The purchasing power of Black Americans has never been greater than it is now, and Black entrepreneurs who are HBCU alumni provide a great way for Black shoppers to support Black businesses.
NewsOne reports that HBCUs have been incubators for young Black entrepreneurs for decades. Despite the numerous social and economic barriers, HBCUs have continued to produce countless successful entrepreneurs both nationally and locally. Dozens of HBCU alumni that have become business leaders are paramount to Black business and many still use lessons learned in school to help guide them today.
“My HBCU experience instilled confidence within me to know I was on the same level as my counterparts that graduated from household name universities.” Cornell Conaway, a Bowie State University alumnus and the founder of Gainz Sportsgear said in an interview with Forbes.
Gainz Sportsgear specializes in producing fitness accessories for athletes and gyms and features an HBCU collection of weightlifting gear.
Kadidja Dosso, a Hampton University alum and the owner of Dosso Beauty, an organic beauty supplier, discussed how her HBCU inspired her to reach places she never imagined.
“I’ve never seen so many beautiful, driven Black people in one space constantly motivating you to be better and to do more and strive for the best,” Dosso told Forbes.
“I’d always dreamed big, but I was never able to see it first hand.”
“Going to an HBCU, especially Hampton, allowed me to see all the things I could accomplish.”
While many credit HBCUs for its number of Black doctors and lawyers, HBCUs have also given the U.S. a litany of successful Black entrepreneurs including Shawn Wilkinson, a Morehouse College alumnus who is the founder of Storj and BLACK ENTERPRISE founder and Morgan State University alumnus Earl Graves Sr.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans are expected to spend between $942.6 and $960.4 billion this holiday season. However, due to rising inflation and a looming economic recession, many are expected to spend less on gifts and put more thought into what they give family and friends.
Supporting Black businesses and HBCU alumni this holiday season could be a way to spend less and show those you bought gifts for that you really put thought into it. BLACK ENTERPRISE has created its own holiday gift guide with affordable food, drink, and clothing options that are all from Black-owned businesses. Hundreds more Black businesses across the country can be supported due to the Black business boom of the COVID-19 pandemic.