Invest: “expend money with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result by putting it into financial plans, shares, or property.”


What does it mean to invest in the Black community? 

Investing is more than just throwing money at something and walking away. That’s a short-term bandaid that only fixes the issue in the moment.

A true investment, as described in the definition above, is thoughtful, well-planned out, and strategic so that all parties reap the benefits. It’s done with the expectation and hope that there will be some sort of profit received in return. It is intentional. It is purposeful. It’s not about charity. It’s about recognizing the discrepancies and inequalities that exist between Black and non-Black communities and making the conscious decision to be part of the solution instead of sticking your head in the sand.

But investing doesn’t always come in monetary form. Investing can mean time, resources, and actions. This is what is needed in order for Black communities to be able to build long-term prosperity that can produce results.

Here are four simple things you can start today to make a lasting change.

Support Black-owned businesses. This is the most straightforward way to invest in the Black community. Make a conscious effort to spend your dollars at those establishments – putting money directly in the pockets of the people with whom you share the immediate community.

Peer-to-peer lending. This has become an increasingly popular form of financing in recent years. It cuts out the middleman (aka banking institutions) and allows individual investors to lend money to people directly. Statistically, it’s more difficult for Black men and women to access bank funding. By participating in peer-to-peer lending, you now assist Black entrepreneurs as you get to decide who to lend to.

Invest in Black-owned businesses: If you’re a newbie to the world of investing, it can be overwhelming. But thanks to apps like Robin Hood, Acorns, Stash, and Ellevest, it’s now more accessible than ever – and something you can do directly from your phone. You’ll want to research Black-owned businesses to see which ones are publicly owned – and have minority ownership. If you want to make it even easier on yourself, automated investment services like Wealthfront and Betterment do the legwork for you, and both have minority empowerment-related investments.

Vote Locally: The upcoming mid-term elections here in the United States are a good reminder that we need to get out and vote to realize actual change. And it goes beyond the “big ones,” like the Presidential election (where approximately 60% of people participate.) We’re talking about local elections, where there is an opportunity for elected officials to make immediate, impactful changes. Who do you think has more sway in your community? Some person sitting in Washington DC who has never set foot in your neighborhood? Or the Mayor or Council Members who live just a few miles away? A Portland State University study found that “fewer than 15%” turn out for these types of elections. That needs to change.


Investing requires patience and perseverance. We won’t always see the fruits of labor overnight. But day by day, inch by inch, small choices will add up to significant changes. This isn’t a sprint; we’re here for the marathon. 


How do you invest in the Black community? Share your thoughts or suggestions in the comments below.