WILMINGTON, NC – Genesis Block and tekMountain are partnering on the development of a technology platform to promote Black entrepreneurs and small businesses. 

The new platform will help identify Black-owned businesses regionally, provide collaborative resources and tools for entrepreneurs, as well as provide index information for companies and organizations that want to collaborate with Black-owned businesses.

“The GDP purchasing power of Blacks in the United States is estimated over 1.25 trillion dollars, but only 2% ($2.4 billion) is spent with Black businesses” said Genesis Block co-founder Girard Newkirk. “Genesis Block’s strategy is to focus on closing this gap through economic development, community collaboration and technology.”

Genesis Block is creating a mobile app to help individuals find Black-owned businesses in the local community. tekMountain stands in full support of this effort, and is investing $50,000 to help Genesis Block build, launch and maintain the app.

The partnership is part of an ongoing collaboration to assist Genesis Block in developing its innovative new co-working space in historic downtown Wilmington, which is committed to building a diverse entrepreneur class block by block in communities around the country.

For Brett Martin, CEO of tekMountain and CastleBranch, partnering with Genesis Block to build a new generation of Black entrepreneurs will help address the city’s long history of racial and economic inequality, stemming from the violent 1898 coup d’état that robbed Wilmington of its thriving class of Black businessmen and entrepreneurs.

“Wilmington was once home to a rising middle class of Black entrepreneurs and professionals, but their success was stolen during the 1898 coup,” said Martin. “Until businesses are owned by Black men and women, the wealth of our city will never be felt by the Black community. Genesis Block is on a mission to change that, and together we’ll transform Wilmington’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The partnership builds on collaboration between Genesis Block and tekMountain to train the entrepreneurs and small business owners of the future through Genesis Block Entrepreneurship Academy, small business incubators and accelerator programs.

The goal for the app is to have 1,000 Black businesses in the directory by its launch in the summer of 2020. For more information visit the Genesis Block Facebook page www.facebook.com/genesisblockilm/.

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