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August is National Black Business Month, a time to recognize, celebrate, and support Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs across the U.S. More than 60% of sales in Amazon’s store come from independent sellers—most of which are small and medium-sized businesses—and we aim to enable opportunities for Black-owned businesses, so they too can launch and build thriving businesses in our store and beyond.
In 2021, as part of our continued commitment to the success of Black-owned businesses, Amazon launched the Black Business Accelerator (BBA) to empower sustainable entrepreneurship for Black-owned businesses in our store. The increased diversity of products these Black-owned businesses provide in our store empowers customers to shop according to their values, while also enjoying a wide selection that reflects their unique preferences.
“It’s fantastic to see how committed Amazon is to the success of Black-owned businesses like ours, and we’ve seen immediate exposure and increased sales. Amazon’s enthusiasm and drive to support small businesses has been nothing short of incredible, and we are grateful that they are paving the way for our brand to soar.” —Reggie Kelly, owner of KYVAN Foods, Atlanta, GA
How does Amazon help promote Black-owned businesses?
Customers value the expanded selection of products from Black-owned businesses, and an integral part of building sustainable growth lies in our commitment to increasing discoverability of Black-owned and small businesses in our store. To improve the shopping experience and make it easier for customers to discover products from these businesses, we made significant enhancements to our Black is Remarkable store, a destination where customers can shop from and learn about inspiring Black business owners.
To ensure Black-owned businesses are prepared for key shopping moments like Prime Day, Amazon offers several trainings to increase Black-owned selling partners’ ability to offer deals, leverage Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), and utilize advertising and marketing opportunities for optimal impact. As a result, Prime Day 2023 emerged as the biggest Prime Day event ever for independent sellers—most of which are small and medium-sized businesses—whose sales growth in Amazon’s store outpaced Amazon’s retail business. We’re thrilled to continue this momentum through the holidays, ensuring customers have access to an extensive range of products from Black-owned businesses in our store.
“The Honey Pot Company had great sales growth on Prime Day, and we experienced a 3x increase compared to a normal, average day. The halo of Prime Day is still going strong, with an average of 20% growth on our daily sales.” —Bea Dixon , co-founder and CEO of The Honey Pot Company, Atlanta, GA
How does Amazon help new businesses grow?
To help us effectively innovate upon and improve the many ways in which we support Black-owned and small businesses, we constantly seek feedback and collect learnings from Black-owned businesses, as well as industry thought leaders, and luminaries from the Black business community. In response to small and underserved businesses’ desire for better early-stage education, we introduced a reinvigorated Amazon Small Business Academy (ASBA), which includes a suite of free, interactive resources to help support entrepreneurs—from concept to launch and beyond. ASBA gives early entrepreneurs access to free foundational business education, industry experts, tools, resources, and networking opportunities that will help aspiring and current small-business owners accelerate their success in launching a digital business, regardless of their status as Amazon sellers.
In addition to the educational curriculum, entrepreneurs and small-business owners can learn through audio content via the This is Small Business podcast, where each episode unpacks key business decisions in a small-business owner’s journey to success. Live engagement opportunities are also available with our new virtual event series called Founders Table, which explores different topics from the unique perspectives of business experts and small-business owners. ASBA, coupled with Amazon Seller University, offers small businesses hundreds of thousands of hours of free educational content for sellers at all stages of their journey.
“Amazon has been an invaluable partner in my fund, Backstage Capital’s, mission to lift up underestimated businesses. They’ve gone above and beyond in their commitment to driving change and making a tangible impact, and this shows in their support for Founders Table, which is a beacon for marginalized businesses. Amazon’s Founders Table has created a lifeline, providing not only capital but also exposure, mentorship, and resources that are often difficult for these businesses to access. Our collaborative effort reflects a clear commitment to diversity and inclusion, acknowledging that success doesn’t always look the same, and that we need to broaden our perspectives and learn from different voices.” —Arlan Hamilton, founder of Backstage Capital, Los Angeles, CA
What resources are available to sellers?
