THIS WEEKEND, Manchester will host an annual event billed as the biggest shopping experience for black consumers.
More black-owned businesses will be on display today (August 6) at the Black-owned Business (BoB) exhibition taking place at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.
The event of the year, which is expected to attract up to 2,000 consumers, marks the fourth year that BoB Expo has been held. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste and purchase a diverse range of items ranging from Afro-Caribbean beauty, food and fashion products, among others.
The exhibit’s founder, Monique Kufuor, said The voice that in addition to meeting a growing demand for cultural products, she wants the event to provide greater visibility to black business owners.
“Visibility is so important,” she said. “Many black business owners don’t have the financial resources to be able to afford huge marketing. This makes it harder to meet their ideal clients. The idea behind the BoB Expo was to create an event where black business owners can meet their ideal customers in the same room. They can be discovered by potential customers who can then walk away and tell people they know that they found that amazing product or service at Expo.
Kufuor also revealed that her decision to launch the BoB Expo was born out of her frustration at not being able to find the cultural products she wanted to purchase.
“I was really struggling to find cultural products and diverse products, especially hair products for my daughter and myself,” she recalls. “I always had to go the extra mile to get products and I found that really frustrating.
“Gradually, I realized that this was a shared problem within the black community and that the black consumer had been neglected for so long. So I created an online platform to help people like me know where to find things, and I was so surprised at how many amazing companies were offering truly innovative products and services.
After the tragic death of George Floyd in May 2020, there has been a huge outpouring of support for black businesses, especially through events such as Black Pound Day.
It’s a trend that Kufuor sees continuing.
“I think over the last two years people have become much more aware. Even people outside the black community are thinking about what they can do to contribute to the economic growth of marginalized communities. And that’s why I’m so passionate about the Expo.
“Even though there has been this growth in support, it is still difficult for black business owners to get the exposure they need. Our event aims to provide a space where people can come and see where these businesses are. »