Starting A Business? 4 Platforms Offering Black Business Owners The Chance to Grow, Thrive, and Succeed


Being a small business owner is a great accomplishment in itself, but being a black business owner is incredible. Yes, all businesses—no matter the size or field—come with their own set of responsibilities and difficulties.

However, it would be naive of us to deny that black owners, as well as other people of color, experience a special set of struggles when it comes to starting and maintaining a business. 

This is why it’s crucial that the same platforms we rely on for resources, not only acknowledge the differences in our respective journeys, but also amplify our voices inside and outside of our communities along the way. 

Lucky for us, there are quite a few outlets looking to put their financial support behind black business owners and creatives—no matter where they are on their journey. 

Are you starting a business or trying to grow something from a seed you’ve already planted? Here are 4 platforms offering black entrepreneurs and creatives the chance to expand and thrive. Check them out below. 

Sephora Accelerate Program

Black women have been some of the most influential figures in beauty because oftentimes, we are tasked with creating products for us, by us. That means we almost always have to have a greater focus on inclusivity and innovation, which can be difficult. 

Sephora took heed to the struggles of black business owners in the beauty industry and created the Sephora Accelerate—a brand incubation program dedicated to building up substantial community and resources for Founders of Color. 

Founders who are accepted into the program will go on a six-month journey where they learn how to build and sustain a successful beauty business, while also receiving ongoing digital and in-person resources and support for their very own brand. 

The magic of this program is that you don’t have to be established at all. All you need is a creative idea with a solid plan behind it and a general idea of what your product(s) would be like, and you’re good to go. 


Operation Hope 1 Million Black Businesses Initiative 

Operation Hope Black Businesses Initiative

The One Million Black Business Initiative, or 1MBB, has one goal: to start, grow, and scale one million Black businesses by 2030 as a concerted effort to drive black economic effort in the United States. And how will they do this? Well, they have three main focuses: 

  • Building Human Capital. Investing in the people by helping them build the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to successfully grow and run a business, 
  • Providing Social Capital. Offering a support network and partner resources to assist black business owners on their respective journeys. 
  • Ensuring Access to Equitable Capital Funding. Teaching owners not only how to prepare for capital, but how to seek it and obtain it for their business. 

Once you apply for enrollment with 1MBB, they’ll hook you up with everything from valuable business courses and mentorship, to free products and services that’ll help you start up a new venture or developing a preexisting one.  


AfroPunk Black Fashion Accelerator 

For many years, AfroPunk has put their love and support behind black innovators who dare to be different by thinking and creating outside of the box. And as usual, they’re putting their money where their mouth is, but this time, on a much larger scale. 

In partnership with Shopify, AfroPunk introduces the Black Fashion Accelerator Program—a program giving nine black fashion designers access to industry experts, resources, and funding for six whole months. 

The purpose of the program is to give black business owners the tools and support they need to cultivate long-lasting careers by providing them with resources that wouldn’t be readily available to them otherwise.  

While the program has already wrapped for 2022, there’s no need to worry! It’ll actually be back next year and ready for a new set of black fashion innovators prepared to take the fashion world (and world as a whole) by storm. 


NAACP Power Forward Small Business Grant

In partnership with NAACP, Vistaprint and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation launched Power Forward Small Business Grant as a way to create positive, long-lasting economic impact through the empowerment of small, black-owned businesses. 

All companies involved announced a combined commitment of $1 million that’ll be given to qualified applicants on a rolling basis at $25,000 a piece.

All grant recipients will also have the opportunity to be featured on national platforms to showcase the magic of black business and their innovative, creative owners.

Worried about appearances? No worries! They’re also offering additional resources to help strengthen your company’s overall design and marketing strategy.

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Senior writer and graphics editor at EmilyCottontop. Patrice has been a member of the Emilycottontop team for over 4 years. For strategic partnerships, advertising, and sponsored content ✉️



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