World News

New website connects consumers with BIPOC-owned businesses

DENVER – Consumers in Denver looking to support businesses owned by people of color now have a way to do so with just a few taps and clicks.

It’s all thanks to The Center for Community Wealth Building, a Denver-based nonprofit organization, which recently helped launch a website dedicated to connecting consumers with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)-owned businesses called

“This is an initiative that truly was started during the pandemic in 2020, when the racial uprisings were happening. There was this recognition in our country that we needed to do better. A lot of our institutions said, ‘You know, we have our Black Lives Matter statement.’ And we said, ‘And that’s great, but it’s only Step 1, we need to make sure that those statements actually translate into action,’” said Yessica Holguin, the executive director of the Center for Community Wealth Building. “So one of those ways is supporting local businesses, businesses owned by people of color, Black-owned businesses, and our institutions.“

Holguin said 14 other organizations helped launch, which also serves as a way for her nonprofit to further its mission.

“The Center for Community Wealth Building was built to create an economy that works for all. And we do that through three strategies: We believe in employee ownership. We believe in supporting entrepreneurs of color, specifically, and really local entrepreneurs who can maximize opportunities. And we do that through our anchor engagement strategy: We focus on hospitals, universities, municipalities, and helping them diversify how they spend their money,” Holguin said. “Supporting entrepreneurs of color is something that’s really important for us.”

One entrepreneur the center supports is photographer Shameka McBoat.

“So I got started in 2005, started shooting a wedding,” McBoat, the owner of McBoat Photography, told Denver7 Tuesday.

McBoat said last year was her most profitable year but she’s had plenty of challenges leading up to her success.

“I’ve made it through a couple of recessions and 2020…everything from dwindling income, not being able to even work during that time period, to still trying to build my business back up. There’s always some declines. But the biggest thing I can do is learn from it and restructure my business, which is what I’ve had to do for so long. So I’ve continued to grow from that, and learn from it,” McBoat said.

McBoat said two issues she and other BIPOC business owners face is funding and building a network.

“There’s a distinct lack of funding visibility. Just that sense of community, it’s hard to find your people, the businesses that would be perfect for you to partner with and just kind of knowing your place. You don’t always have access to a lot of the things that other businesses may have access to,” McBoat said.

McBoat Photography is now featured on and she said she looks forward to the connections the new website will provide.

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