By Laura Onyeneho
Nikki Porcher, a visionary entrepreneur and advocate, is making waves in the business world with her unwavering commitment to empowering Black women entrepreneurs. As the founder of Buy from a Black Woman, Porcher has created a platform that champions the economic success and visibility of Black women-owned businesses across the nation.
Porcher’s journey began in 2016 when she recognized the challenges faced by Black women entrepreneurs and their businesses. Driven by a deep passion for economic empowerment and equality, she launched Buy from a Black Woman to address the unique barriers these women face and provide them with the support and recognition they deserve.
Through her organization, Porcher aims to create a thriving ecosystem where Black women-owned businesses can flourish. By offering resources, networking opportunities, and a dedicated platform, she empowers these entrepreneurs to thrive and grow their ventures.
Buy From a Black Woman provides a space for these businesses to showcase their products and services, connect with consumers and build a strong support network within the community.
Porcher’s unwavering commitment to her cause has garnered recognition and support from individuals, organizations, and media outlets. Her efforts have been featured in interviews, podcasts, and articles, where she shares her experiences and insights into the challenges and triumphs of Black women entrepreneurs.
In her tireless pursuit of economic equality, Porcher continues to inspire and uplift aspiring and established Black women entrepreneurs alike. Through Buy from a Black Woman, she strives to dismantle systemic barriers, foster economic growth, and create lasting change in the business landscape.
Buy from a Black Woman recently brought its third cross country Inspire Tour in partnership with H&M to Houston’s H&M location at the Galleria Mall, creating a networking hub for local business owners while encouraging the community to support Black women-owned businesses.
The Defender spoke with Porcher to learn more about this partnership and what resources the non-profit has to help Black women business owners.
Defender: Tell us about the person behind the brand and what eventually led to the launch of Buy from a Black Woman.
Nikki Porcher: I’m a Black woman, I’m a friend, a mom, a mentor, a mentee. I also run half marathons as well. Before I started Buy from a Black Woman, I was on my way to do a half marathon in a different state. I actually missed my flight. I was very sad, so I cheered myself up by going shopping. I went to this place, but there were no other Black people there selling anything. It was just me. There were no Black consumers in the space. I thought that was odd. Everything happens for a reason. I asked myself “What is my reason for being here?” Maybe I should tell people about the Black businesses that I know about, because obviously they’re not here. I started finding businesses owned by Black women and once a week I would about blog them. I called it the “Buy from a Black Woman” challenge to encourage other people to buy from them. And then it took off! I received so many requests to be featured on it. People were sending money to donate because it was needed and the support was organic.
Defender: What are some of the common challenges Black women in business face that this organization addresses?
Porcher: Funding for sure. That’s why the Black Woman Business Grant was created. There were no resources at the time. It was a very radical thing for me in 2016 to be vocal about supporting Black women businesses. Now we see the increase in financial assistance and programming.
Defender: Recently, the Buy from a Black Woman + H&M Tour stopped in Houston. How does it feel to be working with a major partner?
Porcher: This is the third year we are working with H&M. The tour has been happening since 2018. The first two years, the tour was independent. We didn’t have a sponsor. It was literally me and my car doing it by myself. I was going up and down the east coast doing events with other Black women business owners. In 2021, H&M came on as a partner and were able to add the in-store popups. It has been amazing. They really stand behind the vision.
Defender: What was your vision behind such a major partnership like this? And why was Houston one of the locations of choice?
Porcher: We go where our community is. When we’re looking for places to go in the summer as far as stores and events, we go where we see a strong number when it comes to Black women business owners, where we can spread awareness, recruit, encourage and inspire people to support them. I want to make sure that we are utilizing resources, creating partnerships, and working with those who won’t take away from the community we are trying to build. I knew I wasn’t going to work from my car for long, but in order for people to see the vison, I had to put myself out there.
Defender: What is one of your proudest achievements walking in your purpose?
Porcher: Being able to create sustainable income and jobs for Black women business owners. I get to wake up every day and have this as my job full-time. I’m able to hire a team to help me spread the word for Black women. How much of a flex is it to say I work for Black women daily?
Defender: Can you highlight any upcoming initiatives or projects?
Porcher: We are preparing for the Black Women Business Award, which is our award ceremony in November. That’s our next biggest thing before we go into holiday season.
Since partnering with H&M in 2021, Porcher and H&M have:
- Hosted 100+ workshops and trainings for Black Women entrepreneurs
- Awarded 45 business grants
- Helped over 20 business owners through hardship with the Relief Fund stipend
- Assisted more than 30 Black Women elevate their businesses through accelerator programs
- Helped over 15 founders receive their MBE certification