Black Connect connects Black-owned small businesses with pro bono legal and business guidance across the United States, aimed at ending the racial wealth gap through entrepreneurship. The nonprofit, founded in 2019, is dedicated to ensuring an equal opportunity for Black company owners to be what co-founder Angela Majette describes as “self-reliant and self-sustaining.”
Black Connect is the charitable part of BlackConnect.com, a business and social networking platform for Black owners. By offering educational, financial, and legal resources and tools, the organization is designed to help connect Black entrepreneurs with each other and consumers to lift the entire community.
“… I created Black Connect as a national, chapter-based organization to provide a unifying framework to level the economic playing field,” Majette, who was spurred to action after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, told “Ebony Magazine.”
Photo Courtesy Black Connect
According to Black Connect, Black families hold the least wealth of the largest racial groups in the U.S., and only around 2% of American businesses are Black-owned. In many cases, those companies lack access to legal and funding guidance. That’s where Black Connect steps in.
Since 2019, the company has garnered 2,800 members and provided $30,000 in funding to Black-owned businesses. The firm has numerous chapters, including Atlanta; Brooklyn, NY; Tampa, FL; and Tulsa, OK.
Black Connect offers numerous services for Black entrepreneurs, including a Legal Services Program that partners with law firms to provide free legal advice and legal services to business owners who need it.
Those about to launch or grow a business can use the Business & Entrepreneur Assessment. It’s a business mentoring program that helps Black Connect members at the start of or during a critical growth period for their business.
Members also have access to the Black Connect App. It provides “tools for owners, consumers, professionals, and aspiring entrepreneurs to engage across all areas of the network to promote their business, sell their products and services, build partnerships, and more.” The company also offers an internship program that teaches college students small business operations, development, and marketing skills.
Photo Courtesy Black Connect
Majette emphasized the importance of getting timely legal help on business issues.
“Often, we put legal issues on the back burner until it’s too late,” she said to “Forbes.” “If you can’t afford it, you put it out of your mind.”
“[But] if you want to grow and stay in business, you need legal guidance — there’s no way around it,” she added.
In 2021, Black Connect partnered with NorthOne to offer financial services to business owners.
“Black businesses have a harder time gaining access to capital,” Majette explained to “Ebony Magazine.” “With the growth in startups and small businesses in recent years, this issue has ballooned into Black entrepreneurs having a harder time with capturing investments from investors and venture capitalists.”
Photo Courtesy Christina @ wocintechchat.com
Majette said she sees the organization’s role as an empowering coordinator. Black Connect aims to be a key player in strengthening small Black firms across America. By making these connections and economic strides, the company is certain to have a positive impact on the future generational success of Black entrepreneurship.