I’mPOSSIBLE is taking six small Black British female-owned businesses to New Orleans in July for the 24-year-old event – the ESSENCE Music Festival from July 5 – 8.
Often dubbed a ‘party with a purpose’ it is the largest event celebrating African-American culture, women of colour and music in the United States and attracts 500,000 attendees from across the globe each year.
A social enterprise with global reach that helps women and girls of colour define success, joy, and wellbeing on their own terms I’mPOSSIBLE’s focus on the economic empowerment of this group is one part of its mission that has become even more pronounced with political changes such as #Brexit. It that has ignited a need to go further afield to develop business relationships and opportunities.
As I’mPOSSIBLE takes six, small businesses, all run by British Black women, to a market where their US counterparts prioritise supporting Black-owned businesses with their $1.2 Trillion spending power.
The necessity of an organisation like I’mPOSSIBLE is even more apparent and the dynamic platform of the Essence Festival which is going through a renaissance due to its exposure in 2017 hit film, ‘Girls Trip’.
I’mPOSSIBLE, founder, Simone Bresi-Ando said: “Having been chosen out of thousands of applications to bring a more global aspect to the festival is a great honour and achievement we’ve been working hard to solidify for a while. Working in a global context is not new to us, we have understood the value of women of colour, everywhere, joining forces in economics, activism, and emotional support since our founding in 2009. It is undeniably an urgent issue for this group of women to sustain links with our global sisters and their communities considering the lurch to the right many of the societies we live in are finding the new normal. Black female patronage builds the bottom line and existence of numerous, profitable multinational companies – we provide the backbone of communities and set trends and it is part of our mission to help this group get their dues and to hold up one another in ways no other organisation is modelling. We’re perfectly placed (and grateful) for the world stage ESSENCE Festival is giving us.”
Michelle Ebanks, President, Essence Communications added: “In 2018, women are at the forefront of a seismic shift reverberating across the cultural landscape and this movement comes to life for our community at the ESSENCE Festival,” she goes on to describe 2 it as: “…a sacred space to entertain, inspire, revel in culture and be renewed.”
The businesses vending in the I’mPOSSIBLE market space are:
- As Black As Love – African Inspired fashion
- Bresi-Ando Tools for Living – Lifestyle and home goods
- Love YaaYaa – Obi belts, accessories and head wraps
- Flakie Clothing – African Inspired fashion
- Mam Maw – African Inspired fashion
- Mishanty – African Inspired fashion
This year’s festival will feature legends such as Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott to name a few, as well as inspiring experiences across four days of music, culture, empowerment, and entertainment. The electric nighttime concerts will feature more than 40 acts and will take place across five stages at the Louisiana Superdome.
Find out more about I’mPossible here.
See the Essence Festival lineup and information here.