Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs to Launch Marketplace for Black Entrepreneurs

·3 min read

Sean “Diddy” Combs has put together a consortium of leading tech and digital companies to launch Shop Circulate, an online marketplace for consumers to shop products from Black entrepreneurs.

Those involved in the formation of Shop Circulate, expected to go live later this year, include The Nile List, Official Black Wall Street, Marketplacer, Salesforce and Deloitte Digital. The platform will feature “an expansive list of businesses across categories, from beauty, fashion and art, to health, wellness and home.”

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Shop Circulate has acquired The Nile List website, described as a “digital community” to shop Black-owned brands. Combs Enterprises has appointed The Nile List founder Khadijah Robinson to head of product, where she will oversee development and spearhead all Shop Circulate global efforts. Details on the acquisition were not given.

Additionally, Shop Circulate inked a partnership with Official Black Wall Street, a directory of Black-owned businesses, with its founder Mandy Bowman joining as an adviser. The new platform will be designed and built by Deloitte Digital and Salesforce, and powered by Marketplacer.

“Building Black wealth starts with investing in Black-owned businesses and giving entrepreneurs access to the consumers needed to build sustainable companies that can thrive,” Combs, chairman of Combs Enterprises, said in a statement. He was not available for further comment Tuesday because he was in Oklahoma, helping to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre that left hundreds of people dead in a community there once known as Black Wall Street.

Shop Circulate will ride the growing trend toward the formation of marketplaces, which enable retailers and brands to expand their offering relatively quickly by listing products on their web platforms rather than by owning goods through traditional wholesale arrangements. In addition, marketplaces provide brands with greater exposure for their products and are particularly helpful for emerging brands that can’t afford to operate their own web sites but need the online presence.

According to Monday’s announcement from Combs Enterprises, Shop Circulate will be “a curated digital marketplace that allows consumers to discover and buy products exclusively created and sold by Black entrepreneurs.”

“Shop Circulate will empower us all — as individuals, communities and companies — to support Black-owned businesses, amplify the talent of Black entrepreneurs and move us closer to true equality,” Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer of Salesforce, said in a statement.

“Deloitte’s purpose is to make an impact that matters. As the largest professional services organization in the world, we have a responsibility to help level the playing field and advance opportunities for the Black community in business,” Punit Renjen, Deloitte Global CEO, said in a statement.

“Marketplaces are a great leveler in bringing together businesses of all sizes into a single venue to drive opportunity and growth,” said Jason Wyatt, executive chairman of Marketplacer. He said Marketplacer’s partnership with Shop Circulate for Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs will be “a vehicle to drive change, growth and success.”

Combs Enterprises is the portfolio of businesses and investments built by Combs, including Bad Boy Entertainment, Sean John, Combs Wine & Spirits, Aquahydrate, Janice Combs Publishing, Revolt Films and Revolt Media & TV, Capital Preparatory Charter Schools and the Sean Combs Foundation.

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