Amazon is launching the Black Business Accelerator (BBA)- a result of a collaboration between Amazon’s Black Employee Network and an alliance of strategic partners to help provide Black-owned businesses with requisite financial support, business development, educational resources, training, and mentorship.
Entering into strategic partnerships with U.S. Black Chambers Inc. and Minority Business Development Agency, Amazon has put to use their long-term experience in supporting Black businesses to lower barriers such as access to mentorship, capital, and growth opportunities.
The Black Business Accelerator wants to build equity and sustainable growth for Black-owned businesses by undertaking the marketing, promotion, and development of their brands as 3rd-party sellers on Amazon.
This comes in the backdrop of Covid-19, which adversely affected Black businesses which experienced the highest active businesses decline with a 41% slump, compared to a 17% drop for white business owners. H&R Block survey of around 3,000 small businesses, stated that the revenue dropped by half for around 53% of Black business owners, compared to 37% of white owners since the pandemic started.
Black-owned business Growth
Small and medium businesses account for 60% of Amazon’s products sales and the company is committed to the growth of Black-owned businesses belonging to that pool.
To help Black businesses kick off their operations, Amazon will provide financial investment and grants worth $150 million over a period of 4 years.
As a commitment to lead Black-owned businesses to success, Amazon has promised to offer financial support through Amazon credits and services worth $3,900 which includes advertising credits and free product imaging services.
The multinational giant in partnership with Hello Alice, an organization focusing on helping entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses, will also provide an initial round of cash grants valued at $10,000.
However, money alone will not do the trick to build a livable business, especially if you are new to the process. Realizing the wholesome need for aspiring businesses, Amazon is offering business education and mentorship through its program, free for at least a year.
Once the businesses are in, they will basically have access to an astounding user base of 300 million customers overnight. BBA will do the initial heavy lifting for the businesses so that they can smoothly get past the intimidation of establishing an online presence.
Amazon is optimistic about the potential of Black businesses to generate wealth for themselves, their employees, and their communities.