Last updated 3 weeks ago by Michael Darmanin
In light of the various race equality movements that have taken place all over the world, more questions are being raised about the racial makeup of companies and whether or not they practice open, tolerant and fair treatment towards their employees. But what exactly does that classification mean and why is there so much buzz surrounding the black owned businesses?
One can find the origins of black owned businesses in North America, dating back to before 1865, where they were actually referred to as African-American businesses. These were generally established by African-American slaves that had successfully managed to escape their hostile environment and start up businesses of their own. They began to grow rapidly in the 20th century and since then have spread globally. To date, there are thousands of black owned businesses ranging from funeral parlours to record stores; almost any type of business imaginable.
However, there are six main industries that black businesses have had an exponential rise in; investment, banking, entertainment (book industry included), fashion, beauty and food. Some notable business you might of heard of already are Harpo Productions – Oprah Winfrey (US), Daily Paper– Hussein, Jefferson and Abderrahmane (NL), LISNR – Rodney Williams (US), Calendly– Tope Awotona (US based), Curl Agency – Nana Adison (GER) and Neyber – Martin Ijaha (UK).
Although their roots can be found across the Atlantic, Europe has also seen a rise in black owned businesses, especially in Paris, London, Amsterdam and Berlin. Particularly for startups, Germany and the Netherlands have seen a flourish of these businesses where the majority of these are based around fashion, beauty and entertainment. However, an industry that is essentially crying out for black owned organisations is the Information & Technology (IT) industry
Emerging black owned IT companies are vital to the diversity and collective knowledge within this sector. Consequently, IT has experienced exponential growth in Africa, a continent that is often mistaken for its underdevelopment and technology lag (which is arguably not the case). In recent years, we have seen individuals start companies that are focused towards connecting the IT potential in Africa with European and American businesses. The only one that currently fits the description as European and black owned, was Zwart Tech. This company prides itself on connecting companies based in more economically developed countries with Africa’s top 1% IT-talents. With companies such as these, we are able to address the systematic inequalities in both Europe and Africa. The former becomes more aware of how important diversity is and the latter can gain the much needed access to opportunities and networks in the West.
If you want to know more about their story and company insights, head over to Zwart Tech’s website.