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5 Apps to Help You Find Black-Owned Businesses to Shop From

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Black-owned businesses have increased in numbers in the past years, according to a report by the United Census Bureau. 

In a report released earlier this year, the census bureau reported that Black-owned businesses in just 2019 alone increased by approximately 8%. Compared to the 124,551 Black-owned businesses in the U.S. in 2018, Black-owned businesses in the U.S. in 2019 totaled 134,567 businesses across all the different types of businesses. 

The number of Black-owned also surged particularly during the pandemic. According to data provided by the University of California, Santa Cruz, the percentage of Black-owned businesses increased by 38% from the start of the pandemic in February 2020 to late 2021. Black women, specifically, were reported as leading the business revival. 

Here are five Black-owned apps created with the purpose of helping users find these Black-owned businesses to support.

  1. EatOkra: Founded in 2016 by married couple Anthony and Janique Edwards, EatOkra is an app that connects users with Black-owned food businesses. Inspired by the couples’ personal journey to find Black-owned businesses to support, EatOkra gives users the opportunity to search for these food businesses based on whatever their preferences are, including vegan food, vegetarian options, soul food and more. Named after the Okra plant, the app’s mission is to share food from across the African Diaspora. The app is available for download on the Google Play store and the App Store.
  1. Official Black Wall Street: Created in 2016 by entrepreneur Mandy Bowman, Official Black Wall Street is a platform that promotes Black-owned businesses and creates a hub for products. Available online and as an app, Official Black Wall Street links users with Black businesses through their platform with a simple click. The platform offers a wide range of products from the businesses, including food, clothing, candles, clothing and handbags. Official Black Wall Street also helps connect users to services by yoga instructors, tax instructors, moving services and more. To get the app, it’s available for download on both the Google Play store and the App Store.
  1. Blapp: Founded by NYC comedian Jon Laster in August 2021, Blapp is also designed to help users find Black-made products and Black-owned businesses. Through the app, users can purchase art, clothes, gifts and beauty products by Black creators from online shops. The app also maps out nearby businesses and services that users can physically go to, including barbershops, florists, doctors, electricians, florists, lawyers and more. The app is available for download on both iOS and Android.
  1. Miiriya: Named after the Bambara word for “thoughts” or “ideas,” Miiriya is a developing app created solely by entrepreneur Lamine Loco. Unlike the other apps on this list, this app serves solely as an online marketplace for Black vendors and businesses, acting as a cross between selling services Amazon and Etsy. As a company, no vendors are charged with fees and the money that the company profits from is donated. On the app, a Mutual Aid section is available for donations to Miiriya users in need of assistance with things such as paying electricity bills, affording food and more. The app is available for download on both the Google Play and App Store.
  1. I Am Black Business: Created by software developer and consultant Joseph Guster, I Am Black Business is similar to a search engine that puts Black-owned businesses at the top to make them readily discoverable. To find these businesses, users can enter their location in a search engine to find nearby stores and services. With the platform already verifying the legitimacy of the business, users are then connected to the company’s website. To download the app, it’s available on both iOS and Android.

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