Sharifah Hardie is an American entrepreneur, influencer, business consultant, Candidate for Senate, and media personality. She is also behind the crowdfunding platform Support My Black Business.
Hardie launched the Support My Black Business platform to help local Black businesses to generate funding. In this regard, she intends to raise $1.5 billion to support struggling Black businesses across the United States.
The outdooring of Support My Black Business comes on the heels of COVID-19-related challenges that have disrupted the global economy and disproportionately hit Black businesses.
Historically, Black businesses have struggled to get funding from banks and venture capital firms. Aside from funds, they hardly get technical support to help grow and scale up their business. Due to these challenges, Black businesses have in recent times relied on crowdfunding platforms to get a capital injection.
“During a global pandemic, 41% of Black businesses closed across the county. That’s nearly half a million businesses that are gone. They are no longer operating, and we didn’t have that many Black businesses, to begin with,” Hardie said in a statement.
The talk show host and business consultant explained that she was inspired to create her platform after watching a video online about three Black sisters who owned an ice cream shop. According to her, their business was struggling and they were getting ready to go under.
“They went to their father and asked him what to do. Their father encouraged them to create a GoFundMe page,” she noted, adding: “The sisters were embarrassed. They felt like they were begging by asking for people to give them money. Their father told them that they either crowdfunded and allow people to help them or they go out of business.”
“Those were their options. They listened to their father, raised nearly $30,000.00 and are still in business to this day. I knew then that if it could work for those sisters, it could work for more sisters and brothers across America and Support My Black Business was born!”
Hardie said she wants to use Support My Black Business to encourage people to support and help the Black community to thrive. The platform will highlight the stories of Black entrepreneurs, their journey, and how they are struggling to stay afloat. Those entrepreneurs can then start the fundraising process.
Hardie has over 25 years of experience in business and has positioned herself as one of the top executives in entertainment, business and politics. However, her rise to the top has not been smooth sailing.
Throughout her career, she was laid off eight times but quitting or giving up was not part of the dictionary. She has used her experience and knowledge to serve multiple businesses as a consultant.
Hardie was raised in South Central Los Angeles. In the 2020 election, she ran for Long Beach City Council (formerly South Central Los Angeles), a statement on her website noted. She has also decided to further her political journey by running for CA Senate in the 2024 Primary Election.