August recognizes National Black Business Month, spotlighting the significance of Black-owned enterprises in the U.S. As part of this celebration, Amazon unveils enhanced partnerships and resources committed to helping Black-owned businesses flourish during this month and year-round.
In 2021, Amazon launched the Black Business Accelerator (BBA), an initiative to bolster sustainable entrepreneurship among Black businesses on its platform. The program’s existence not only increases the product diversity in Amazon’s stores, promoting consumer choice based on values, but also supports the inclusion of underrepresented businesses.
Reggie Kelly, the owner of KYVAN Foods, voiced his appreciation, noting the immediate exposure and sales surge his business experienced due to Amazon’s unwavering support.
Amazon introduced improvements to the Black is Remarkable store to bolster Black businesses further. The initiative, which champions Black-owned enterprises’ discoverability, ensures shoppers have an effortless experience finding and supporting these businesses.
Complementing this, Amazon continually offers training sessions to these businesses. These sessions are tailored to equip them with the tools they need for significant events like Prime Day. The results were evident in 2023’s Prime Day, which was recorded as the most substantial event for independent sellers on Amazon.
To foster entrepreneurial growth, Amazon launched the Amazon Small Business Academy (ASBA), a platform providing budding entrepreneurs with resources to understand and navigate the digital business landscape.
A testament to Amazon’s commitment to diversity is evident in its collaboration with Backstage Capital. Arlan Hamilton, the founder, praised Amazon for creating avenues like the Founders Table event, which serves as a lifeline for marginalized businesses by providing capital, exposure, mentorship, and vital resources.
Small Business Deals
Addressing one of the primary hurdles Black entrepreneurs face – access to capital, Amazon, alongside its financial partners, sanctioned $2.1 billion in 2022 to assist sellers. The company launched the Amazon Community Lending program and Amazon Catalytic Capital, both designed to offer businesses a robust financial foundation.
Collaboration remains at the heart of Amazon’s strategy. In line with this, Amazon recently teamed up with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and THINK450 to introduce the Brotherhood Deli during the 2023 Summer League games. This endeavor showcased 20 Black sellers affiliated with professional athletes, providing them with a unique platform to reach new audiences.
Further, Amazon’s partnerships with influential figures like Oprah Winfrey and Ayesha Curry aim to spotlight exceptional products from underserved businesses during key shopping events throughout the year.
Sellers like Donte Jones, co-founder/CEO at Lyrically Correct, vouched for the tangible benefits from Amazon’s efforts, acknowledging the unparalleled access to resources, people, and information the BBA program offers.
Amazon’s unwavering commitment to Black businesses encompasses education, capital, and community-building, all anchored in creating a robust platform for Black entrepreneurs. The retail giant’s consistent endeavors solidify its dedication to ensuring that Black-owned businesses have an equal opportunity to thrive globally.
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