One year ago, HubSpot CEO and co-founder Brian Halligan published an open letter to our community that outlined HubSpot’s commitments to dismantling systemic racism. A key piece of our commitment was supporting Black-owned businesses, a group that is historically under-supported and under-resourced despite having so much to offer. And that gap has been exacerbated by the events of the past year – Forbesreported that nearly 450,000 Black-owned businesses in the U.S. closed in the first months of the pandemic, a 41 percent drop compared to a 17 percent drop among white-owned businesses.
As part of our effort to elevate Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, today we're announcing the launch of the Black@INBOUND Community, a new space in the HubSpot Community for Black business professionals to connect, network, access resources, and more. The new community is an expansion of the original Black@INBOUND networking group that was founded at HubSpot’s annual INBOUND event by HubSpot Certified Trainer Devyn Bellamy. We’re excited to build on the amazing community Devyn built by redefining this space as a year-round resource within the HubSpot network.
“One of the best things about community-led initiatives is that they clearly show what those groups value, and how we can best support them,” said Shana Sumers, principal marketing manager for diversity, inclusion and belonging community programming and leader of the Black@INBOUND initiative. “The HubSpot Community wants to be seen and supported by HubSpot. There is no better collaboration than one that puts your community at the forefront.”
Like in the other groups across our Community, Black@INBOUND will feature daily discussions, posts, and content. Additionally, we will share helpful resources for business professionals, mentorship opportunities, and special event programming for the Black community, including our first-event, Black Queer Founders: Taking Action for Change, where we welcome four Black and queer founders to discuss taking action for change.
“As Black people, we have to find ways to give back to each other. If we don’t open doors for each other, no one else will. It’s not just about money, it’s important to spread impact to other people,” said Resa Gooding, a HubSpot Customer Specialist. “Black professionals are experiencing the largest financial wealth gap, but if we lift them up other underrepresented businesses will flourish too.”
HubSpot is serious about doing its part to lift up and celebrate Black business professionals and to create the space for these businesses to connect with each other. We are excited to extend our diversity, inclusion, and belonging commitment to our customers and beyond, and look forward to working with this amazing community to drive impact for years to come.