Finding and supporting Black-owned businesses may soon be a whole lot easier thanks to a new initiative launched by music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs and the cloud-based software company Salesforce. The two have partnered to create a new “curated digital marketplace” called Shop Circulate that will allow consumers to browse and purchase products created and sold by Black entrepreneurs.
Hilary Lewis of The Hollywood Reporter writes that “the new platform, announced on the 100th anniversary of the attack on Black Wall Street in the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, aims to help build Black wealth by circulating economic investment among Black-owned businesses.”
In a statement following the announcement, Combs said, “Building Black wealth starts with investing in Black-owned businesses and giving entrepreneurs access to the consumers needed to build sustainable companies that can thrive. I’m excited to partner with Salesforce to create a platform that will advance our collective pursuit of economic justice.”
For his part, Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, said that he and his company are “honored to collaborate” on the initiative and hope “to help close the unjust wealth gap that prevents too many Black Americans from achieving economic equality.”
“Shop Circulate will empower us all — as individuals, communities and companies — to support Black-owned businesses, amplify the talent of Black entrepreneurs and move us closer to true equality,” Benioff said in a statement.
To lay the groundwork for the new initiative, Shop Circulate is also acquiring another digital community called The Nile List, which helps to connect consumers with Black-owned brands. Benioff appointed Nile List founder Khadijah Robinson as head of product for Shop Circulate, who will help to oversee development of the new company and spearhead all Shop Circulate efforts on a global scale.
“Shop Circulate has also reached a partnership with Official Black Wall Street, a leading directory to discover Black-owned businesses, with its founder Mandy Bowman joining as an advisor,” Lewis reported. She added that the platform, scheduled to debut later this year, “will feature an expansive list of businesses ranging from beauty, fashion and art to health, wellness and home products and will be designed and built by Deloitte Digital and powered by Marketplacer’s technology.”
In a statement following the partnership, Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen said, “Deloitte’s purpose is to make an impact that matters. As the largest professional services organization in the world, we have a responsibility to help level the playing field and advance opportunities for the Black community in business. This is one of the most effective ways for organizations like ours to do our part in ending systemic bias, racial injustice and unequal treatment in all its forms.”
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