Blavity Inc. and American Express Team Up to Spotlight Black-Owned Small Businesses at AfroTech


Nine Austin-based small businesses to be featured at American Express' Small Business Marketplace at the Conference this week

American Express Small Business Marketplace at AfroTech

Anru00e9 Williams, CEO, American Express (center), with the businesses featured in AfroTech's Small Business Marketplace

AUSTIN, Texas - November 16, 2022 - (

Blavity Inc., the corporation behind AfroTech, 21Ninety, Travel Noire, Shadow & Act, and Blavity News, announced American Express' presence at the AfroTech Conference — running through Nov. 17, 2022, at the Austin Convention Center in Texas. The Conference, a global gathering of inclusive tech companies and innovators, features a Small Business Marketplace for Austin-based Black-owned brands hosted by American Express.  

Small businesses are imperative for the American economy to thrive, and the AfroTech Conference is at the forefront of assisting them. Blavity Inc. and American Express are partnering to bring visibility to these local Black-owned brands at the AfroTech Conference. The Small Business Marketplace features nine brands local to Austin including The Coy CollectioneleMINT SkinNew Origin ShopIvelisse DesignsRosen SkincareSkin Joy DermatologySoul Popped, Terminal B., and Trivia For Us.

The Small Business Marketplace will also include four additional Black-owned brands from across the country on a rotating basis. These include Shampoo, and JustBriFree Well-Being

The Small Business Marketplace is just one of the many ways that American Express is supporting Black-owned businesses and raising the bar on supply chain diversity. American Express is committed to providing small businesses access to funding, resources, and tools. This includes the Small Business Progress Loan from Accion Opportunity Fund. With an investment from American Express, Accion Opportunity Fund offers more small businesses access to loans. Small business owners can learn more about the variety of American Express' resources available to them here.

"American Express has long-advocated for the success of small businesses through a myriad of programs," said Anré Williams, CEO, American Express National Bank & Group President, Enterprise Services, American Express. "As we continue to create innovative products and services, we're also focused on building a more diverse supply chain, and have committed to increasing our spend with Black-owned suppliers to at least $100 million annually by the end of 2024." 

Williams spoke about this and other American Express initiatives at this year's AfroTech conference in a conversation moderated by Frank Holland of CNBC. 

"We're excited to see American Express activate the Small Business Marketplace at AfroTech to bring visibility to local Black-owned small businesses and their importance to the overall supply chain," said Blavity Inc. founder and CEO Morgan DeBaun. "The Marketplace is a great opportunity for these businesses to connect with potential customers and investors in person. AfroTech Conference is the perfect place to support them."

This year's AfroTech event brings together more than 300 brands and thousands of Black professionals in Austin. AfroTech Conference will also welcome key innovators and entrepreneurs across tech, entertainment, and business industries. View AfroTech Conference's full 2022 agenda HERE.

To stay up to date on speaker and entertainment announcements, download the AfroTech Conference app for Apple and Android or follow @afrotech on Twitter.


Blavity Inc. is a technology and media corporation founded in 2014 around a simple idea: Enable Black millennials to tell their own stories. Today, Blavity is home to the largest network of platforms and lifestyle brands serving Black millennials and Gen Z through original content, video, and unique experiences. The company has grown into a market leader for Black media, reaching over 250 million millennials per month through its growing brand portfolio, including Blavity News, 21Ninety, AfroTech, Travel Noire, Shadow & Act, Blavity Culture Ad Network, and Blavity TV.


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