Entrepreneurs host Black-owned enterprise market in St. John’s

An African American woman smiles for the camera at an entrepreneur fair.
Nicole Obiodiaka, organizer of the Black-owned enterprise market, says the objective is to get rid of obstacles confronted by Black entrepreneurs. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

Members of the Black enterprise group in Newfoundland are highlighting variety within the market, internet hosting the annual Black-owned enterprise market in St. John’s on Thursday afternoon.

The market was organized by Nicole Obiodiaka, a Black-inclusion activist. The targets of the occasion have been to supply a possibility to community, she stated, and get rid of obstacles that Black entrepreneurs face frequently.

“As we all know, small companies face lots of obstacles,” stated Obiodiaka. “However Black-owned companies face extra obstacles reminiscent of racism, lack of entry to capital, and a scarcity of entry to assist networks and authorities funding.”

Given the recognition of the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, the venue appeared just like the prime location to carry entrepreneurs nose to nose with prospects and group companions, Obiodiaka stated.

Nails, clothes, artwork, meals and even a “rage room,” the place guests may take out their aggression on an unsuspecting washer, have been a part of the market expertise.

Based on Obiodiaka, probably the most vital facet of the market, nevertheless, was the celebration of Black tradition itself.

“When you communicate to lots of these distributors, you will discover out that lots of their items or objects are impressed by their story, their upbringing, their tradition,” stated Obiodiaka. “To actually allow you to recognize Black tradition and have a good time it as properly.”

A woman holds custom jewelry she designed.
Entrepreneur Margaret Asuquo says the market supplied the chance to community with different enterprise house owners, whereas additionally constructing relationships with the group. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

Faces behind the companies

One vendor on the occasion, Margaret Asuquo, runs two separate companies. As a nail technician, she creates customized nails. Her different enterprise is customized jewellery, each bit sporting distinctive designs.

The attraction of the Black-owned enterprise market, says Asuquo, is the chance to satisfy members of the group, strengthening private relationships between entrepreneur and buyer.

“Not solely does it give me publicity … I’ve the chance to see individuals and discuss to them,” stated Asuquo. “It actually helps whenever you see a face behind the enterprise and you may join with the particular person, somewhat than, like, texting and on-line procuring. This actually places me on the market, and I really like that.”

A man smiles while holding a sledgehammer after destroying a washing machine.
The occasion had many varieties of companies available, together with a ‘rage room,’ the place prospects may take out their aggression on a washer. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

As for her fellow entrepreneurs, Asuquo says they don’t see one another as competitors. 

“All people is right here to cheer themselves on and assist one another,” stated Asuquo. “It is a good looking, non-toxic group. We’re all right here for one another. All of us assist one another. It is wonderful.”

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