Three Entrepreneurs Rebuilding Black Wall Street

Shareef Abdul-Malik | HowWeBuyBlack.comShareef Abdul-Malik Founder of WeBuyBlack.com “Do-for-self” was a concept encouraged in Shareef Abdul-Malik’s community — so naturally, the Howard University graduate grew up with entrepreneurial aspirations. In 2015, Abdul-Malik brought to life a genuine passion for helping his community by creating a first-of-its-kind online marketplace, WeBuyBlack.com. He began building the website while still in college. Just two years later, the online marketplace has become a hub for consumers and black-owned businesses to buy and sell products, from laundry detergent to toys. In August 2016, Abdul-Malik launched a successful crowd-funding campaign to add another much-needed dimension to the platform, serviced-based business. To date, Abdul-Malik has helped over 1000 black-owned businesses list over 4,500 products for sale. Self-sustainability and financial independence motivated Abdul-Malik to launch WeBuyBlack.com, not only for his own entrepreneurial interests, but in the interests of his community as a whole.  “Every day we wake up, we should not go to work for ourselves,” said Abdul-Malik. “Instead, we should go to work as if we must feed our whole community.”   Janice Fredericks | HowWeBuyBlack.comJanice Fredericks Owner of Fabulous Freddy’s Beauty Supply Boutique African-American business and entrepreneurs have largely been left out of the commercialization of black beauty.  Janice Fredericks, owner of Fabulous Freddy’s Beauty Supply Boutique, noticed this phenomenon and was determined to fill the void of black, female ownership in an industry that is mostly supported by black women’s dollars. A St. John’s University graduate with a degree in finance, Fredericks combined her financial smarts with her passion for helping women and opened a beauty supply store in Queens, N. Y. Although Fredericks says there are unique challenges to navigating the beauty supply industry as a young, black entrepreneur, she continues to rebuild Black Wall Street by owning in a space where most black men and women are consumers.   Stefan Grant and Ronnia Cherry | HowWeBuyBlack.comRonnia Cherry and Stefan Grant Founders of Noirbnb In 2015, Stefan Grant and Ronnia Cherry transformed the home sharing industry when they launched their own take on short-term vacation rentals called Noirbnb. After having the police called on them during a stay at an Atlanta Airbnb, the duo decided to create a similar business, but with the amenities of safety, diversity, and inclusion. “I feel it’s important for us to create spaces and companies for ourselves,” Stefan said. Not only does their company, which is in the process of being launched, create a safe place for travelers of color, it redirects money into the hands of black business owners who are virtually non-existent in both the hospitality and home sharing industry.      ]]>

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