A brand new online marketplace for Black-owned businesses has launched in the UK. The arrival of Wakuda comes in time for Black History Month, and will assist business owners and consumers in supporting Black-owned retailers online.
The platform is the brainchild of Albert Larter and Nathaniel Wade who, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, noticed an increased focus on supporting Black-owned brands and businesses. Campaigns like Black Pound Day inspired them, they say, but they wanted to do more.
“Following the events in the U.S. that led to the Black Lives Matter movement and the worldwide protests, we saw a spike in people wanting to see how they could support Black business owners,” co-founder Larter explained. “That’s a part of the reason how and why we started Wakuda here in the UK.”
Like online retail giants Amazon and Etsy, Wakuda offers business owners a safe space to list and promote their products, ranging from beauty items, to food and drink, household essentials, and beyond. All of which can be easily accessed by consumers looking to support Black-owned businesses.
Since launching in August, Wakuda has amassed nearly 100 trading partners through the platform, each of whom are offered support and resources to help them expand their businesses.
Discussing what Black business owners and Wakuda customers can expect from the digital marketplace, co-founder Wade said: “We are aware through our own personal experiences how difficult it is for Black business owners to get funding to start or support their businesses in the UK. Wakuda gives them a safe space to quickly launch their business and tap into a ready market of shoppers who want to support Black-owned enterprises.”