The Black Business Network Exchange (BBNE) is a for-profit small business that describes itself as a “social enterprise.” BBNE’s stated mission is to provide “resources and networking opportunities for minority-owned businesses to increase brand awareness.” The resources include three paid services. The first is a Business Starter Kit, which offers a menu of branding, website, and event management options. The second is digital advertising to the organization’s email newsletter subscribers, website visitors, and social media connections. The third is paid job postings for employers, which are broadcast to the “entire BBNE network.”
The networking opportunities are free for participants and include an annual conference and multiple happy hours throughout the year.
BBNE was a sponsor of the 2017 “Women’s March” in Washington, DC. and participated in the follow-up “A Day without a Woman” campaign. In 2015, BBNE created “Blackout31,” an annual social media campaign urging people to patronize black-owned businesses during the 31 days of August.
After ten years working for media companies including CBS Radio, BET, and Centric TV, Ashlyn Mason “decided it was time to assemble her strengths and create something that would benefit a community she cared deeply about,” so in 2013, she and public relations consultant Avery H. Jones created Black Business Network Exchange. Focused on branding and marketing, BBNE’s offerings were designed to help minority businesses “build a strong foundation.”
In 2014, BBNE launched its annual Black Business Network Exchange Conference, which the organization bills as an “entrepreneurial event designed to showcase numerous black-owned businesses and organizations throughout the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. area.” Also in 2014, BBNE began holding Business off the Clock networking happy hours in greater Washington, DC.
BBNE was an official partner of the 2017 “Women’s March” in Washington, DC.
Business Starter Kit— offering a menu of branding (brand identity guide, logo creation, and business card design), website creation, and event management.
Digital Ads—advertising to the organization’s email newsletter subscribers, website visitors, and social media connections.
Job Network—paid job postings for employers, which are broadcast to the “entire BBNE network.”
Blackout31 is a social media campaign created by BBNE urging people to patronize black-owned businesses during the 31 days of August and post their experiences on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.[/note] In 2015, BBNE created Blackout31,