Black businesses face a lot of hurdles, ranging from lack of investment to limited market space. In the wake of the George Floyd murder, there have been conversations around supporting Black businesses with money. However, creating a market space for Black businesses appears to be lost in the discourse.
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is stepping in to fill the void created. He has partnered with Salesforce to launch a “curated digital marketplace” for Black business owners. The marketplace, known as Shop Circulate, allows consumers to engage directly with Black entrepreneurs.
A press statement described Shop Circulate as a “curated digital marketplace that allows consumers to discover and buy products exclusively created and sold by Black entrepreneurs, [which] provides Black businesses with a platform to reach global audiences and empowers consumers to shop the world’s best Black-owned brands.”
The launch of the Shop Circulate comes on the heels of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre. At least some 300 people were killed by white mobs who were envious of the thriving Black community in Tulsa. In today’s dollar times, the incident cost Black businesses $300 million and wiped out the inheritance of Black businesses.
Shop Circulate seeks to reinforce the significance of supporting and empowering Black entrepreneurs and building wealth through ‘circulating’ dollars within the Black community. According to Combs, building a thriving Black business starts with investing in Black businesses and giving entrepreneurs access to customers.
He notes that the platform allows consumers to discover and buy products exclusively created by Blacks and also allows Black entrepreneurs to reach out to a global audience with their products.
Combs said: “Building Black wealth starts with investing in Black-owned businesses and giving entrepreneurs access to the consumers needed to build sustainable companies that can thrive. I’m excited to partner with Salesforce to create a platform that will advance our collective pursuit of economic justice.”
“Salesforce is honored to collaborate with Sean Combs and Combs Enterprises to help close the unjust wealth gap that prevents too many Black Americans from achieving economic equality,” said Marc Benioff, Chair and CEO of Salesforce. “Shop Circulate will empower us all — as individuals, communities, and companies — to support Black-owned businesses, amplify the talent of Black entrepreneurs and move us closer to true equality.”
Shop Circulate will launch in the fall and those interested can sign up to their mailing list to get access. “Black businesses are the heart of our community,” a statement from the website said. “From the best of the best to who’s got next, we’re building an online home for the artists, entrepreneurs, and dreamers who define our culture.”