The Detroit News is reporting that two Detroit dot-coms are trying to help minority-owned companies do business on the World Wide Web. The U.S. Department of Commerce conducted a study last year and according to that study, minority-owned businesses lagged far behind when it comes to the Internet and e-commerce. The study also found that only 11 percent of black-owned companies conduct business over the Web while 13 percent of Hispanic companies engage in e-commerce.
The two companies, MinorityAlly and Welcome Information Services, Inc., both located in Detriot, Michigan have joined forces to change minority presence on the Web. MinorityAlley.com, a year-old company offers an online directory of nearly 600 minority-owned businesses located around the country. The Web firm charges businesses $10 a month or $100 a year to be listed on the site. The fee also covers creating a Web page for businesses and putting product catalogues online. Large companies looking for minority-owned vendors can search the directory for products and services or post requests for proposals at no cost.
The University of Michigan and Comcast Corporation are using the site to boost their supplier diversity efforts. These sites and other resources will help minority business owners gain a presence on the Web, something that almost seems like a requirement for success in the New Economy.