After living in the U.S. for over 20 years, Whitney Osei-Akintaju decided to move back to Ghana at the age of 24. Her move was not only sparked by a deep pride and love for her Ghanaian heritage, but also by her curiosity for its products and economy. While many saw Africa as a continent full of war and poverty, she saw an untapped market for manufacturing and global e-commerce.
After that experience, Osei-Akintaju returned to the U.S. with a mission to impact by creating an online destination that allows African entrepreneurs to break into the growing $32 billion ethnic retail market. With $80, her experience in web development and user experience, Whitney launched Ethnic District in May 2018.
By removing one of the biggest challenges that smaller African brands face, international distribution, Ethnic District allows African based, African-owned or African inspired brands to reach consumers worldwide.
“We want to make it easier than ever for everyone to access their favorite African products wherever they are. We also want to provide a platform that reduces a lot of the friction that African brands face when trying to obtain global visibility, distribution and sales. Our goal is to make it seamless to patronize African businesses worldwide” – Whitney Osei-Akintaju
Beginning January 2020, Ethnic District will be launching the Julianna Agyemang (Julie A.) Prize, a philanthropic venture that gives 10% of every sale accumulated within the fiscal year to a non-profit or social enterprise that is based in Africa. Each year, Ethnic District customers will be able to nominate and select a new beneficiary for this prize.
On ED, you can discover and shop African fashion, art, home décor, beauty and specialty grocery items from African brands worldwide. We hope by doing so, you are able to experience different African cultures and uncover the national treasures that make them unique.