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 eradicate obstacles confronted by Black entrepreneurs. (Heather Gillis/CBC)

Members of the Black enterprise neighborhood 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 objectives of the occasion have been to supply a possibility to community, she stated, and eradicate obstacles that Black entrepreneurs face repeatedly.

“As we all know, small companies face a variety of obstacles,” stated Obiodiaka. “However Black-owned companies face extra obstacles akin to racism, lack of entry to capital, and an absence of entry to help networks and authorities funding.”

Given the recognition of the St. John’s Farmers’ Market, the venue appeared just like the prime location to convey entrepreneurs nose to nose with clients and neighborhood 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, essentially the most vital facet of the market, nonetheless, was the celebration of Black tradition itself.

“In case you communicate to a variety of these distributors, you may discover out that a variety of their items or gadgets are impressed by their story, their upbringing, their tradition,” stated Obiodiaka. “To essentially allow you to recognize Black tradition and have a good time it as effectively.”

A woman holds custom jewelry she designed.
Entrepreneur Margaret Asuquo says the market offered the chance to community with different enterprise house owners, 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 satisfy members of the neighborhood, strengthening private relationships between entrepreneur and buyer.

“Not solely does it give me publicity … I’ve the chance to see folks and discuss to them,” stated Asuquo. “It actually helps while you see a face behind the enterprise and you’ll join with the individual, fairly 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 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 help one another,” stated Asuquo. “It is a stupendous, non-toxic neighborhood. We’re all right here for one another. All of us help one another. It is superb.”

Learn extra from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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