The Intuit QuickBooks Black Entrepreneurial Experience in America report highlights the challenges a vast number of Black people face when starting a business. According to the report, it costs Black entrepreneurs $5,000 more to found an enterprise than their non-Black peers, and as many as 45% have to turn to their personal savings to keep their business afloat. On top of this, it is predicted it will take over 200 years to close the Black-White wealth gap. Rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs recognized the struggle his Black peers were and still are experiencing, and as a result, has created Empower Global, an e-commerce platform that allows consumers to discover and buy products exclusively created and sold by Black entrepreneurs.
Empower Global sells fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and art products and features over 70 brands, including Beautystat Cosmetics and Marie Hunter Beauty. With culture and community as its top two values, Empower Global will help Black businessmen and businesswomen to build and scale a successful brand "by making shopping with Black brands easy and accessible for the consumer." Empower Global has a global strategic partnership with Salesforce and is powered by Marketplacer's online marketplace technology. The website currently has over 1,000 items available to buy and plans to add new businesses monthly, with the goal of having over 200 brands to showcase by the end of the year.
"My mission has always been to empower Black entrepreneurs and create more opportunities for them to access the resources, tools, and support needed to build successful businesses," says Combs, Chairman of Combs Global. "Empower Global will uplift Black entrepreneurs, keep dollars circulating in our community, and make buying Black a lifestyle."
Combs announced his plan for Empower Global back in 2021 and has been working on the new e-commerce platform since. Black-owned TechSparq, an e-commerce design and development company, designed and built the webspace. The online marketplace is also supported by another Black-owned tech business, Chatdesk, which will be responsible for all live customer communication should they have a query when browsing the site.
"Empower Global is a transformative platform that embodies Sean Combs' unwavering commitment to Black entrepreneurship," says Tarik Brooks, President of Combs Global. "On behalf of Combs Global, we are thrilled to launch this initiative, which not only showcases the incredible products and talents of Black-owned businesses but also provides a gateway for consumers to support and uplift our community. Through Empower Global, we aim to foster sustainable growth and create lasting opportunities that will leave a positive and enduring impact on the Black economy."
Hoping to extend Empower Global's reach, the marketplace is collaborating with UPS to make supporting Black-owned businesses even more accessible by offering special deals and shipping rates for a limited time. Through the Days of Deals activation, selected sellers will be offering discounts on products as well as free shipping for any purchases across the platform.
"For a long time, I thought about how to create radical change. Over the years, I've realized radical change starts with us. I'm extremely passionate about creating a platform that will show the power of unity. Through my life's work and the different stages of success, I've realized for our people to break through and advance, we have to do things together. Empower Global represents a solution to all of the things that have held our communities back. Let's unite, brand by brand, company by company, person by person, customer by customer, and dollar by dollar," the rapper concludes.
Many celebrities are using their name and status to enter the fashion and beauty industries, leading to consumers questioning their intentions and demanding stand-out businesses that actively make a difference to the community. Brands, including Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, have been praised for their dedication to making a difference for Black customers, ensuring its permanent place in the beauty industry. This reception shows that there's a clear market for businesses and platforms catering specifically for Black business growth and consumer inclusion. Combs' decision to create Empower Global is one that is sure to benefit multiple Black-owned businesses and brands, and in turn, Black consumers.
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