New ways to support Black-owned businesses

While working as an Entrepreneur-in-residence at Google from
2014 to 2016, I traveled across the country to help enhance the
online presence of hundreds of Black-owned businesses. As a Black
woman, entrepreneur and Googler, supporting Black-owned businesses
and Black founders is my passion.

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a surge in online
searches for Black-owned businesses. It’s been inspiring to
witness so many people look for ways to invest in the Black
community. Now, we’re announcing three new ways to help support
Black business owners.�

Starting today, merchants in the U.S. with a verified
Business Profile
on Google can
add a Black-owned business attribute
to their profile, making
it easier for customers to find and support them. As part of our
$300 million commitment to support underrepresented entrepreneurs,
we’re also integrating the attribute into the digital skills
training programs we offer Black business owners through Grow with
Google Digital Coaches. And through Google for Startups Accelerator
for Black Founders, we’re starting our work with the first cohort
of 12 startups. 

Making Search and Maps more inclusive

With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more
inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it
most. 

“Everyone who comes into this store is welcome,†says Janet
Jones, founder and co-owner of the Detroit-based Source
Booksellers. “For us, being Black-owned means serving the
community we’re in.†

By adding the attribute, people using Google Search and Maps can
see Source Booksellers is Black-owned, and easily extend their
support by purchasing one of their products, leaving a great review
and sharing their Business Profile with others looking for their
next book. 

BoBA Mobile UI Pop-Up.png

Identity attributes are featured on merchants’ Business Profiles
when they opt in

To help get the word out about the new Black-owned attribute,
we’ve partnered with the U.S. Black Chambers,
Inc.
 (USBC). With 145 Black Chambers of Commerce and 326,000
members across the country, USBC provides leadership and advocacy
to empower Black business owners through resources and initiatives.
Together, Google and USBC will provide training for Black-owned
businesses to enhance their presence on Google through the use of
digital tools like Google My Business and Google Analytics. Our
hope is that by partnering with USBC, we can help more businesses
connect with their community and customers.

Reaching more businesses with digital skills training

We’re also adding the Black-owned business attribute to the
training curriculum offered through the Grow with Google Digital
Coaches
 program. Since 2017, Digital Coaches have offered free
mentorship, networking, and workshop opportunities to Black and
Latinx businesses in 11 cities across the U.S., including Atlanta,
Chicago and Detroit. And the program is growing: Last month, we
announced an expansion to Birmingham, Alabama, Memphis, Tennessee
and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as a commitment to train more than
50,000 Black owned small businesses. 

Introducing the first class of Google for Startups Accelerator
for Black Founders

Through Google for Startups, we’re also expanding ways to
support Black entrepreneurs who are using technology to address so
many of today’s biggest challenges. Today, we’re announcing
the inaugural
class
 of the Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders
with 12 high potential Seed to Series A tech startups based in the
U.S. 

GFSA-Black-Founders-Announcement.gif

Inaugural class of the Google for Startups Accelerator for Black
Founders

The class includes entrepreneurs like Guy Asaad, founder of
Clerkie, a business designed to
help Americans get out of debt. It also includes Melvin Hine,
founder of Upswing, which is
dedicated to improving the online education system, and Ashley
Edwards, founder of MindRight
Health
which provides digital mental health services for young
people. Starting next month, these 12 founders will receive
training and support from Google and industry experts on technical
challenges, business growth, and outside investment opportunities
to help them reach the next level.

In my current role as the Head of Google for Startups in the
U.S., I have the privilege of continuing to work with Black
entrepreneurs. Today’s updates are a part of our company-wide
effort to support Black-owned businesses through products and
meaningful partnerships. It’s my hope that this attribute and
Google’s tools and training can serve as additional resources for
Black-owned businesses and the people who support them. 

Source: FS – Social Media Blogs 2
New ways to support Black-owned businesses