The WhereU app aims to build the largest directory of Black-owned businesses. Launched in celebration of Black History Month, the app is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Created by Atlanta-based, social entrepreneur Dr. Dionne Mahaffey, WhereU offers a local business search with a real-time leaderboard of Black-owned businesses across various categories, ranked by peer-to-peer referral counts.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent survey of business owners, there are 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in this country.
“While the growth is encouraging, there is still a lot of work to do to increase the profit of these Black businesses. Gross receipts for all minority-owned firms are still well below the average gross receipts for non-minority-owned firms,” Mahaffey said.
Other Ethnic and Racial groups Support Their Own
A huge problem is that despite a collective buying power of $1.3 trillion, very little of that money stays in Black communities or is spent on Black-owned businesses.
Brooke Stephens, author of Talking Dollars and Making Sense, says that a dollar circulates in Asian communities for 30 days, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days, and in white communities 17 days. In contrast, a dollar circulates in the Black community only six hours.
According to Maggie Anderson, just 2 cents of every dollar an African-American spends in this country goes to Black-owned businesses. In her book, Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy, Anderson recounts her experiences patronizing Black-owned businesses while highlighting the challenges many Black businesses face (Black businesses lag behind all other businesses in every measure of success).
“A huge problem is that despite a collective buying power of $1.3 trillion, very little of that money stays in Black communities or is spent on Black-owned businesses,” Dr. Mahaffey said.
Let’s Recycle the Dollars in Our Community
If higher-income Black consumers spent at least $1 out of every $10 with Black-owned businesses it would generate one million jobs for African-Americans, according to researchers.
“It will take all of us across all socioeconomic statuses to build Black wealth. We’ve got to invest in our own community. For us, community can’t be limited to where we are domiciled, since many of us live in non-black neighborhoods. When we start to embrace the diaspora-view that our community is wherever we find our people, then we will be more inclined to support one another, even if it means taking a long drive,” Mahaffey continued.
The App’s Features
The WhereU app is here to help make it easier to buy Black, explained Dr. Mahaffey. To everything from house cleaning, plumbing, catering, lawyers, doctors, graphic designers, restaurants, beauty salons and more, the app’s referral and location-based system helps you start your search among the most trusted Black professionals and businesses.
– Access the top 10 most referred pro under a category even without internet connection!
– Discover more trusted local businesses and pros when you’re online.
– Find the pro nearest you through location service
– Reliable listing with updated, checked and verified contact numbers
– Easily refer trusted pros to friends and family through the referral function
How Black Consumers Can Help
“Our development team has added several thousand businesses for the app launch. However, we’d love to include as many of the 2.6 million Black businesses in the United States as possible,” Mahaffey concluded.
Business profiles can be submitted from the website or within the actual WhereU Came From app. The app can also help majority, non-black corporations meet their diversity objectives by finding minority businesses to support.