10 apps and directories that help you find and support black-owned buses
There are a myriad of vital ways to get involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, even if you can’t join a protest. As Fast business reported, you can read and watch anti-racist books and documentaries, donate to reputable nonprofits (here’s a list!), and vote (find your next local and state election date here). Another option that can help locally is to buy from black-owned businesses. We’ve compiled a collection of apps, marketplaces, and directories to help you find businesses to support, no matter what you’re looking for. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these directories are constantly being supplemented.
We Buy Black
We Buy Black launched in 2015 with just $ 15,000. Today, it is the largest electronic marketplace for black-owned businesses. Calling itself “Black Amazon”, this online platform also distinguishes its brand values by declaring on its Facebook page that if Amazon’s job “is to make us dependent, our job is to make us independent”. The site not only allows you to find everyday items like toothpaste, face masks and cleaning supplies, but also has a range of specialty items such as handmade furniture and jewelry. You can search for any product in the “What should you find” window at the top of the site’s home page.
Official Black Wall Street
If you’re looking for an app with global reach, Official Black Wall Street lists over 5,000 businesses in 10 different countries, making it one of the largest black-owned business directories. Business owners can create their own listings in the app, while users can find businesses in their area along with reviews, specials, photos, and navigation. Oh, and even cooler? The app will send you alerts when you are near a black owned business so you can stop by in person.
Led by a small team of just three: app developer Anthony Edwards Jr., his wife Janique Edwards (who manages operations and marketing) and their friend Justin Johnson (who leads UI design) , EatOkra is the premier directory of Black-owned restaurants. The app features over 2,500 restaurants across the country and lets you search by cuisine and location. If you need a delivery, EatOkra offers options to connect to GrubHub, DoorDash, or any other delivery service a restaurant uses. If you’re stopping in person, choose ‘navigate’ and EatOkra will show you the route through your favorite navigation app or connect you to a ridesharing service.
Founded by a mother-daughter duo, Post 21 is a beautiful woman-focused marketplace, and the site and curation are absolutely stunning. Currently, you can shop for everything from books and toys to rosé, jewelry and luxury candles (everyone’s favorite).
Chez Nous is an absolutely stunning website that is “an inclusive, intersectional, volunteer-run home for businesses, artists, and organizations owned and managed by historically marginalized people across the world and our allies.” What makes it so cool is that you can find women-owned, LGBTQIA +, BIPOC-owned businesses and events in major cities around the world, from Berlin to Los Angeles. Users can search for restaurants, businesses and even employment opportunities by searching through several different filters: by category, by location or simply by pressing the “go explore” button. And as of this week, Chez Nous has added over 200 black-owned businesses to the site, which can be found on their own page.
Black Nation is a free app that allows you to find black owned businesses wherever you are and allows businesses to be listed for free. The app’s features include business ratings, category searches, and geolocation technology that lets you find businesses near you. A feature that allows you to specify businesses within a certain radius is currently in development.
Where do you come from
Founded by corporate psychologist and technical executive Dr. Dionne Mahaffey, Where U Came From operates differently from other directories on this list. This app and website publishes listings and references of Black-owned businesses and allows users to search for businesses by category or keyword. It also features the top-rated companies in each category (from large franchises to financial services and healthcare), with rankings determined by peer-to-peer benchmarks.
Brooklyn owned by blacks
In 2018, husband and wife Tayo Giwa and Cynthia Gordy Giwa teamed up to launch Black-Owned Brooklyn. It is a one-part directory and a two-part publication. So you can read and learn the stories of the founders and companies featured on the site, which range from an organic and vegan Ethiopian restaurant to massage therapy and nail salons.
Support black owners
Founded in 2012, Support Black-Owned works as both a website and an app, allowing you to search both a state and a global directory to find black-owned businesses wherever you are. In addition to location searches, SBO allows users to search by category or use a search bar for site-wide search return. The app specifically allows users to leave reviews and rate companies with which they have made purchases.
I’m black business
I Am Black Business, led by Joseph Guster, Lee Lewis Jr. and Michael Twum, acts as a resource for consumers and for business owners themselves. “Ultimately, our goal is to educate black business owners on the power of technology and give them a tool that will help them improve the reach and profitability of their business,” the report reads. I Am Black Business website. “In addition, our goal is to equip customers with a tool that will allow them to consciously decide where to spend their money and who they support. One of the coolest features of I Am Black Business is an automatic aggregation of black owned businesses that are located near you, compiled with geolocation. You can also browse businesses by category or organizations they are affiliated with.