“Small Business Warrior” Tiffany Johnson wants to help businesses that are overlooked.” Tiffany is a program manager helping small businesses grow on Amazon.com. She recently spearheaded a new Amazon initiative called the Black Business Accelerator, which provides access to capital, business guidance, mentorship, and marketing support to help Black business owners succeed as sellers in Amazon’s store.
“The role small businesses play in our society is very personal to me,” she said.
The daughter of small business owners, Tiffany grew up in Guyana, South America.
“My parents were entrepreneurs. They started several small businesses out of nothing and built them from the ground up,” she said. “I remember starting with a little shack in front of our home selling candies. Then we moved to St. Lucia and started all over again. My parents sold movies, belts, sandals— typical items that tourists would look for when they come to the islands. What little they made, they took it and expanded on it to help the community.”
“Seeing my parents ignited a passion in me to create opportunities for others,” Tiffany said. “I joined Amazon because I wanted to help sellers just like my parents find their opportunity.
“When the pandemic happened and I saw that over 40% of Black-owned businesses were failing*, it really sparked a fire in me,” she said. “I started doing research, did a lot of deep diving on census data, talking to sellers every day. The percentage of Black-owned businesses online, it’s so low. That needed to change.”
Tiffany decided to work toward a solution and helped create the Black Business Accelerator program.
“It focuses on empowering Black-owned businesses on Amazon, providing the tools, capital, and support they need to become successful,” she said. “It’s not just a program, it’s a community. Whether you’re in the ideation phase or have an existing business and feel stuck, we want to support you.”
The program is committing $150 million over the next four years to help thousands of Black entrepreneurs reach millions of customers.
“This is just the beginning,” Tiffany said. “It sounds simple, but it won’t be. We’re in a position to support these businesses and help their communities. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”