The District of Columbia Small Business Development Center (DCSBDC) launched an online marketplace last month. This marketplace allows small business owners to upload their products and services directly online for consumers to purchase for free.
DCSBDC is a free collaborative economic development program run by Howard University in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Provide financial assistance to small business owners and allocate resources to training to improve their knowledge of e-commerce, cybersecurity awareness, and marketing.
The Development Center has been on Howard's campus since 1979, when DCSBDC Executive Director Carl Brown was a student at Howard. Brown has more than 25 years of experience in consulting, training, human resources, sales, and marketing in both the public and private business sectors before joining the DCSBDC staff.
The new online marketplace not only helps student entrepreneurs arrange product photography and product placement, but also provides a free website to upload their products and services.
“When I learned that other small business development centers around the world also had marketplaces, I thought this would be a great way to teach student entrepreneurs the right way to do e-commerce,” Brown said. “We are using this as an educational tool and making it available to Howard University students, faculty, alumni, and friends.”
Brown said he wants the new marketplace to be the face of Black e-commerce, noting that it is one of the few platforms that offers Black-owned products in one place.
“Where else can you find it? Not on Amazon or Etsy. I'm not bashing these places, but when you go to our website, you see that it's black-owned, You can tell it was made by a black person,” Brown added.
DCSBDC has been located in the D.C. region for more than 40 years, serving thousands of small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
DCSBDC Administrative Assistant Robin Cole shared her experience at the Development Center and how putting people first is an important priority in the workplace.
“I have been here since 2019 and my experience here has been very good. I enjoy working for a company whose vision is people, not self-interest. DCSBDC's purpose is , to help people move forward through small business,” Cole said.
Online marketplaces aim to positively impact small business owners in a variety of ways. Small business owners can leverage the audience DCSBDC has built over the years to promote their business. Thousands of people use his DCSBDC, so it can be a way to self-promote your private business.
Yodit Shibul, director of government contracts, believes DCSBDC provides a platform to help clients build.
“One of the benefits is that we have a lot of visitors to our website,” Sible said. “Maybe our customer has been in business for a year or two, but by putting a product on that platform he can benefit from the DCSBDC brand and elevate himself.”
For more information, please visit our official online marketplace www.shopdcsbdc.com.
Copy edited by Azaria Jackson