American Express Launches ‘Built to Last’ to Celebrate Black-owned Small Businesses

American Express has recruited Elaine Welteroth to host its new video podcast “Built to Last,” which focuses on trailblazing Black small business owners.

Individuals from different fields, who have helped to shape American culture, will be featured. Each episode will focus on a specific industry, covering such sectors as culinary, fashion, lifestyle, home decor, design, beauty and hair care. The roster of guests includes Issa Rae and Hannah Diop of Sienna Naturals, Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar, Anifa Mvuemba of Hanifa, Corianna and Brianna Dotson of Coco & Breezy and Shannon Maldonado of Yowie. All of these entrepreneurs will be featured in the series, which wraps up on Dec. 8.

The six-part series made its debut with a conversation between Welteroth, author, producer and the former Teen Vogue editor in chief, and Pinky Cole, the founder of Slutty Vegan in Atlanta. The culinary-based episode included a narrative on the Dooky Chase Restaurant in New Orleans, which was delivered by the writer and photographer L. Kasimu Harris and included illustrations by Reyna Noriega.

The aim is to help raise awareness about the companies and their products on a national level.

Built to Last is an offshoot of American Express’ recent efforts to support the recovery and development of small Black-owned businesses. American Express recently joined forces with U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to create the Coalition to Black Business with a $10 million commitment to fund a grant program and support Black-owned small businesses recover over the next four years. The coalition brings together four Black organizations for the first time — the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Business League, the U.S. Black Chambers Inc. and Walkers Legacy.

The new series is available on all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud as well as the video podcast episodes on American Express’ YouTube channel.

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