During this year’s annual Investfest in Atlanta last month, Sean “Diddy” Combs shared with the audience that the Black community has an estimated buying power of almost $2 trillion but only spends a tiny fraction of it within the community.
The Bad Boy music executive-turned-billionaire gave the attendees a reality check that stressed, “Nobody is coming to save us.”
He added, “Out of all the business revenue in America only 1 percent goes to Black businesses.”
According to the “Act Bad” recording artist, it’s essential for African-Americans to acknowledge their responsibility in reinvestment in their community, mentioning that the Black community possesses a buying power of $1.8 trillion, yet merely 2 percent of this economic strength remains within its own community.
“So we can complain. We know what it is,” he said. “It’s time to change the tone. We have to unify our dollars or nothing will change. We have to weaponize the almighty Black dollar to save us because we can’t have these festivals and conventions but then we leave here and we don’t understand the power of our $1.8 trillion spending power.”
In an effort to bring it home, he talked about the root of self-love is making sure one takes care of oneself, their family, and their people first before taking care of others. Offering, while the plight seems dismal, “there is a solution.”
“We have to get to hustling working together and changing the tone,” he reasoned.
In 2023, Combs has made two power moves to demonstrate how he is “changing the tone.”
Earlier in the summer, he launched Empower Global (EG), a curated immersive e-commerce platform that allows consumers to discover and buy products exclusively created and sold by Black entrepreneurs.
The platform serves as a network enabling consumers to discover Black vendors and entrepreneurs, furthering the circulation of the Black dollar within the community. Additionally, it provides Black businesses with a chance to scale their bottom lines by simplifying the shopping experience.
The brands are businesses in the “beauty, fashion, art, and lifestyle” industries. Empower Global kicked off with 70 brands with over 1000 items, including Silver & Riley, Actively Black, Scotch Porter, Coco & Breezy, Kultured Misfits, Gwen Beloti Jewelry, Buttah Skin, Marie Hunter Beauty, Pound Cake, B.M. Franklin & Co., Beauty Stat Cosmetics, Cecilia’s House, Cise, Cool Creative Clothing, June 79, Rebecca Allen and more.
“My mission has always been to empower Black entrepreneurs and create more opportunities for them to access the resources, tools, and support needed to build successful businesses,” Combs said in a prepared statement about the venture. “Empower Global will uplift Black entrepreneurs, keep dollars circulating in our community, and make buying Black a lifestyle.”
Diddy serves as the chairman of Combs Global.
Another way, he sees himself reinvesting in the community is by reassigning the music publishing of artists and songwriters who worked with him at Bad Boy Records.