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EatOkra

Black-Owned business directory app connecting people to Black food & beverage.

Anthony June 19, 2020 at 7:19 am
$21,565
Pledged of $100,000 goal
447
Backers
27
Days Left
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Project Ends on 08/08/2020
  • Description
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We were tired of hearing about Black people being abused and violated in spaces that were supposed to create a sense of comfort and reception. Hospitality is defined by how well you take care of your guests and anticipate their needs. We created the app because we wanted to make it easier for Black people to find hospitality spaces, where they could feel a sense of safety, comfort, and inclusion. 

In order for Black people to have these spaces, they have to exist, and in order for them to exist, they have to be supported and funded. As stated by the Census Bureau, there almost 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the United States alone. According to a 2019 small business report published by JP Morgan Chase, 94% of small businesses in majority-black communities hold cash reserves for fewer than 14 days. This past April, CNN Business Perspectives reported that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, black business owners are more likely to run out of operating funds to keep their businesses afloat while customers are forced to stay at home. Black restaurant owners have been hit especially hard, and therefore are especially vulnerable. 

“So far, we’ve connected over 150,000 users to over 2,600 Black-owned restaurants, bakeries, cafes, food trucks, bars, and wineries across the country.”

EatOkra makes the problem of finding these restaurants easier to discover, navigate, organize, and share? For users, there are no articles, blogs, lists, or hashtags to sift through. For business owners, no more worrying about their businesses being buried in a vast sea of listings available on other apps. So far, we’ve connected over 150,000 users to over 2,600 Black-owned restaurants, bakeries, cafes, food trucks, bars, and wineries across the country. 

The mission of EatOkra is to support black businesses and encourage fellowship through one specific avenue, Black food & beverage.

Black food is fellowship. Sharing a meal is a sort of communion. Feeding someone is an expression of love. We created EatOkra because we wanted people to understand that. Our hope is that our app will continue to galvanize people and get them thinking about why the preservation of black spaces is important, where they spend their money, who they support and what steps they might want to take further to ensure that things are fair.

From May 28th to June 4th, we saw a 4,450% increase in daily downloads and received over 5,100 additional listings to add to our database. Funding from this campaign will be used to hire help to quickly process these listings, so they can be uploaded on the app at a much faster pace. It will also support software and hardware updates to ensure the app runs faster and with minimal bugs to enhance user experience. Additionally, funding will be used to expand our marketplace feature, where users can purchase spices, rubs, sauces, condiments, soft drinks, teas, and coffee. It will also be used to create content and hire Black content creators, so we can develop and launch our newsfeed feature on the app as well as create our “Okra Seed” foundation. 

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