By Keyera Mitchel
Tis the season; Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza are upon us. This is a great time to support small business, particularly those owned by women and persons of color.
The combined purchasing power of women of color in the US exceeds $1 trillion. Before and after the holidays provide an important opportunity to support businesses owned by women/persons of color.
- In 2002, there were fewer than one million businesses owned by women of color in America.
- According to the State of Women in Business 2016 Report, in 2016 that umber jumped to an estimated five million minority women-owned businesses, generating $344 billion in revenue.
- In the wake of the 2007-09 recession, the number of total businesses has grown just nine percent since 2007. In contrast, the number of women owned businesses has risen by 44 percent over the past nine years—meaning the rate of growth in the number of women-owned firms is five times the national Even more impressive, businesses owned by women of color more than doubled since 2007, increasing by 126 percent.
Whether you are African American, Asian, Latina or Native American, your money matters, so put your money where your community is.
Founded by Julissa Prado, this Hispanic-owned hair care line offers products for curly ladies and gentlemen of all shades. If you know someone that is looking for a product that will define their curls and leave them frizz-free and to bounce like they never did before, then this is the perfect gift. This Hispanic based company sells curl cream, shampoo, conditioner and apparel. They also have video tutorials available on their website to show how to use their products to get the best results.
If you have a lady boss in your life that is looking to amp up her corporate style, then Effie’s Paper is the perfect place to purchase stationery accessories. It is a black-owned business and they have a variety of items including drinkware, notebooks, desk accessories, phone cases and more. Founded by Kalyn Johnson Chandler, these items allow black women to express themselves from all walks of life. Whether you are going to a college lecture or on your way to the office, Effie’s Paper has products for you.
Walker’s Legacy, whose name was inspired by the late and great Madam C.J. Walker is an organization that is dedicated to helping women of color become entrepreneurs and make their business dreams come true. It is founded by Natalie Madeira Cofield who was on the hunt for mentors to help her along her career journey. She decided to pay it forward by offering a platform for multicultural women to start their own businesses.
One of the ways you can make a difference in the company is by purchasing their t-shirts that list names of influential minorities who have made history. Sharing information from this site with an entrepreneur in the making is a gift because they can start making their dreams a reality.
The STEM Center USA was founded by sisters Melissa and Lavanya Jawa to help get kids involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), at an early age. This organization was featured on the hit series Shark Tank where they presented their idea and now they are dedicating their organization to inspiring future generations to pursue STEM careers. Their website offers resources to parents, students and educators. They also have a children’s book titled The Technical Alphabet, which is the perfect gift for the little ones in your life. This is a great way for parents to make learning fun and to get kids thinking about their future.