Albert Larter and Nathaniel Wade, both 29 and from Southbank and Catford respectively, launched Wakuda last month with the aim of helping small and medium sized Black businesses gain more visibility in the business world. The pair have re-launched the platform this month to spotlight Black businesses to across Black History Month celebrations.
Albert and Nathaniel said following the global Black Lives Matter protests which began this year, they saw a spike in people wanting to support Black business. This lit the fire under the idea for Wakuda which was birthed a few months later.
Nathaniel told MyLondon, "I've seen how underrepresented they [Black businesses] are and the difficulties they face and if this disparity was switched around I would be for the other. I think if there's inequality or inequity it needs to be levelled.
"In terms of role models, I feel like there's not enough of that and not enough visibility. The more we see Black businesses are supported, it will begin to become the norm."
In their first month in operation Nathaniel said that although platform currently only hosts UK businesses, they've already seen customers from various countries including the USA.
The impetus behind Wakuda, which means Black in Chichewan, follows in the steps of Black Pound Day, an initiative created this year by So Solid Crew member, Swiss. It aims to level disparities of wealth in the Black community by supporting Black businesses.
Nathaniel said: "We are aware through our own personal experiences how difficult it is for black business owners to get funding to start or support their businesses in the UK.
"Black businesses are four times more likely to be turned down for business loans.
He added: "It's for different reasons not only discrimination but that difficulty is there. If you're a start up and you're purely reliant on loans and overdrafts and you're not able to get them, you can't stay afloat."
Albert and Nathaniel hope Wakuda will allow Black owned businesses to launch their businesses and quickly tap into a ready market of shoppers who want to support them. Black consumers in the UK are worth approximately £300 billion according to most recent estimations.
Wakuda hosts products ranging from skincare and gifts to food and drink from a range of diverse Black businesses across the country.