Black entrepreneurship plays a critical role within the United States economy. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), black-owned businesses make up just over 9% of all companies in the U.S. Black businesses contribute mainly to the country’s total economic growth, as they represent nearly $1.4 Trillion in gross transactions annually. Black companies also aid in the country’s efforts to recover from the frequent economic downturns. Also, black businesses are at the core of wealth-building and new job creation for the large demographic of citizens who are often disproportionately affected by these frequent economic downturns.
Therefore, everyone must make a consistent effort to support black-owned businesses throughout the country. With everyone’s contribution, we can raise the percentage of black-owned firms to above 12%, which would match the rate of black citizens within the United States population. Fortunately, dozens of black business directories can significantly help locate black businesses in every city that one may pass through. If you or someone you know owns a company that is not listed on these platforms, be sure to reach out to these directories and get them listed right away.
Here is a list of the top 10 black-owned business directories.
Minority Base – www.minoritybase.com
Minority Base is an in-depth database of local, regional, national, and international minority-owned businesses. Their goal is to connect consumers with minority-owned businesses. They primarily list companies in the United States and include black-owned companies from other parts of the world. Minority Base’s business directories have categories for many underrepresented groups. These groups include types for black-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, and other small businesses. The site also consists of a job directory that services each of these same categories making this database an all-purpose place.
Minority Base is a resource that lists pertinent information about Black-owned businesses, products, and services and lists their business promotions and reviews. This platform already lists hundreds of black-owned companies in such diverse categories as retail establishments, restaurants, and fitness centers. Plus, there are more businesses added every day.
Anyone looking for an opportunity to lend their financial support to minority-owned businesses in their city should check here first.
We Buy Black – www.webuyblack.com.
We Buy Black is a black-owned business directory that focuses primarily on Black-owned companies that produce household products. For example, they feature a black-owned company called Ujamaa Lighting which has 60-watt light bulbs. Another example is a Black-owned company called Coral Oral which produces both toothbrushes and toothpaste. They also feature a soap and synthetic fabric company which has Laundry Detergent and fabric softener. In short, We Buy Black is allowing every consumer to switch over most of their purchases of household goods from big-money corporations to Black-owned companies.
We Buy Black has been in operation online, helping consumers identify and purchase minority-produced consumer goods since 2015. According to Fast Company, they are considered the largest online marketplace for Black-owned business products. Their dedication to Black-owned products and manufacturers has earned them the nickname “The Black Amazon” from consumers across the country. This nickname, though flattering, is one that the company disagrees with slightly. They published a statement saying that while they appreciate the term “The Black Amazon,” they differ from Amazon in that Amazon’sAmazon’s goal is to make consumers dependent. We Buy Black’sBlack goal is to make black people independent.
Eat Okra – www.eatokra.com.
Founded in 2016, Eat Okra is a unique black-owned restaurant directory. Unique in that it is a phone app that operates like Grub Hub or Door Dash, except that it only identifies the area’s black-owned establishments. Eat Okra gives one access to upwards of 2,500 black restaurants in cities all over the U.S. One can search based on location, restaurant type, or search by favorite food. The app will not place orders; however, the app will provide the address, location, and phone number of the black restaurant. If one desires to place an order for food, the app can connect you to other food delivery apps to seamlessly order pick up or place an order online.
Eat Okra is the brainchild of Anthony Edwards and Janique Bradly. This husband and wife duo moved to Brooklyn and found themselves eating out a lot due to having no stove or refrigerator in their apartment. They imagined a way to do their frequent ordering-in while also supporting the surrounding black community within their new Brooklyn area. As a result, Eat Okra was born. Check out the rest of this couple’s story online. Find out the significance of the word “Okra” in the title, and learn about this couple’s commitment to the value written into the brand.
Chez Nous Guide – www.cheznousguide.com
Chez Nous (French for “at” or “in” the home) Guide is a volunteer-operated directory that lists minority-owned businesses as well as minority artists and organizations. This Guide showcases over 200 firms in major cities that are black-owned, women-owned, or run by entrepreneurs that are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Chez Nous Guide was founded by St Lois, the Missouri native Kristyn Potter. After achieving a graduate degree in Media, she relocated to New York. She worked in marketing for many large corporations, including New York Magazine, Getty Images, and Sony, to name a few. All leading to the launch of her own media group, Left Bank Media. Through her connections, Kristyn provided shoppers with a resource to find minority-owned restaurants, products, services, travel agencies, event services, and production companies, not to mention job opportunities. And the Guide encompasses cities throughout the United States as well as foreign cities such as Berlin.
I Am Black Business – www.iamblackbusiness.com.
