As a community, African-Americans have one of the strongest buying powers in the world. Believe it or not, Black people collectively in the United States spend 1.3 trillion dollars annually. The problem is our communities don’t see this money because we don’t spend it with people that look like us. Majority of the time, when we make money we spend it outside of our communities. The grocery store, the movies and the malls are not owned by us yet we rush out every chance we get to the next sale, clearance rack or black Friday deals. It’s hard to even imagine what 1.3 trillion dollars could do if this money stayed within the African-American community and benefited our community the way it does others.

Social entrepreneur Dr. Dionne Mahaffey and her company, The CPAI Group just launched an app that helps us all to shop with Black owned business across the country. The WhereU Came From app merges technology with the need to handle poverty, crime and other social ills in the African-American community by focusing on economic development and job creation. I would love to spend my money with other minority Black-owned businesses, but I didn’t know how to exactly locate them amongst all of the other businesses I frequent until now. WhereU is the premiere and reliable Black business directory app for Apple and Android devices offering a local business search with real-time listing of Black-owned businesses across various categories.

According to the U.S. Census there are 2.6 million black owned businesses in this country. So I have to ask with 2.6 million businesses and 1.3 trillion in spending, why are we not seeing the benefit in our communities?

“While the growth is encouraging there is still a lot of work to do to increase the profit of these black businesses. Gross receipts for all minority-owned firms are still well below the average gross receipts for non-minority-owned firms,” Mahaffey said.


Dr. Mahaffey explained the problem is that despite a collective buying power of $1.3 trillion dollars, very little of that money stays in Black communities or is spent on Black-owned businesses.

“Currently, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for 30 days, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days, white communities 17 days, but in contrast a dollar circulates in the Black community only six hours,” she continued.

This means that a mere 2 cents of every dollar an African-American spends in this country goes to Black owned businesses. If higher income Black consumers spent at least $1 out of every $10 with Black owned businesses, it would generate one million jobs for African-Americans.

“It will take all of us across all socio-economic statuses to build black wealth.  We’ve got to invest in our own community.  For us, community can’t be limited to where we are domiciled since many of us live in non-black neighborhoods. When we start to embrace the diaspora-view that our community is wherever we find our people, then we will be more inclined to support one another, even if it means taking a long drive,” Mahaffey said.

The WhereU app is here to help make it easier to buy Black. It helps you locate everything from house cleaning, plumbing, catering, lawyers, doctors, graphic designers, restaurants, beauty salons and more, the app’s referral and location-based system helps you start your search among the most trusted Black professionals and businesses.

“Our development team has added several thousand businesses for the app launch. However, we’d love to include as many of the 2.6 million black businesses in the United States as possible,” said Mahaffey.

Business profiles can be submitted from the website or within the actual WhereU Came From app.  The app can also help majority; non-black corporations meet their diversity objectives by finding minority businesses to support.  .
For more information, visit  Also find them on Facebook @whereyoucamefrom and on Twitter and Instagram @WhereUCameFrom. Download the “WhereU” app in the Apple Store or Google Play.