— Free Network Connects U.S. Black Population with Resources for Economic Growth —
In February, 2014 a Neilson Company report predicted that African American buying power would reach $1.1 trillion in 2015. “The black population is young, hip and highly influential. We are growing 64 percent faster than the general market,” said Cheryl Pearson McNeil, a senior vice president at Nielsen. In 2015, Black consumers remain at the forefront of social trends and media consumption. The recently launched Black Economic Advancement Network (BEAN) provides a digital station that empowers African Americans to easily locate and support black-owned businesses, and help redistribute a larger percentage of wealth within their own communities.
New Orleans, LA — BEAN (Black Economic Advancement Network) announced today the launch of its new social platform that enables users to harness and redistribute wealth and resources within the African American community.
Described as a hybrid between LinkedIn and Facebook, BEAN will also serve as a place to find funding and investors for business ideas and establish connections with people who have expertise in various industries such as real estate, finance, insurance and marketing.
“It is from my experience and the countless stories of others that it became evident to me that we in the black community needed a new digital infrastructure that could help facilitate equal opportunity to educate young entrepreneurs and establish young black role models,” said BEAN founder Darren Walker. “Until now, no digital service existed that encourages and initiates healthy economics in our community, while enabling individuals and businesses to participate, contribute and help shape Black communities while honoring our heritage.”
I AM BEAN Endorsements:
“A successful African American community would look like a conduit of businesses and black professionals enabling them to connect and communicate … The black community coming together to help support one another will be tremendous.” — Todd McDonald, Liberty Bank Vice President
“What excites me about BEAN is to be able to empower African Americans to own their own businesses; to connect with others; and to empower other businesses. We all have gifts/strengths. If we put them together, we can only make the community a better place.” — Christina Pappion, Event Painter at Pappion Artistry
African American consumers are invited to visit IAMBEAN.com to learn more about the extensive professional resources to which you may connect, while business owners are encouraged to create a free professional profile that will enable purchasers and other businesses to access this gateway to celebrate and contribute to the success of Black-owned businesses.
Noel King, a reporter for NPR’s Marketplace, states “Blacks tend to spend more on electronics, utilities, groceries and footwear. They spend a lot less on new cars, alcohol, entertainment, health care and pensions.” About that observation, United Enterprise Uprize Inc. said, “Despite our collective buying power, statistical data reflects that much of that money is spent outside of the Black community and not with Black-owned businesses.” Walker encourages the circulation of our $1 trillion+ buying power within the Black community.
About the Founder
Having been a business man from a very early age, Darren Walker became frustrated with the challenges of limited access to people and resources that could advance his business and personal endeavors. Thus, Walker created Black Economic Advancement Network (BEAN) to provide a way for African Americans to connect with business owners and capital to make it easier to identify and support each other’s businesses.
At age 25, Walker—together with his friend and partner Dustin Young established GOES (Green Opportunities Energy Solutions). GOES was the first among the companies then incubating at Moore Norman Technology Center whose sales exceeded $1 million in its first year of operation at the Business Development Center where it started.
Darren Walker is the youngest of six children born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been happily married to Lucy Walker for eight years, with whom he has two precious daughters, a toddler and an infant.