Amazon invests billions of dollars annually to provide independent sellers with the best possible selling experience, including powerful, cost-effective tools and services to help them quickly launch in our store, rapidly scale, reach more customers, and build their brands. As part of Amazon’s research and consultation with industry experts to understand how to best support small businesses, we worked to understand why inequities in our economy exist, learning that a critical factor of economic inequality is associated with lack of access to capital. To directly address this need of the underserved community, we’ve invested tens of millions of dollars to support the growth of new entrepreneurs and provide increased product selection to customers.
“As the world increasingly makes their most important purchases from their phones and computers, Amazon has become a significant means for learning about brands and subsequently purchasing them. It can’t be underestimated how significant it is that Amazon has committed to ensuring the Black-owned companies like Naturade are prepared to succeed. We credit Amazon with our tremendous recent growth in our Naturade VeganSmart and other nutritional and weight loss shakes on Amazon, as well as traditional retail.” —Kareem Cook, managing partner and CMO of Naturade, Irvine, CA
How about funding?
We continue to expand offerings and launch new initiatives that break down barriers to growth for small and underserved businesses more broadly, and in 2022, Amazon and our financing partners provided sellers with access to $2.1 billion, an increase of 50% from the previous year. To assist sellers in underserved communities fund needs like inventory expansion, brand building, and customer acquisition, Amazon launched the Amazon Community Lending program, which helps businesses free up cash flow so they can reach their goals. Additionally, last year, we launched Amazon Catalytic Capital, which aims to provide more startups access to capital, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities to help bring their ideas to fruition. This dedicated investment program—with an initial $150 million in funding—will invest in venture capital (VC) funds, accelerators, incubators, and venture studios that have a track record of, and commitment to, investing in startups with underrepresented founders.
“With Amazon’s FBA program, we’ve transformed our operational dynamics and strategically relocated inventory across the nation, and we leverage Amazon’s multi-channel fulfillment services to satisfy our online direct-to-consumer orders. We also immensely value Amazon’s advertisement tools, which boost our brand’s visibility, facilitate collaborations with Amazon content creators, and promote discounts to stimulate new customer purchases. As an emerging company, the sensation of being backed by Amazon is truly gratifying.” —Makeba Lloyd, founder/CEO of Butter By Keba, Harlem, NY
How does Amazon collaborate with the community?
Building a community is a cornerstone of how Amazon supports small businesses, and we continue to grow our strategic partnerships with Black entrepreneurial community organizations. Recently, Amazon partnered with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and THINK450 to develop the Brotherhood Deli, a retail experience coinciding with the 2023 Summer League games in Las Vegas. Amazon highlighted 20 Black sellers with professional “athlete-preneur” brands to participate in NBPA’s first-ever fan shop, giving these business access to a new customer base in the sports industry. We recently partnered with SheaMoisture to amplify Black-owned businesses in Amazon’s SheaList storefront, and joined the Millionaire Marketplace at the SheaMoisture Harlem Block Party at the ESSENCE Festival of Culture.
As part of our commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and spotlighting incredible products from small and underserved businesses for the hundreds of millions of customers who shop in our store, we partner with celebrities like Oprah Winfrey on Oprah’s Favorite Things holiday list and Ayesha Curry to increase visibility during key shopping moments and all year long. Additionally, last year, we sponsored Boss Women Media’s Building Women for the Future pitch competition tour and hosted their Black Girl Magic Digital Summit premiere on Prime Video. Looking ahead, Amazon will participate in The Fearless Fund VC Summit in Atlanta on August 18 and 19 to speak about building wealth with ecommerce through curated panels, and engaging with women entrepreneurs.
“Our Amazon account manager has become a member of the Lyrically Correct family and truly has our best interest at heart. BBA has given us access to people, information, and resources that would not be possible without the program.” – Donte Jones, co-founder/CEO at Lyrically Correct, Linden, NJ
The education, capital, and community that selling in Amazon’s store offers, coupled with the trustworthy shopping experience Amazon has created for customers, unlock a powerful and proven economic engine that enables Black entrepreneurs to build their brands and sell their products to millions of customers worldwide. We are proud of the progress we have made in partnership with Black-owned businesses, and we remain committed to the success of Black-owned businesses and making it easy for customers to discover and shop the incredible selection these businesses provide.
To shop and discover Black-owned businesses in Amazon’s store, visit the Buy Black Store, and look for the Small Business badge and Black-Owned Business badge.
Learn more about how Amazon support Black-owned Businesses: