Founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900, the organization is the country’s first and largest nonprofit dedicated to economically empowering the Black community. The NBL provides tools to help Black ventures thrive, locally and globally. Cognizant of the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on Black-owned businesses paired with the racial inequities that exist within the entrepreneurship space, the organization is putting the focus on ensuring resources that will help Black entrepreneurs develop a digital presence for their ventures are accessible, in an effort to level the playing field in a tech-driven consumer market.
The end goal is to help over a million Black-owned businesses pivot into the digital economy over the next few years. The effort is part of the NBL’s Black Economic Freedom Movement; a five-year campaign that kicks off in January 2023. To coincide with the campaign, the National Business League will become one of the first national trade associations to go digital. The $1.3 million tech advancement project will include a digital marketplace, a digital-ready online assessment tool, and a new NBL website, mobile app, online chapter portal and more.
“As we pivot toward a post-pandemic economy, on the cusp of extreme Black racial injustice, the National Business League has jumped with both feet into the digital age,” Dr. Ken L. Harris, President and CEO of the National Business League, shared in a statement. “For Black businesses globally, the revolution won’t be televised; it shall be digitized.”
Efforts aimed at closing the digital divide are pivotal along the road towards economic equality.