How 3 Business Owners Are Keeping Black Dollars in the Black Community

It empowers businesses as well as the overall community

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(File: Image)

As an entrepreneur, you are probably all too aware of the unique and oftentimes frustrating challenges that come with promoting your business and gaining customers. Add social media to the mix and you might feel either empowered or overwhelmed.

Enter three savvy and successful business owners who understand the emotional ups and downs of entrepreneurship and the “it takes a village” approach to building and running your business. Together they have created a successful online community that highlights black-owned businesses every Friday. The team consists of Adeea Rogers, a speaker, consultant and founder of International Natural Hair Meetup Day; Christine K. St. Vil, founder and CEO of Moms ‘N Charge™, a division of Purpose Driven Media L.L.C.; and Pamela J. Booker, who served in the U.S. Army and is the founder and CEO of Koils by Nature.

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The trio uses Periscope, a new mobile app that allows users to live stream events and discussions for fans and followers to watch in real time, minute-by-minute. Every Friday, through their curated online community, Black Biz Scope (BBS), the ladies mobilize their combined massive audiences using Periscope. In doing so, they’ve been able to introduce hundreds of new consumers to small black-owned businesses every week; providing these companies with a platform of customers they may have never had access to otherwise. There is no cost at this time to participate.

How effective is BBS? One jewelry company generated more sales in 30 minutes by live streaming during BBS than she did in three months on her own. Another participant gained 100 new leads within minutes of her 15 minute BBS session. According to the founders, black business owners are seeing an increase in sales no matter the type of product or service they offer.

These innovative and dynamic ladies answered some questions on what Black Biz Scope is, why it’s important, and why you might want to become involved.

Why is buying from black-owned businesses so critical?
When you buy from black-owned businesses you create a chain reaction of events, empowering that business with your dollars, allowing that business [to have] the opportunity to hire someone (most likely) from within our community. Then that person buys from a black-owned business and so on. It puts the money back into our community and power in our hands. The trillion dollars that we spend every year is being cycled back into our community.

Why is it so important for black dollars to stay within the black community?
This is the only way we can survive as a community. Statistics show that more black female-owned businesses exist today [than ever before]. Black female-owned businesses are No. 1 for employing other black people. When we buy black, we empower our community.

How long has BBS been around? What are your to-date stats for all Black Biz Scopes combined? What are your average per scope stats?
July 24, 2015 was our very first Black Biz Scope. We’ve featured over 230 black-owned businesses. We’ve had over 70,000 live viewers, over 2 million hearts (the Periscope equivalent of Facebook’s “likes”). On average, we have 300 live viewers and 15,000 hearts per scope. Our current record is 741 viewers and 36,000 hearts on one scope. 

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