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New Podcast 'Built to Last' From American Express Turns the Spotlight on Black Small Business Owners

The video podcast, focusing on leading Black small business owners, is available on all podcast platforms

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“Built to Last,” a new video podcast series from American Express that delves into the stories behind Black-owned small businesses in America, launches today. American Express has always championed small business in the U.S.—they’re responsible for launching Small Business Saturday, now celebrated across the country on the day after Black Friday. Because small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, American Express sought to join the conversation specifically by highlighting Black entrepreneurs that built American businesses from the ground up.

“Built to Last” will be hosted by Elaine Welteroth, former Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue and a New York Times best-selling author, who will guide listeners through the story behind different Black entrepreneurs’ success each week. Welteroth told Departures she was particularly thrilled to partner with American Express to spotlight Black entrepreneurs “blazing new trails and finding innovative ways to thrive despite unprecedented challenges.”

“Their stories offer us all invaluable lessons in resilience and fortitude that inspire a new generation of entrepreneurship,” she continued.

From Insecure creator Issa Rae to Hannah Diop, founder and CEO of Sienna Naturals, Welteroth will host dynamic guests each week who advocate for and exemplify Black entrepreneurship. She’s also looking forward to exploring “untold stories of Black business owners throughout history that have defied the odds in laying the strong foundation for us to build on.”

The podcast will not only tell these entrepreneurs’ stories and share their crucial advice, it will further underscore the importance of buying from small, Black-owned businesses.

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“American Express has a long history of supporting small businesses and amplifying the importance shopping small has on local communities, which is more crucial now than ever before,” said Walter Frye, Vice President of Global Brand Engagement at American Express. Frye said American Express was motivated to launch “Built to Last” as a response to the “disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on Black-owned businesses.”

The aim is to “showcase some of today’s most inspiring Black entrepreneurs and the vital role they play in our culture and communities,” Frye concluded.

The first episode, released on October 27, will welcome guest Pinky Cole of Slutty Vegan, Atlanta's favorite plant-based burger shop. American Express will release these in-depth profiles on a weekly basis until December 8, 2020 on all major podcast networks. Beyond the weekly releases on all podcast networks, video podcast episodes will be available on American Express’ YouTube channel.

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