10 Black-owned SMEs to support

Black History Month 2021

October is Black History Month in the UK. We want to take time this month to recognise the achievements, and also the inequalities, of people with African and Caribbean heritage in the UK. Black History Month is also an opportunity to gain more of an understanding of black history.

At rebuildingsociety.com, we feel it’s important to acknowledge the hard work black-owned small business owners put into their businesses. Also, how much black business owners contribute to British society and the economy.

When looking at black-owned businesses, the stats from Black Economics reveal that:

‘22 per cent are owned by black Caribbeans (approximately 2,200 businesses), 28 per cent by black Africans (approx. 3,000 businesses) and 21 per cent by black Other (approx. 2,200 businesses)’.

Source: Black Economic

Movements such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ are an opportunity for black people to share their voices. Also, to share their experiences of the injustices they face. Such movements are an opportunity for non-black people to learn about what black people experience on a daily basis.

It is worth acknowledging in Black History Month especially, the research from The Conversation. This research, reveals the inequalities black people face when it comes to employment. In addition to, this research reveals the inequalities black-owned small business owners face in the UK.

‘Last year, Black business owners in the UK had a median turnover of £25,000, compared to £35,000 for white business owners. 

Source: The Conversation, October 2020.

COVID-19 hit black communities badly. Successive lockdowns had significant implications for BAME-owned businesses, which are traditionally concentrated in the sectors worst such as retail, health and social care, education, restaurants and accommodation.

It is essential we support UK black-owned small business owners, enabling them to get back on track.

Here are 10 small black-owned small businesses to support during this Black History Month:

Soul Cap

Friends Michael and Toks were determined to create a business for swim caps for people of colour after seeing a woman with afro hair, struggling with the size of her swim cap. Since starting their business in 2017, Soul Cap have shipped more than 30,000 swimming caps to people all over the world. Soul Cap states:

‘The more we learnt, the more we started to see a real problem in the health and beauty industry: it was completely overlooking the needs of people with thick, curly and voluminous hair’. 

Source: Soul Cap 

Okki Skincare

A skincare/candles business founded in 2016 by mother Ade and her daughter, Antonia. Their skincare business is heavily influenced by their Nigerian and Ghanian heritage:

‘We draw inspiration from our roots, many of our products are reminiscent of recipes that have been used by our ancestors for generations’. 

Source: Okki Skincare

Blak Wave

Independent production company, Blak Wave, was set up in 2019 by Michael Jenkins and Dr Mena Fombo in 2019 in Bristol, UK. Blak Wave is the only black owned television production firm out of 140 in Bristol. The duo’s aim with their production company is to produce film and television that:

‘Better reflects our society, giving a voice to unheard voices and telling untold stories’. 

Source: Blak Wave Productions

Tribal Twist

Creative director, Joy Kamau, created an outfit for a school project drawing inspiration from her hometown of Nairobi, Kenya. Tribal Twist was therefore created with an aim to empower.

‘Kamau saw a need in the market for ‘tribally modernised’ clothing and for easy access to it. She aims to empower through her clothing with bold prints which are known to boost the mood and unconventional designs to make each person feel special’. 

Source: Tribal Twist

New Beacon Books

Established in 1966 by John La Rose and his partner Sarah White, New Beacon Books specialises in African and Caribbean literature. New Beacon was the UK’s first black publisher. Their purpose is explained on their website:  

‘For over 50 years New Beacon Books has made available to Britain and its communities, poetry, literature, non-fiction, history and children’s books from Africa, Caribbean, Asia, African America, Europe, South America and Black Britain.   

Source: New Beacon Books

Chosan By Nature

Inspired by an aunt’s recipe in Gambia, Chosan by Nature created their own range of ‘exotic, organic drinks, fresh fruit sorbets and baobab jams’. Chosan states that: 

‘Chosan is about more than just producing exotic drinks bursting with flavour. We also have a commitment to supporting African food producers’. 

Source: Chosan By Nature

Muffin Sisters

Muffin Sisters uses traditional African fabrics merged with modern European styles to create children’s products such as blankets and towels. Muffin Sisters’ website states that:

‘Our brand is for those who welcome the vibrant African culture and enjoy compassion in their lives’. 

Source: Muffin Sisters

Mr Blackman’s

Growing up in Barbados where men’s grooming wasn’t seen as essential, the founder created Mr Blackman’s makes natural, sustainable beard grooming products for men with afro and curly hair. Mr Blackman’s says:

‘So now, that is what I do. Handmade the same way I always have. Inspired by my Bajan home, using natural products, free of things nature never intended for us to use – the way things were meant to be’. 

Source: Mr Blackman’s

Bespoke Binny

Homeware and gift store inspired by Ghanian vibrant colours and prints. Bespoke Binny says: 

‘Living and working in London, as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, the importance of one’s home environment is reinforced, particularly when trying to cope with issues such as anxiety and low mood’. 

Source: Bespoke Binny

Avila. Diana

Founded in 2018 by Avila Diana Chidume. Avila wanted to create a business which challenges mainstream stereotypes by creating diverse cards that represent the black community. Avila’s goal was: 

‘to overcome stereotypes and change the world’s perceptions on underrepresented communities’.

Source: Avila.Diana

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If you have any questions about rebuildingsociety.com and how we help SMEs grow and thrive, don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop us an email. One of our friendly team members will be happy to assist you with any queries. 

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