In honor of Black History Month AT&T celebrates black entrepreneurs changing the scope of technology and business. During AT&T’s 28 days program, the company highlights changemakers revolutionizing the landscape of communication with creation of vital platforms. One of them is Brooklyn-born Haitian-American entrepreneur Christine Souffrant, the founder of Vendedy, a leading platform connecting people with street vendors around the world.
Souffrant grew up in the industry of street vendorship, and as a child enjoyed tagging along with her mother during sales in Manhattan. This aspect of her childhood and her love for travel would throw her into the vendorship industry, and when she fully launched in 2014 with a goal to connect people with the true essence of supporting local businesses.
“We have adopted a way to find cool street food and products from all over over the world and we align our purpose in travel and not with the typical hotels, but showing people where to buy local and authentic,” said Souffrant.
Since then, Vendedy has grown greatly and the company is aiming high for more, said Souffrant.
“Currently we have 500 street markets and vendors on our platform and our goal is to have 200,000 by 2020,” she said.
She encountered several struggles as a rookie to the business and credits her upbringing and passion for entrepreneurship to her patience and stability
“This platform is difficult and we’re talking about digitizing it online — since the dawn of time, since civilisation, street markets have always been a place where people convene and talk,” she said. “Bringing this system online is extremely difficult.”
For Vendedy’s future, Souffrant wants to see her venture not only grow but change the dynamic of how people steet vendors in the world.
“In the next couple of years we have go to network when it comes to street markets and making sure we redefine how people label it,” she said. “We hope to push toward what people view as agronomic and bring a consumer angle to this.”
And Souffrant says she is pleased with AT&T’s mission and its initiative to highlight the efforts of black American people in their community by shining the spotlight on them.
“I really want initiatives like this to really accelerate the access to opportunities,” she said. “We need to use these services to amplify our businesses, marketing, and to build our brands as individuals. I really want to emphasize how grateful I am, even from strategic view to always look for those opportunities.”