras for women who have had mastectomies

Website: cherryblossomintimates.com 

Instagram: @cherryblossomintimates


Cushnie 


Founders: Carly Cushnie, Michelle Ochs

Headquarters: New York City

Description: women's ready-to-wear and accessories 

Website: cushnie.com

Instagram: @cushnie


The Folklore 


Founder: Amira Rasool

Headquarters: New York City

Description: clothing, accessories and housewares from designers based in Africa and the African diaspora

Website: shopthefolklore.com

Instagram: @thefolklore


FUBU 


Founder: Daymond John

Headquarters: New York City

Description: hip hop apparel 

Website: fubu.com 

Instagram: @fubu


Hanifa 


Founder: Anifa Mvuemba

Headquarters: North Bethesda, Maryland

Website: hanifa.co

Description: women's apparel 

Instagram: @hanifaofficial 


Hope For Flowers 


Founder: Tracy Reese

Headquarters: New York City

Description: sustainable clothing for women

Website: hopeforflowers.com

Instagram: @hopeforflowersbytracyreese


Kahmune 


Founder: Jamila Acheampong

Location: Columbia, Maryland

Description: shoes sold in 10 inclusive shades of nude

Website: kahmune.com

Instagram: @kahmune


Mateo New York  


Founder: Matthew Harris.

Headquarters: New York City

Description: fine jewelry with diamonds and gemstones 

Website: mateonewyork.com

Instagram: @mateonewyork 


Pyer Moss


Founder: Kerby Jean-Raymond

Headquarters: New York City

Description: fashion brand

Website: pyermoss.com

Instagram: @pyermoss


Telfar 


Founder: Telfar Clemens

Headquarters: New York City

Description: unisex bags 

Website: telfar.net

Instagram: @telfarglobal


The Sixes  


Founder: Franci Girard

Headquarters: New York City

Description: fashion for tall women

Website: thesixes.com

Instagram: @thesixesnyc


The Wrap Life 


Founder: Nnenna Stella

Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York

Description: head wraps, headbands, turbans and bandanas

Website: thewrap.life

Instagram: @thewraplife  


Unwrp


Founder: Ashley Fouyolle

Headquarters: New York City

Description: sustainable gift wrap, greeting cards and home décor in bold designs 

Website: unwrp.com

Instagram: @unwrp


UjuuMedia


Founder: Kelechi Anyadiegwu

Headquarters: New York City

Description: marketplace for emerging brands from around the world

Website: ujuumedia.com

Instagram: @ujuumedia


Ariel Investments 


Founder: John Rogers

Headquarters: Chicago

Description: mutual funds

Website: arielinvestments.com 

Instagram: @arielinvestments



Industrial Bank 


CEO: Doyle Mitchell Jr.

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

Description: banking and financial services

Website: industrial-bank.com

Instagram: @bankindustrial 


OneUnited Bank 


Founder: Kevin Cohee

Headquarters: Boston

Description: country's largest black-owned bank

Website: oneunited.com

Instagram: @oneunited

Adjourn Teahouse


Founder: LaTonia Cokely

Headquarters: Washington, D.C

Description: loose-leaf tea 

Website: adjournteahouse.com

Instagram: @adjournteahouse

BLK + Bold


Founders: Rod Johnson, Pernell Cezar

Headquarters: Des Moines, Iowa

Description: fair-trade coffee and loose-leaf tea 

Website: blkandbold.com

Instagram: @blkandbold

Brown Estate 


Company: Brown Estate

Founder: Deneen, David and Coral Brown

Headquarters: St. Helena, California

Website: brownestate.com 

Description: Napa Valley winery

Instagram: @brownestate


Chicago French Press 


Founder: Kris Christian

Headquarters: Chicago

Description: organic, flavored roast coffee

Website: chicagofrenchpress.com 

Instagram: @chicagofrenchpress

Crowns & Hops  


Founders: Beny Ashburn, Teo Hunter

Headquarters: Inglewood, California

Description: craft beer and brewery

Website: crownsandhops.com

Instagram: @crownsandhops

Forty Acres Fresh Market


Founder: Liz Abunaw

Headquarters: Chicago

Description: grocery that operates pop-ups with fresh food in underserved neighborhoods

