Updated: Feb 15, 2022
Black women are doing incredible work both locally and nationally, but they often get overshadowed by the work of their White counterparts. To ensure we're supporting Black women this Black History Month, here are seven ways to give back to Black women-led organizations and businesses. As we strive to be better allies during this time, it's essential to be intentional about supporting Black women-owned businesses—here are 6 ways to support Black women-owned business during Black History Month (and beyond):
1. Use Your Platform
Use your platform to share the work and stories of Black women, especially those who are underrepresented and marginalized in mainstream media, culture, and business. Keep an eye out for the work of Black women entrepreneurs—amplify their work on social media platforms and in your personal or professional spaces. If possible, with a powerful platform, you can amplify the efforts that Black women are putting in. Invite them to speak to your community, or consider interviewing them for a podcast or an article. History shows the barriers between Black women and access to relationships that could elevate and excel their businesses.
2. Get To Know Them
Get to know Black women. Read their work, educate yourself about the issues they face, and understand how they experience life differently than you do as a non-Black person. Learn about their needs, concerns, and challenges that go beyond business. By getting to know Black women's work, you can better understand their mission.
3. Invest in Black Organizations
Invest in groups and organizations that serve Black communities locally and nationally founded by Black women or otherwise support their work and leadership development (i.e., social justice organizations). Honor their legacy by embracing the work of Black women in history and by supporting historical institutions that preserve the achievements of Black women.
4. Hire Black women
Black women have been at the forefront of social movements for centuries, but their leadership has not been recognized or rewarded at the same level as their white counterparts. This has resulted in less-than-stellar leadership development programs, lower pay, and fewer top positions for Black women. It is the responsibility of each of us to challenge this. When you hire more Black women it changes the fabric of the workforce.
5. Advocate For Equity
Advocate for equity in your circles—encourage people to consider and challenge racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression in themselves, their spaces, groups, organizations, and at home. Black Girl Ventures believes that by creating opportunities for people to work together on common goals in our organizations, communities, and nation, we can create a world where everyone has equal opportunity. This means that the most marginalized are free to make their fullest contribution to society. So, that could be advocating for changes in policies that negatively affect Black people or having more upfront conversations about creating an equitable society.
6. Spend Your Money
Spend money on Black women-owned businesses. Here are lists of businesses to support right now. Some websites aggregate these businesses so people can easily find them. This helps to circulate the Black dollar and positively close the wealth gap in Black families. Not only can you spend your dollars at minority-owned businesses, but you can also donate to causes that are fighting for racial equity, as well as those that are providing support to families and individuals in need who have faced inequities.
As we strive to be better allies during this time, it's essential to support Black women-owned businesses. The more we can promote the work of Black women, the more we will encourage others to recognize their value. We need to unapologetically educate our friends and colleagues about the positive impact that Black women have every day—they deserve nothing less.