This can, Melanin Markets will take over the Royal Exchange Theatre, celebrating and showcasing black-owned businesses in the UK. Following the success of its Christmas-themed event last year at the Contact Theatre, Melanin Markets Manchester returns on Sunday 8 May on an even bigger scale.
Visitors can expect vibrant music, food, drink, art, homewares, clothing and more as the popular event takes over the Grand Hall. Last year, 42 black-owned businesses showcased their products and services, with over 1,000 people attending and £25,000 won.
Melanin Markets Manchester was created by arts professionals Bianca Danielle and Kelly Morgan. They are both passionate about art and culture being for everyone, regardless of class, age or race. So they created Melanin Markets as a way to actively engage with their community and bring them to the center of these spaces, hoping to break down barriers.
READ MORE: Meet Contact’s new CEO – the first woman, Mancunian, and youngest to run the theater
Bianca Danielle, co-founder and producer of Melanin Markets, said, “We created Melanin Markets to celebrate and promote Black-owned businesses in a dynamic and unapologetic way. We deliberately choose to hold our event, in unorthodox spaces that are not usually frequented by the black community.
“We want to normalize visits and spending with Black businesses while eliminating systemic discrimination and inequality.”
Kelly Morgan, co-founder and producer of Melanin Markets adds: In 2020, Manchester marched in support of the Black Lives Matters movement, recognizing the need for change and action in all areas of society. The Black Pound Day initiative plays an extremely important role in creating opportunities for the black community to gain a stronger position economically.
“Black-owned businesses in the UK face a variety of challenges such as under-representation, limited access to start-up funds and barriers to accessing wider markets. Recent reports have shown that 88% of black-owned businesses are self-funded and, quite relevant to this figure, studies have shown that black-owned businesses are five times more likely to be turned down for loans and grants.
“These figures highlight the need for change for black businesses to imagine, deliver and succeed equally in the UK. And so, in alignment with the Black Pound Day movement which aims to address the economic inequalities and imbalances affecting black businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK and global diasporic communities – Melanin Markets Manchester celebrates and promotes businesses owned by Black people dynamically in unorthodox spaces that aren’t typically frequented by the Black community – with the goal of normalizing visits and spending with Black businesses.”
The event, which is free and open to all, does not require tickets. There will be over 50 stores, as well as interactivity, live music and artists.
Vendors will sell a wide variety of products ranging from healthy foods to cultural clothing for adults and children, as well as accessories, jewelry and household items. Vendors including Educup Yourself, who design mugs with men and women with afro hair and inspirational quotes printed on them, will also be there on the day.
Food and drinks will also be offered by vendors including African vegan food company Gwafuvegan, Indo-Caribbean fusion group Soka and Miss Jackson’s Drinks Company – a heritage brand carrying on their families’ Jamaican heritage through spirits. of rum and sorrel.
No need to book, just show up. Melanin markets take place on Sunday, May 8 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
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