To fight post-election bigotry, support minority-owned businesses
During the recent election, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, women, and people with disabilities were mocked and belittled. Since Donald Trump was elected a week ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center has counted over 400 hate crimes.
Many people are now asking what they can do to make the world a better place. I've seen wonderful advice about how you can donate money, volunteer and fundraise for organizations that support communities experiencing hate and discrimination.
The one thing I haven't seen talked about is economic empowerment. This is America, and money is power.
Supporting the businesses of entrepreneurs who are Hispanic, LGBTQ, Muslim, black, women and/or live with disabilities will make a difference in their lives, and it will help their families and their communities. As an entrepreneur, I know this very well.
I turned to my friends to create a curated list of businesses owned by these people, and a funny thing happened: I realized I don't know any Hispanic, LGBTQ or Muslim entrepreneurs. I'm black and I fancy myself as having a fairly diverse group of friends, but I now realize I haven't been as supportive of these communities as I could be.
So I started with the people I know, then reached out to find more. I hope you can help add to this list.
Naturally, this list is relatively long because I'm black and I'm an entrepreneur, so I know a lot of black business owners.
- addyeB: A'Driane Nieves' mission is the create art that not just evokes emotion, but sparks dialogue and self-reflection.
- The Art of Maurice Evans: Maurice Evans believes, "The only thing we have in life is art and love."
- Anamazee's: The first and only 5-in-1 baby pacifier
- DreamKeepersBox: A monthly subscription box that allows black kids to learn about science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math.
- Tees in the Trap: T-shirts that are a little trendy, somewhat edgy, and always fly.
- Zuvaa: Super-trendy fashion from African designers.
- Bambini Ware: Smart and stylish gear for babies and kids.
- Naturally Perfect Dolls: Natural hair dolls for young girls of color to boost their self-esteem.
- Koils By Nature: High quality, all natural hair and skin care products at an affordable price.
- Naturalicious: A clever collection of multi-tasking and non-toxic hair care that helps busy beauties rock fabulous hair everyday, in a fraction of the time.
- WeMontage: In my business, we turn your digital images into large removable wallpaper.
- Christopher Charles Interiors
- Ishka Designs
- Kimberly and Cameron Interiors
- Tiffany Brooks Interiors
- Traditional Edge Design
- Cocoa Fab: CocoaFab is a fast-paced celebrity news and style site covering urban pop culture.
- Smart Brown Voices: A weekly podcast designed to help inspire you to reach the next level in your life by connecting you to powerful and diverse voices of value.
- Biz Underdog to Top Dog: If you are an aspiring business owner, a startup, an entrepreneur, solopreneur or small business owner, they bring you the success formula you've been longing for.
- Anasa Life: Vegan skin and hair care.
- Ujamaa Box: A subscription box service that features products from black-owned businesses to create economic empowerment in the black community.
- COCOTIQUE:A subscription box for women who love beauty and are in search of an affordable way to try new beauty and lifestyle brands.
- Louella: A clothing line started by U.S. Olympic fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad.
- The Writer's Block Communications: Provides copy for businesses, magazines, and political entities. She is also a war zone reporter.
Businesses owned by people with disabilities
- MinouBazaar: Indian and global inspired handmade jewelry all made in the USA.
- myXpression: Wheelchair headrests and cushion covers as well as dog leashes and collars.
- 3ELove (clothing): A social entrepreneurial experiment to change the perception of disability.
- La Plataforma: Save money while sending cash to Latin America and the Caribbean.
- ZenBiz Travel: A travel agency that manages travel for groups and individuals, and offers media, event management, and promotional services.
I need your help to improve the list
I was only able to find one Hispanic business to include on this list, and my small network of Hispanic friends didn't know of any others. I found a few directories online, but they weren't helpful, and the same was true for LGBT-owned businesses. The GimpGirl community helped me identify a few entrepreneurs with disabilities to include on the list, but I'd like to display more.
When I did my outreach, I discovered something that made me sad. One woman who is a Muslim entrepreneur contacted several of her friends, and without exception they all declined to be included. She told me the Muslim community has become very insular due to many threats, and inclusion in a list of this type is concerning. I also learned that some LGBTQ entrepreneurs don't want to be included on a list like this, because they too don't want to be harassed or bullied.
So if you know of any entrepreneurs who might want to be included, please send this link to them so they can add themselves in the comments as they choose. I only ask that the businesses be able to ship their product throughout the United States.