My Startup: AfroAvenue

Charlie Spargo's picture

AfroAvenue is a global urban social media eCommerce platform, which allows its users to connect, share, buy, sell and discover with other members of a global community.

Diversity in tech continues to be a significant issue, and one of AfroAvenue's goals is to tackle this. Founder Caroline Wilson secured more than $1 million from investors to set up the app, which now has more than 100,000 followers and a growing user base.

The app has created an unrivalled community, providing a place for people to socialise and do business.

Founder: Caroline Wilson

Founded: 2012

Website: afroavenue.com

We talked to Caroline about the foundations of the app.

Why did you start AfroAvenue?  

I started AfroAvenue to make it easier for the urban community to have a place where we could find all of the products and services tailored for us online and where members of the community could learn, share, connect, and discover on a global scale.  

I think that it's important that there is a social media platform owned and run by a person of colour so that we have a place to discuss topics and issues that are important to us that may have gone unreported by mainstream media. 

Tell us more about the tech behind the product.

AfroAvenue was built using PHP and made with open source software so it's globally well supported.

Where are you at right now?

Right now our app is available globally and is available to download at the Apple Store and Google Play Store; desktop users can access the platform via our website. 

What are your aims for the next year?

We are focused on growth for the next year - we aim to grow!

What's been the hardest thing about getting AfroAvenue off the ground?

The hardest thing has been finding the funding to get AfroAvenue off the ground. It took a long time and it also took some time to find the right development team with the skill set required to build something like this.

Why should more people be using AfroAvenue?

More people should use AfroAvenue to learn, share, connect, buy, sell and discover with members of the global AfroAvenue community. As a community we have a lot to learn from each other and AfroAvenue is a great place to do it.

As a black woman I know how hard it is to get a business going and to get funding, so if our platform can help other businesses within the community to get started or to grow that would be great! 

How much will it cost users - and why is it worth the investment?

It's completely free for users to join AfroAvenue! You just have to download the app or go to our website. Users can create a business profile then create a shop which is also completely free to do; businesses can list their products and services so no financial outlay is required to get started!

There is a commission fee of 7% plus 20p for each item sold through the platform for business users, and this is only taken once an item or service has been sold. Any user can create a business on the platform and start selling their products or services.

It's worth the investment of time to create a profile on AfroAvenue because AfroAvenue is a community and the more people we have involved in the community the more we can help support each other with things that are important to us. On that note, I would like to say a massive thank you to all the members of the AfroAvenue community who have supported us from day one. Thanks for joining, creating your profiles and businesses and for your constructive feedback.

I'm looking forward to growing with you all!