We’ve been engaging with black businesses for over three years. In that time, we’ve had several interactions and conversations with black business owners. As a result of our experience, we’ve noticed deficiencies in two areas: Collaboration and Technology.
Two years ago, we were asked to collaborate with other successful black business directories. An investor offered to fund the collaboration under one stipulation – everyone would be required to create one brand. Needless to say, although we were interested, the other businesses declined the offer.
This type of thinking has been the downfall of our community, and it is one of the reasons we created the Black Business Forum. Unlike other cultures, we're conditioned to fight and compete with one another, which stifles black economic growth. More collaboration could lead to faster growth and long term success.
The forum is built on Slack. Slack is the preferred communication platform for tech startups, and it is quickly becoming a replacement for email, text messages, etc. The introduction of Slack to the black business community is strategic. We're passionate about the adoption of technology, and our forum will help business owners become comfortable with the tool.
We use Slack for internal team communications, and it has reduced the frequency of emails and conversations. Instead of email threads, Slack users can create channels on specific topics. Conversations are more efficient, and the channels serve as ongoing threads. Team members can actively engage or passively watch the conversation.
We've very excited about the Black Business Forum, and we're hopeful the forum will serve as a valuable resource for the black business community.