"Africatown Founders" Award Winner
1) Black purchasing power is rising but customer service remains unequal . A survey, which was published in the Journal of Black Studies, also found that 52.8% of servers reported seeing other servers discriminate against African-American customers.
2) Despite the rise in black purchasing power, very little of that goes to black owned businesses According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent survey of business owners, there are 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in this country. A huge problem is that despite a collective buying power of $1.3 trillion, very little of that money stays in Black communities or is spent on Black-owned businesses. This is especially troubling given the economic important of black businesses. According to a study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, “between half a million and a million jobs could be created if higher-income black households spent only $1 of every $10 at Black-owned stores and other enterprises”.
3) Black owned businesses have a branding problem are seen as sub par in quality and customer service
Enter Commonwealth – the platform for black buying power. Commonwealth provides three critical functions:
1) It also provides a platform for black consumers to make their voices heard about any business.
2) It offers consumers a curated list of black businesses in an easy to use web and mobile application.
3) It provides black owned businesses with a customer service dashboard of how they are doing with commonwealth users and recommendations and tools for how to grow their business.
Tiffany Dockery is currently a Senior Product Manager at Amazon where she is working on launching a 3rd party marketplace for subscriptions. She completed her Masters of Business Administration at the Yale School of Management. At Yale, she was a co- leader for the Yale Global Social Enterprise, where she helped lead a class of 25 students to Nicaragua to provide free pro-bono consulting to social enterprises in country. She was also a co-leader for Q+, Yale SOM’s LGBTQA Alliance, and sat on the Dean's Diversity Task Force.
Prior to Yale, Tiffany worked at Google in both Online Sales and New Business Development. At Google, she gained a mastery of online marketing and the digital landscape, as well as developed her passion for entrepreneurship. Before joining Google, she traveled to Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania to work for CARE International. There, she wrote human interests stories for the Women and Girls Empowerment (WAGE) Program, designed promotional materials, and helped train staff. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University where she had a dual concentration in English Literature and African-American Studies.
She is a half-marathoner and enjoys cooking, mixology, and travel. She is also passionate about social justice and the potential for technology and technologists to close persistent opportunity gaps in our society. To that effect, she recently organized the Black to the Future hackathon where more than 100 black technologists and allies convened to imagine and build a better future for black communities using technology.