Many Black business owners say it is difficult to attract Black customers. And in the same token, many Black consumers say it’s hard to locate Black-owned companies. In steps a new online platform called Spendefy.
The Atlanta-based tech company was founded in 2015 by Eldredge Washington and Antwon Davis, who told us in an interview, “Spendefy is a digital platform that makes it easy for consumers to discover Black-owned businesses in their city.”
Helping and encouraging Black consumers to buy Black can have long-reaching positive effects in wealth building for African Americans. Right now, it will take an incredible 228 years for Blacks to catch up to whites in terms of wealth. According to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, “Money circulates zero to one time within the Black community, compared to circulating more than six times in the Latino community, nine times in the Asian community and unlimited times in the white community.” And this is one of the major reasons the pair started their new tech company. “We, Black Americans, have a buying power of $1.3 trillion but 8 out of 10 Black-owned businesses will fail within their first 18 months,” says Washington. “This is terrible. And one of the main reasons is a lack of support from Black consumers.”
But first Black consumers have to know where to go. “We’re creating awareness and exposure for amazing Black-owned businesses around the country. We started in Atlanta, and we have been growing and adding more cities,” Davis noted.
Spendefy is free for Black businesses to be included on the website and the upcoming app which the duo is working on. Those who want upgraded exposure will have to pay a fee. “Our platform enables Black business owners to tell their story while also allowing them to connect with consumers who want to support local Black-owned businesses,” Davis said. “Our main goal is to get people to change the way they spend.”
Ultimately, the pair wants to facilitate a lifestyle change among Black consumers. “What we’re saying is as you do your daily consumption we want you to spend different, to spend that dollar in the African American community. We want to start this conversation with the African-American consumer and then start discussing how we change the way we invest and save, with the ultimate goal of building Black wealth,” said Washington, who, with Davis, self-funded the venture.
Added Davis, “It’s about building a better economic foundation in Black community and we feel the by supporting Black businesses this will help to do so.