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

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 remove boundaries confronted by Black entrepreneurs. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

Members of the Black enterprise neighborhood in Newfoundland are highlighting range 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 objectives of the occasion have been to supply a possibility to community, she mentioned, and remove boundaries that Black entrepreneurs face usually.

“As we all know, small companies face a number of boundaries,” mentioned Obiodiaka. “However Black-owned companies face extra boundaries comparable to racism, lack of entry to capital, and an absence 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 deliver entrepreneurs nose to nose with clients and neighborhood companions, Obiodiaka mentioned.

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

In line with Obiodiaka, essentially the most vital side of the market, nevertheless, was the celebration of Black tradition itself.

“In case you converse to a number of these distributors, you will discover out that a number of their items or objects are impressed by their story, their upbringing, their tradition,” mentioned Obiodiaka. “To actually allow you to respect Black tradition and have fun it as properly.”

A woman holds custom jewelry she designed.
Entrepreneur Margaret Asuquo says the market supplied the chance to community with different enterprise homeowners, whereas additionally constructing relationships with the neighborhood. (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 fulfill members of the neighborhood, strengthening private relationships between entrepreneur and buyer.

“Not solely does it give me publicity … I’ve the chance to see individuals and speak to them,” mentioned Asuquo. “It actually helps if 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 kinds of companies available, together with a ‘rage room,’ the place clients might 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,” mentioned Asuquo. “It is a wonderful, non-toxic neighborhood. We’re all right here for one another. All of us assist one another. It is wonderful.”

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