How Mandy Bowman’s app recirculated $10 million into Black-owned businesses

Abu Mubarik March 31, 2023
Mandy Bowman. Photo credit: Mogul Millennial

After studying Entrepreneurship and Global Business Management at Babson College, Mandy Bowman decided to venture into entrepreneurship to help empower the black community. She had seen the challenges black businesses went through in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York.

These challenges range from the lack of funding to being priced out due to gentrification. This led her to launch the Official Black Wall Street (OBWS) platform in 2015, and the app in 2017 to find support for black business owners in the United States.

She has been at the forefront of galvanizing support for black businesses under the hashtag #BuyBlack movement to expose black-owned businesses to potential buyers across the globe.  The platform has become a tool for promoting economic growth and equity in minority black communities and is hoping to level the playing field, as well as create new opportunities for black business owners.

“We are thrilled to be able to support Black-owned businesses and help them grow,” Mandy said. “Our app makes it easy for people to find and support Black-owned businesses in their local community and beyond. It’s important that we support these businesses and help to build a more equitable future for all.”

Through OBWS, Bowman has recirculated about $10 million in sales and business services back into Black-owned businesses.  What is more, she has helped steer $1.7 million into Black-owned businesses and she is just getting started.

“We just relaunched this year, and it’s been a work in progress for a long time so I’m happy for it to be out,” she told Black Wall Street Times. Bowman says she is now focused on expanding her services to ten other countries, including Canada, South Africa, France, the UK, and the Netherlands.

She was inspired by the legacy of the Greenwood District. She recalls reading a book called ‘Riot and Remembrance’ about the Tulsa Race Massacre. According to her, she was in her twenties at the time and was inspired by the book.

“I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was in middle school, so reading about their neighborhood of entrepreneurs who looked like me was a source of inspiration,” she noted.

She was recently given a prestigious award that celebrates the achievement of women from underrepresented groups in America who help others to achieve economic success. She was recognized as PayPal Maggie Lena Walker Award Winner named in honor of the first Black woman to charter a bank and serve as its president. 

In addition to PayPal’s Maggie Lena Walker Award, she has received other awards and video features from global giants like Google, Mastercard, and more. 

In 2017, Bowman was invited to TEDx Dover, the first TED event held at an HBCU, to give a talk on ownership and long-term wealth in the Black community.

“I was terrified [about public speaking], there were a lot of doubts about whether I would be able to do it, but that opportunity led to many others so I’m glad I did it,” she explained. In 2019, she made her return to the TEDx stage at TED x Babson.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 1, 2023


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