In our opinion, black-owned businesses don’t have the luxury of just being businesses. We have to be part activist, too.
In less than half a year, Bold Xchange has earned more revenue than the average black-owned business does in a full year. While that might seem like something to celebrate—and we have a little—it’s somewhat disturbing.
Sure, we’re a hard working duo. But one of us has a full-time job and the other is a full-time law student. Accounting for work, sleep, fun, and other life activities, there’s only so much time for business. Yet we’re bigger than average—according to pre-coronavirus stats.
More Than Individual Effort
All of the other black entrepreneurs we know work hard, too. And like us, most of them aren’t full-time entrepreneurs. If they want to be full-time, it’s our job to help them get there. Last year Kofi Meroe, cofounder of Sankofa Beer Company, told me “it’s every entrepreneur’s decision when they jump” from part-time to full-time entrepreneurship.
Yes, it’s every entrepreneur’s decision. However, sales or funding better support that burning desire to focus exclusively on entrepreneurship. We find being bigger than average disturbing because though we’re excited about how Bold Xchange continues to grow, we’re not big by any means.
So what does that say about the state of black entrepreneurship as a whole? What does it say about the obstacles that black entrepreneurs face? Relentless individual effort alone won’t get entrepreneurs over the hump.
The Power of a Village
Teamwork makes the dream work. I love that cliche saying. It’s the truth. Here’s another one for you: it takes a village to build a business.
By definition, Bold Xchange, a collection of phenomenal brands, is a village. And Kickstarter helping us get up and running proved that Bold Xchange is nourished by a village of supporters. That supporter village continues to share what we’re up to with their extended village, and that energy comes full circle, allowing Bold Xchange to grow some more!
I think you get the point. Growth takes community. From idea to small to bigger than average has seemed like a whirlwind. To get Bold Xchange from bigger than average to truly big will take more than we can probably imagine right now. We’re ready for it all to unfold.