I Am Black Business founders Lee Lewis Jr., Joseph Guster, and Michael Twum have created more than a Black-owned business directory. They’veThey’ve created a movement to empower the black community by uniting black business and technology. I Am Black Business is a website and mobile platform dedicated to promoting black-owned companies by connecting with consumers. This platform prides itself on equipping black business owners with the technology that will help their businesses grow.
For example, I Am Black Business identifies black-owned businesses in the area by category and distance, just like other black business directories. However, I Am Black Business has the added benefit of geotagging: google-pinpoint business locations on one’s mobile device. This helps potential customers find the places in the directory and educate the business owners on what types of technology are available. Its ideas help the founders reach their objectives, helping black businesses expand their reach and effectively increase their profitability.
Black-Owned Brooklyn – www.blackownedbrooklyn.com
Black-owned Brooklyn focuses exclusively on the black-owned places and products of the fine city of Brooklyn, New York. This online publication is more than a black business directory. It is also a black culture magazine showcasing uplifting stories of the non-gentrified communities within the five boroughs. It also includes such topics as home design, health tips, beauty tips, and wellness. In this publication, one will discover Black-owned Brooklyn businesses and learn aspects of past and present black Brooklyn life.
Black-owned Brooklyn was started by husband and wife Tayo and Cynthia Giwa in 2018. Their goal was to provide a guide to Brooklyn’sBrooklyn’s black places, products, and black people. This directory/magazine is a valuable resource not just for New Yorkers but also for anyone worldwide wanting a peek into the black businesses and culture of the city. And it will be precious to anyone planning a visit as it includes a regularly updated map with locations identified.
Where You Came From – www.whereyoucamefrom.biz
Where You Came From network was founded in 2016 by business psychologist Dr. Dionne Mahaffey. The goal of this directory was to operate differently than most other online black business directories. This resource lists Black-owned businesses’ websites by category and allows one to locate companies by keyword or business type just as other directories. However, Where You Came From also lists firms according to their ranking within their product and services industry. Rankings are determined based on peer review within this crowdsourced community.
This directory includes standard Black-owned business categories such as clothing and apparel, automotive, beauty shops, and restaurants. And it has more burdensome to find business entities such as Black-owned civic clubs, elder care, and event services. This network is both an online black business directory and a phone app with the same searching capability. The app gives one the convenience of locating black-owned businesses while traveling across the country. It also includes up to the minute business rankings on the “leaderboard” for each business category.
Support Black Owned – www.supportblackowned.com
Support Black Owned is a search engine with quite a few years under its belt. This black business directory has been online for nearly 10-years, assisting consumers in locating black-owned businesses and services. It began around 2012 when the internet world was still relatively new for some age groups, and the demand for a black business directory was at its highest. Today, this directory has compiled an enterprise of information on hundreds of businesses in an area of categories in nearly every state and over 30 countries around the world. Categories include such diverse business types as Automotive Repair, Beauty, Book Stores, Computer services, and many others.
Support Black Owned is operated by Lee Alliance, a Black-owned corporation based in Florida. As with many other directories, Support Black Owned is also an app that can be downloaded to smartphones. With the phone app, one can search by city, state, or any category.
Black Business Green Book – www.blackbusinessgreenbook.com
The term “Green Book” should immediately trigger an association with what was once called “the black traveler’s bible” in the minds of black Americans across the country. During the Jim Crow years in the United States, many business establishments would not serve African Americans, and those that did would not offer good service options. This fact made it very difficult for black people to travel across the country. So-called “negro-friendly” establishments were very hard to find, and if a family were to run out of gas or get lost while traveling, they would be faced with a literal life or death situation. The Green Book was the primary method for black people to locate hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses in other states that would serve African Americans.
Today, Black Business Green Book keeps the spirit of the original Green Book alive. Black Business Green Book is operated by “Color of Change,” a civil-rights advocacy group. It is designed to support black-owned businesses by providing people worldwide a window into black companies in every state. Categories of companies include health, fashion, home entertainment, books, art, and music. This directory is largely crowdsourced. Its designers have made it easy to submit new black-owned businesses. Anyone can potentially fill out an online form to add their favorite black-owned business to the listing.
Shop Black-Owned – www.coastapp.com/shopblackowned
Shop Black-Owned is a free, map-based platform that lists black-owned businesses in 8 cities: Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, NYC, and L.A. This resource is a crowdsourced directory, meaning the platform’s information is primarily obtained and input by the people who frequent the establishments.
This website is a relatively new black business directory; however, it has already compiled a list of over a thousand black businesses with new black-owned establishments being added every day. If you find yourself in any of the cities listed or plan to visit them any time soon, Shop Black-Owned can be an exceptional resource.