Actress and entrepreneur Gabrielle Union is on a mission to ensure that Black-owned businesses and organizations have the support and resources needed to make it through the pandemic. Union recently unveiled a new initiative through her Flawless by Gabrielle Union haircare company designed to increase the visibility of small Black-owned businesses.
The public health crisis has presented several obstacles for Black business owners. A report released by the New York Fed revealed nearly half of small Black-owned businesses shuttered as a result of financial woes that stemmed from the pandemic. As part of the year-long “Lift As We Climb” initiative, Union’s company will use its digital platforms to amplify businesses that were created by Black entrepreneurs. Consumers can visit her Amazon page to learn about the brands and purchase products. Among the Black-owned companies that are featured are the coffee and tea brand BLK and Bold, the plant-based feminine care product line The Honey Pot, a non-toxic cosmetics line dubbed Mented Cosmetics, the children’s brand Darlyng & Co. and the bandage company Tru-Colour. Through the initiative a portion of proceeds from Flawless by Gabrielle Union, which she launched with celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims, will be donated to the Black Women’s Health Imperative; a nonprofit organization centered on protecting and advancing the health and wellness of Black women and girls.
“We fully intend to support Black-owned entrepreneurs in meaningful ways that lead to growth while encouraging and recycling the Black dollar in our community,” Union said in a statement. “The success of the Flawless brand is important to me, but so is ensuring that we are actively contributing our reach and resources to help empower others.”
Several initiatives have been launched to support Black-owned businesses amid the public health crisis. Tennis star Serena Williams donated proceeds from her jewelry line to a relief fund for Black-owned businesses that were significantly impacted by COVID-19. Songstress Beyoncé teamed up with the NAACP to provide grants for Black business owners.