buzzin’-black-friday-returns-to-showcase-black-owned-businesses-–-the-exponent

Buzzin’ Black Friday Returns To Showcase Black-Owned Businesses – The Exponent

Returning bigger than ever, the event will host 15 local vendors, provide free food to guests.

Courtesy of Daisjah Brown

Left to right: Daisjah Brown and Noah Mowery prepare for Buzzin Black Friday.

Black-owned business owners are set to showcase their entrepreneurship in the Student Activity Center on Friday from 3-4 p.m.  

“Black entrepreneurship equals innovation. That’s what it is. So with this we’re helping Black vendors realize who they are and how they can label themselves as an entrepreneur and how they help educate our community,” said Daisjah Brown, junior political science student along with the founder and creative director of Buzzin’ Black Friday. 

The event brings together Black-owned businesses and allows them to interact with students on campus through a vendor fair in the SAC. This year, over 15 Black-owned vendors will be in attendance, as well as a food truck, Blasian Fusion, for students to enjoy free food and raffle prizes such as gift baskets and gift cards. 

 Brown created the event last year while working as a Brain Fellow for the Baldwin Wallace David and Frances Brain Center for Community Engagement and has continued the project with current brain fellow Noah Mowery, a junior double major in business management and human resources.  

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Some businesses set to attend the fair include a local barber, nail care vendors, lashes, skincare, juice, t-shirts, food, desserts, music and many other Black-owned businesses that offer a variety of products and services that students need but are not always visible to them.  

Brown said that a key aspect she fought to preserve is a lack of fees for vendors and students. Instead, they are offering $100 honorariums for vendors to show up to support their attendance. 

 Brown said that the event’s purpose is not to be performative but to highlight education on the history of Black entrepreneurship such as lesser-known Black entrepreneurs who invented commonly used tools and products such as the stoplight and peanut butter.  

“We’re not having our vendor stop the event to speak about being a Black person owning a business in America. That’s not the case,” Brown said. “We’re having people go around and interact with different things.”  

Brown said she faced hurdles in finding vendors matching the event’s intentions.  

“It is so hard to sit and try to find a vendor that not only fits your event but just in general,” Brown said.  

Additional resources that helped Brown prepare for the event were JumpStart and LaunchNet, who, in part, sponsored the event. JumpStart not only helped her create connections with businesses in the community but also provided funding for the food truck.  

LaunchNet program manager Catie Lenahan said she worked closely with Brown and Mowery. 

It’s been really fun to work with both of them, just to see their leadership take place and see the work they are doing,” Lenahan said. “They both believe in this entrepreneurial initiative and that entrepreneurship is everywhere.” 

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