By India Bookhart
Howard University News Service
After 129 years the AFRO, as another way to connect with the people of Baltimore has incorporated podcasting into their publication.
‘Pleasure Doing Business With You,’ hosted by Megan Sayles, the AFRO’s business writer and member of the Report for America Corps, said when it comes to Black success there’s hardly any coverage.
The pandemic’s grip has “pivoted” the meaning for transactional business and has displaced a good portion of working America. As college graduates enter into a serve workforce and with the unemployed having extra time, many have turned to entrepreneurship.
“It is important to give young entrepreneurs attention, especially if they’re just starting out with their business,” Sayles said.
The podcast’s first guest was AFROTHREADS, a Black-owned business run by two sisters. Their brand embodies the true essence of the motherland, with their textiles being imported from Africa. Intentional about providing business to authentic textile manufacturers of Ghana and other African countries, they learned to identify real African fabric brands. Not only are they creating generational wealth for themselves but also within their communities.
AFROTHREADS is one of many guests to accompany Sayles on, ‘Pleasure Doing Business With You.’ Listeners can expect to hear from business owners who possess diverse backgrounds, those who stray away from traditional dynamics and business owners as young as three-years-old.
The podcast will not only highlight the significance of Black business owners, but Sayles wants listeners to hear the motivation behind their brands.
“There are some people that might do something because they have the free time and the money, so they decided, ‘let me just start this.’ But knowing someone’s motivation shows why the business is meaningful to them,” she said. “Another thing I like to ask is advice they’d give to a budding entrepreneur or an inspiring entrepreneur, because you need to have mentorship… it takes a village to raise a business and grow a business.”
These past few months Sayles and Steven Reynolds, a graduating strategic communications major at Morgan State University, have been reaching out to Black and small-owned businesses within the Baltimore region.
“The AFRO’s mission is to bring positive news about people in the community and what better way to do that, than to reach out to Black businesses. The AFRO already has a large platform and can offer time and space for entrepreneurs to talk and promote themselves,” Reynolds said.
Through Black directories and Reynold’s social media campaign, the two managed to recruit aspiring and Black business owners to attend their ‘Black Business Meet Up’ and the ‘Pleasure Doing Business With You’ premiere week.
“The Black Business Meet Up” event brought together over 255 people, 40 of which being Black business owners. The Facebook Live event connected Black business owners to aspiring ones to provide necessary advice and tools to further attendees business plans.
Although the pandemic has taken a lot, it has also given Black and small business owners that needed push to pursue their own endeavors. To support those endeavors, ‘Pleasure Doing Business With You’ will create a space for Black entrepreneurs to share their stories and to create more opportunities.
“Having an ecosystem of support, within Black business… is what the podcast can help build,” Sayles said.
“Our readers and followers should always expect the unexpected from the AFRO because we’re constantly evolving and living out the destiny mandated by our founder,” said Rev. Dorothy Boulware, AFRO managing editor.
“This is not my grandmother’s AFRO.”
Aside from the podcast, the AFRO has also incorporated #AFRONewsAtNoon, which features the entire editorial team. The publication also launched The Moore Report, which is Ralph Moore’s column on various topics. In the near future readers can also expect investigative reporting, that’ll entail more in-depth research articles.
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