Shopping Black (aka buying exclusively from African American owned businesses) has recently become more accessible thanks to the new Where You Came From app.
WhereU (the shortened version) is the premiere and reliable Black business directory app for Apple and Android devices offering a local business search with real-time listing of Black-owned businesses across various categories, ranked by people using the app. It aims to address the dearth of sustainable African American owned businesses by providing the community with a centralized tool to find and locate businesses to support.
As an ethnic group, we have very impressive buying power, 1.3 trillion dollars, but yet we dont recycle dollars in our own communities. So I created the app because I wanted to do my part to addressing that issue. Research finds that economic empowerment is directly tied to small businesses, so if we want to solve the problems in our communities whether its improving schools, creating jobs, etc., we have to start with supporting small businesses, Dionne Mahaffey, creator of WhereU, tells TNJ.com in a recent interview.
A serial entrepreneur and leadership business coach, Mahaffey says that despite the $1.3 trillion in buying power, black owned businesses only get 2% return of the Black consumer dollars. Further, she notes that a recent report indicates if Black consumers spent 10% or more of their income in Black businesses, it would generate 1 million jobs for African Americans.
Says Mahaffey, For me, it’s about curating as many African American-owned businesses as possible and putting them in official application for not only us to find and support them, but for others as well. Large corporations can address their supplier diversity needs by supporting African American owned businesses; and hopefully, other communities can find goods and services in our communities. We leave our communities and go to other communities for goods and services, so we need to encourage others to come to our communities too.
And its not just about finding customers for these businesses. I take the skills I have as a serial entrepreneur and leadership business coach to empower my community with the tools needed to sustain their businesses and not just by sending customers their way but by aligning them with service providers that offer goods, services and consultation that will aid them in sustaining their businesses,” she explains.
She adds, “What people dont realize is that African Americans are the second largest employer of other African Americans. Its not major corporations; the government is first and then African American-owned businesses are second. So, if we spent at least $1 out of every $10 we earn with African American-owned businesses, we could create a million jobs in our own community.”
Heres how the app works:
Business profiles can be submitted from the website or within the actual WhereU Came From app. The app can also help majority, non-black corporations meet their diversity objectives by finding minority businesses to support. Additionally, the website, WhereYouCameFrom. biz will feature entrepreneurs stories, offer narratives on wealth building and other topics relevant to black owned business owners and consumers. The company also plans to hold conferences and pop-up shops across the country to promote black entrepreneurship.
Some of the unique app features include:?
Access the top 10 most referred pros and businesses under a category even without Internet connection
? Ability to find the pro nearest you through geo-location technology?
Reliable listings with verified contact numbers?
Easily refer trusted pros to friends and family through the referral function