Directory of Fast Growing Black-Owned Businesses in Manitoba – Winnipeg

An online directory for Black-owned businesses in Manitoba continues to grow after launching last spring.

Black Owned Manitoba was launched in June 2020, around the time of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“(We thought) how can we create something that highlights and strengthens the (economic) growth of the black community in our province,” co-founder France Bahati told Global News.

“There was no such thing.”

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The website now features more than 100 businesses and professionals, including restaurants, clothing retailers, hair salons, makeup artists, consulting firms, gardening companies, doctors and dentists.

“You can go to Google and say I want to find a Chinese restaurant, but it was so hard to say I want to find a black-owned business,” said co-founder Odette Bahati. “So our directory is able to help you do that and it’s for everyone.”

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She adds that the response has been overwhelming.

“It’s definitely a friendly Manitoba, because we see how people use the resources that are there,” she said.

“And we hope that this momentum and this support is not just a trend and that it will continue – not just this year, not just next year, but in the future.”

Merri Tekle runs Ambience Hair Studio in downtown Winnipeg. She says the website has attracted new customers.

“I think for a lot of African American hair people, there aren’t a lot of options of where to go to get their hair done. Over the past five years, there’s been this trend that you don’t have to straighten your hair, you can just wear it naturally,” Tekle said.

“We’ve had a lot of black people with natural hair, which is nice, tight, curly hair,” she added.

“It’s not the same as having straight hair. It takes a long time, it’s very fragile and we get a lot of customers from (the website).

Amina Ayoade is the owner of Bubbalatte Cakes & Bakery.

Courtesy / Amina Ayoade

Amina Ayoade runs Bubbalatte Cakes & Bakery. She says she hopes the platform will help inspire a younger generation.

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“I think it’s really important for us to step up,” Ayoade said.

“Every person has the opportunity to express themselves and it lets others know that, especially young children. Like, you can do it, it’s something you can do. You can be a little black kid and have big dreams of owning your own business. It’s totally doable. »

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Francine and Odette, who are sisters, are business owners themselves. They say the response has been so overwhelming, they are looking for volunteers to help with Black Owned Manitoba, and they are always looking to add more businesses to the directory.

“It’s been a resource not only for black people, but also for our allies,” Francine said.

“If you want to support the community and support the community growth of black businesses and the black community in our province, you can check out the black-owned directory.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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