Shea’d founders want you to shop at black-owned businesses

Mya Havard, Ibrahim Conteh, Nashawn Chery, Faisal Gedi and Simrun Mannan are the minds behind Shea’d, a browser extension helping shoppers buy from black-owned businesses.

In 2021, the founders won $100,000 as part of Pharrell Williams’ Black Ambition Prize. This allowed them to transform Shea’d from an iOS app into a browser extension. The team of entrepreneurs first came up with the idea for the business after moving from Atlanta, Georgia to the Bay Area in California, according to Afrotech. They launched Shea’d to connect with the black community and provide local entrepreneurs with the opportunity to share their stories.

The app gained traction during the Black Lives Matter movement. The team ultimately wanted people’s interest in buying from black-owned businesses to be more than a fad.

“Black businesses should reflect the economic strength of our community, but economic empowerment isn’t the only benefit of black shopping. When you buy Black, you circulate Black creativity, support brands that respect you, and on top of that, you build your community, Harvard told Afrotech.

“At Shea’d, we believe you should support black businesses because you’re inspired by their products and it builds buying power in your communities. With our extension, we can help you find your next black business. favorite that inspires you, respects you and helps your community.

Shea’d has more than 10,000 businesses in its database and uses artificial intelligence to give users recommendations for black-owned products when shopping online. “Instead of having to find businesses and remember to support them, Shea’d automatically shows you black-owned products similar to the ones you [are] already research online. We save you time while helping you find your next favorite black-owned brand,” Havard added.

In the future, the company wants to feature owner profiles so buyers can learn more about buyers. “When we talk to people now, it’s not just about supporting this product or a community, it’s also, ‘I want to see the dedication of this business owner, I want to know why they created this, and why I should support this person and not just like a brand,” Havard said.

Featured Image: MIAMI BEACH, FL – SEPTEMBER 07: Pharrell Williams onstage at the 2022 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on September 07, 2022 at LIV Nightclub in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

About Kyra: Kyra Alessandrini is a news writer at Girls United and a freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in publications such as Time, The Hollywood Reporter, InStyle and Elle. Born in New York and raised in Paris, France, she is passionate about culture, street photography and travel.

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