DEI / POC in Tech / Roundups / Small businesses / Startups

Here’s 10 local Black-owned businesses you should know

From dating apps to hiring consultants, if you haven't heard of them, get to know them now.

An adult game night hosted at MahoganyBooks. (Photo via @MahoganyBooks on Twitter)

This editorial article is a part of Racial Equity Month of's editorial calendar.

Especially now, it’s essential to amplify the voices that haven’t been heard, and invest in companies that need our support.

Earlier this week, you saw an article authored by Technically Media CEO Christopher Wink featuring 10 Black voices in #dctech you should be following right now. Following that inspiration and aligning with Racial Equity Month as part of’s editorial calendar, this reporter wanted to feature some small businesses in the same way.

Not only are small businesses being affected by the nation’s unrest due to the death of George Floyd, but we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s 10 local Black-owned small businesses you should know, including many run by entrepreneurs we’ve featured on before:


Launched in 2018 by Naza Shelley, CarpeDM is the developer of a dating app that requires people who match to indulge in a five- to 10-minute video chat before continuing their relationship via text. Since COVID-19 hit, the company hosted a virtual dating experience called LoveCast.

Femme Fatale DC

Located in Mount Vernon Square, this hub for womxn and non-binary creatives, entrepreneurs and organizers is working to advance intersectionality on a platform of equity, per its mission statement. Led by Cee Smith, Femme Fatale DC provides inspiration and practical support to these local creatives.


Cofounded by Kyle Miller and Lemaire Stewart two years ago, Goodfynd makes food more accessible by connecting users to food trucks in their area, while enabling small and growing food businesses to contribute to more connected communities.

Go Together

Founded in 2015, Go Together is a scalable end-to-end platform for trip planning. Led by Kimberly Moore, company leverages its customers’ communities, reduces transportation costs, and provides travel options.


Launched in 2017, Happied is the company behind an app featuring an interactive database of more than 450 D.C. happy hours. CEO April Johnson upgraded Happied to an app after receiving good feedback from a blog she started that featured local reviews of happy hours. The company was featured at #7 on our 2020 RealLIST Startups. Check out Johnson’s recent guest post for recommendations on being actively anti-racist.

Hill Street Strategies

The newly launched consulting firm focuses on building and maintaining diverse teams. Founder and President Hilliary Turnipseed launched her own venture after she left her role at Upside Business Travel a year ago.

Invest Sou Sou

The fintech company is the creator of a mobile crowd banking platform designed to help women-owned businesses gain financial support from banks, investors and venture capital opportunities. The company was founded by CEO Fonta Gilliam four years ago.


Owned by Ramunda and Derrick Young, 13-year-old MahoganyBooks started out as an online bookstore specialized in books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora. The company opened a storefront in November 2017 inside of the the Anacostia Arts Center at 1231 Good Hope Road SE, which often hosts book events featuring African American authors from the Mid-Atlantic region.


Founder David Gibson launched the sports and fitness management company in 2015 to help sports team better organize their activities through an online platform. The company offers different packages to help teams manage tech development, events and marketing.

The Mentor Method

The Mentor Method is a mentorship matchmaking program targeting more diverse and inclusive technical and corporate environments. The company was founded by CEO Janice Omadeke nearly five years ago.

What other Black-owned businesses deserve a shoutout? Tweet us at @TechnicallyDC.

Companies: The Mentor Method
Series: Racial Equity Month 2020

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