Guyanese Leads Amazon Black Business Accelerator

guyanese-Tiffany-Johnson-Amazon-BBA
Guyanese Tiffany Johnson leads Amazon's Black Business Accelerator program.
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug. 6, 2021: A Guyanese national is at the head of Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator, the $150 million company commitment to supporting Black-owned businesses on its platform through a new accelerator program.

The accelerator program was the brainchild of Tiffany Johnson, an account manager at Amazon, who noticed the disparity between the percentage of Black consumers and those that were successful sellers.

In response, she and Rachad Lewis, and Jeremy Erdman teamed up to launch Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator (BBA) program that uses a $150 million pledge to help Black entrepreneurs with capital, mentorship, and marketing support.

They developed the foundation of the program idea and championed it to the company. “My parents were entrepreneurs,” the Guyana native told Black Enterprise. “They started several small businesses out of nothing and built them from the ground up. I remember starting with a little shack in front of our home selling candies,” she recalled. “Then we moved to St. Lucia and started all over again. My parents sold movies, belts, sandals— typical items that tourists would look for when they come to the islands. What little they made, they took it and expanded on it to help the community.”

Johnson credits her parents’ drive and ambition for inspiring her to find her own way to pay it forward.

“Seeing my parents ignited a passion in me to create opportunities for others,” Johnson said. “I joined Amazon because I wanted to help sellers just like my parents find their opportunity.”

The Black Business Accelerator, launched on June 15th and aims to build sustainable equity and growth for Black entrepreneurs by enabling their success as sellers in the Amazon store.

The company will work in partnership with non-profit organizations to provide financial assistance, business education and mentorship, and marketing and promotion to enable economic advancement for Black entrepreneurs.

$10,000 grants are available to businesses that sell products that are shippable via Amazon, not service-based businesses, and qualified applicants will need a professional selling account and a “Diverse Ownership” certificate.

The grant is in partnership with and being administered by Hello Alice. For more information and to apply, visit: www.amazon.com/bba

Over the next four years, Amazon’s BBA program is working to help Black business owners reach millions of customers across the country.