Historically, black-owned businesses hardly had an active representation and documentation of their existence. Economic policies that existed during the apartheid era were distorted in favour of large enterprises. This was done largely on the basis of socio-economic status, race and gender. Small markets, especially those black-owned, were negatively affected by those policies.
To date, emerging black entrepreneurs still find it difficult to navigate through stereotypes particularly those pertaining to product quality, credibility, service provision and access to markets.
The aforementioned background fundamentally rationalizes the grounds on which black-owned business should be supported. Support could be finances, skill training and/or expertise and awareness, to mention but a few.
Make it a culture to purchase black-owned products and/or services. It is worth mentioning that most people feed into the idea that “black-owned” means, cheap, low quality, mediocre services. While we cannot negate the fact that they exist, even in larger, non-black markets, it’s only fair that we give black entrepreneurs the benefit of the doubt. If anything, trust their services/products. If the services/products are not satisfying, hold them accountable and encourage them to do better, rather than cancelling them and redirecting the support to larger markets which hardly benefit black communities at the grass-root level.
Use every platform you have to share and create awareness about any black-owned business you come across. It is necessary to widen and attract a large clientele for the business which subsequently aids in business growth.
Do not hold back ideas that could help someone operate their business better. It could be something as ordinary as connecting them with an expert or consultant, sharing business-related conferences and other growth opportunities.
Supporting black businesses means making a commitment to strengthening and widening the black economy, job creation, innovation, decentralization of economic powers, erasing economic inequality and improving livelihoods of black people.