Website: fortyacresfreshmarket.com 

Instagram: @fortyacresfreshmarket

The Furlough Cheesecake  


Founders: Nikki Howard, Jaqi Wright 

Headquarters: Oxon Hill, Maryland

Description: cheesecake maker

Website: thefurloughcheesecake.com

Instagram: @thefurloughcake

Golden Krust


Headquarters: New York City

Founders: Lowell Hawthorne (deceased) and family

Description: Caribbean restaurants franchise and seller of Jamaican patties

Website: goldenkrust.com 

Instagram: @goldenkrust

International Smoke 


Founders: Ayesha Curry, Michael Mina 

Headquarters: San Francisco

Website: internationalsmoke.com

Description: global-inspired barbecue chain

Instagram: @internationalsmoke

Marcus Samuelsson Group 


Founder: Marcus Samuelsson 

Headquarters: New York City

Description: restaurant group from the acclaimed chef that includes Red Rooster Harlem

Website: marcussamuelssongroup.com

Instagram: @marcuscooks

Partake Foods


Founder: Denise Woodard

Headquarters: Jersey City

Description: gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly cookies 

Website: partakefoods.com

Instagram: @partakefoods


Black Enterprise


CEO: Earl G. "Butch" Graves Jr.

Headquarters: New York City

Description: multimedia company focusing on black enterprise 

Website: blackenterprise.com

Instagram: @blackenterprise


Blavity 


Founder: Morgan DeBaun

Headquarters: San Francisco

Description: online media company for black millennials

Website: blavity.com

Instagram: @blavity


Essence 


Founders: Edward Lewis, Clarence O. Smith, Jonathan Blount, Cecil Hollingsworth

Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York

Description: lifestyle magazine  

Website: essence.com

Instagram: @essence



Urban One Inc 


Founder: Catherine Hughes

Headquarters: Silver Spring, Maryland

Description: public media firm focused on telling black stories

Website: urban1.com

Instagram: @tvonetv


Eso Won Books


Founders: James Fugate, Thomas Hamilton

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Description: bookstore with a large selection of books on African-American history

Website: esowonbookstore.com 

Instagram: @esowonbooks

Jungalow 


Founder: Justina Blakeney

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Description: online retailer of home decor, gifts, apparel

Website: jungalow.com 

Instagram: @thejungalow



 

The Lit. Bar 


Founder: Noëlle Santos

Location: New York City

Description: bookstore and bar

Website: thelitbar.com 

Instagram: @thelitbar

Love Notes Fragrances   


Founder: Nya Kam

Headquarters: New York City

Description: scented soy candles 

Website: lovenotesfragrances.com

Instagram: @lovenotesllc


4D Healthware


Founder: Star Cunningham

Headquarters: Chicago

Description: virtual health management for patients

Website: www.4dhealthware.com 

Twitter: @4DHealthware

BLK + GRN 


Founder: Kristian Henderson

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.

Description: marketplace for natural beauty and wellness products made by black artisans and entrepreneurs

Website: blkgrn.com

Instagram: @blkandgrn



The Honey Pot


Founder: Beatrice Dixon

Headquarters: Atlanta

Description: natural feminine care products

Website: thehoneypot.co

Instagram: @thehoneypotco

Vibrant Health


Owners: Ted and Paige Parker 

Headquarters: Shelton, Connecticut

Description: nutritional supplements

Website: vibranthealth.com

Instagram: @vibranthealth

Diversant


Founder: John Goullet

Headquarters: Red Bank, New Jersey

Description: IT staffing company

Website: www.diversant.com 

Instagram: @diversant_llc

RML Automotive


Founders: Robert L. Johnson, Mack McLarty, Steve Landers

Headquarters: Dallas and Little Rock, Arkansas

Desciption: car dealerships selling Ford, GMC, Honda, Suburu, Jeep and other brands

Website: rmlauto.com 

Salamander Hotels & Resorts


Founder: Sheila Johnson

Headquarters: Middleburg, Virginia

Website: salamanderresort.com

Description: collection of luxury properties

Instagram: @salamanderhotels

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