Covid-19 has affected the whole world, and in America the coronavirus’ impact hasn’t been felt more acutely than it has in the black community. As America has opened up, black America is not only open for business, but is working towards operational change. Black owned businesses are utilizing technology and creativity to fuel the recovery, and at the helm of many of these efforts are black women.
FROM LOCAL TO GLOBAL, FROM BUST TO BOOM
Shelter-in-place has not only made e-commerce a viable option for small businesses, but has quickly become the determining factor in converting surviving businesses into thriving businesses. As the length of time people worked from home grew, their reliance on online services grew exponentially. Streaming, gaming, and online retail all saw sales records broken during the last 11 weeks. That’s where Danielle McGee’s, Black Business Boom comes into play. The “Groupon for black businesses” is a digital marketplace that gets businesses online quickly. The service makes it easy for business owners to offer their products and services to a home-bound audience. Black Business Boom requires little technical skill and provides promotional tools to get products and services in front of buyers for a low service fee. Danielle also hosts a video series on Instagram profiling black business owners on the Boomin’ Black Business series.
AI AND ML SHOW PROMISE TO HALT C19
For many, initial misinformation and many unknowns have perpetuated a fear of returning to the outside world. Many families are waiting on a vaccine before deciding to travel and participate in large groups. An oral drug, ENU200, may be a stepping stone to giving people confidence to move freely in public again. ENU200 is a patent-pending, antiviral drug developed by Darnisha Harrison’s company, Ennaid Therapeutics in Atlanta. Ennaid uses its own artificial intelligence powered drug discovery platform to develop antiviral drugs. Harrison says her drug has proven effective at blocking two proteins that make host cells susceptible to COVID-19. Ennaid is working with the FDA to fast track ENU200 with Harrison saying, “We anticipate the clinical trials could start within 90 days. The clinical trial itself could take a month. We feel quite optimistic that in the 120-day window, when our clinical material would be ready, we could have a drug that could be safe and effective at treating COVID-19.”
TAKING OWNERSHIP DURING UNCERTAIN TIMES
With so many black Americans out of work, many are using technology to bring their ideas and plans they have held on to, to the marketplace. Black woman led companies like Astrid Digital and Elevate Branding are helping black businesses transform themselves. Out of Tampa, Florida, Elevate Branding uses a combination of tried and tested branding techniques with new technologies to help small business owners reinvent their images in a crowded marketplace. Elevate incorporates 3D printing and advanced paper substrates to give their customer prospects something extra and unique to remember them by.
Astrid Digital of Washington, DC has helped a number of brick and mortar small businesses fully exploit online retail by helping business owners bring their inventory online quickly and cheaply. The company’s digital services help creatives turn their ideas into purchasable commodities. During COVID-19’s shelter-in-place directives, Astrid Digital have helped their creative customers scale to more than $40,000 per month in sales.
During a time when black America is fighting to make itself heard and protesting for inequality, black women are setting the stage for a bright future for their communities and families.