The Afrodisiac Natural Market is the initiative of the owner of the Afrodisiac Naturals brand, Nilo. The first ANM was held in August 2020 as a community event focused on Black and Indigenous enterprises (primarily artists, businesses, brands, groups, and organizations.) Since then, this market has strived to acknowledge and address the disadvantages faced by Black-owned small businesses in Edmonton. Through this initiative, Afrodisiac Naturals is empowering Black Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) entrepreneurs to leave their mark on Edmonton’s business scene.
Inspired by Afrodisiac Natural’s core ideology, the Afrodisiac Natural Market promotes the authenticity and innovation of Black brands, entrepreneurs, and creators across multiple generations, body types, cultures, abilities, and sexualities. It also highlights the role that entrepreneurship plays in creating value for the community. For owner Nilo, Black entrepreneurs must promote and grow their brands in a way that is authentic to their culture and identity while forming successful businesses. She places particular emphasis on teaching young Black Femme creators and entrepreneurs to value themselves at their true worth, and creates a space for them to do so.
The Market aims to create a successful, diverse, and supportive community of BIPOC entrepreneurs in Edmonton. Through the growth of this network, small enterprises can connect to a broader, more diverse audience and inspire continued online support through their website, print, and social media. Plus, having access to a physical market means vendors can receive direct feedback from customers and trade knowledge with fellow entrepreneurs.
Ultimately, what makes Afrodisiac Natural Market so special is the community it attracts. The spirit of cooperation, positivity, and diversity can be seen and felt all around. With beautiful music blasting from the speakers, families enjoying each other’s company, friends being made, and volunteers checking in on people, this community truly begins to feel like home.
— By Merlin Uwalaka
SAY IT LOUD! is a national campaign for Black youth aged 14-29 that promotes Black pride and positive cultural identity through technology, entrepreneurship, social innovation, fashion, culinary, visual, literary, and performing arts.