After living in the U.S. for over 20 years, Whitney Osei-Akintaju decided to move back to Ghana in 2015. 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 a culture deeply rooted in art, fashion and history; as well as an untapped market for global e-commerce.
Whitney lived in Accra during her time in Ghana. There, she experienced the struggles of being a young entrepreneur firsthand. It was an especially rough time economically with constant power outages that lasted several days, country-wide job layoffs and inflation. Most people were “hustling” to make ends meet.
After that experience, Osei-Akintaju returned to the U.S. with a mission to impact by creating an online marketplace that allowed these young entrepreneurs to break into a $32 billion e-commerce market. With $80, an iPhone and her experience in web development and user experience, Whitney founded Ethnic District in 2016.
Ethnic District allows sellers to create free merchant accounts to market their items and also enables them to connect directly with their customers worldwide. Sellers receive access to a comprehensive dashboard that includes real-time analytics to help them identify the products and strategies that are working (or not working) for their business.
Formerly known as WO Marketplace, the concept was initially a hobby, exclusively featuring African-inspired products. The site was relaunched in 2018 as Ethnic District and is looking to expand to offer items from other areas of the world such as South America and India in the future.
MEET OUR TEAM
A Note From Our Team
We welcome you to browse through our ethnic fashion, art, home décor, beauty and grocery items. We hope by doing so, you are able to experience different cultures and uncover the national treasures that make them unique.
Most importantly, we thank you for your support of Ethnic District. When you shop, you support our mission to facilitate an online community that allows people worldwide to access affordable, authentic ethnic products. At the same time, you support our mission to empower artisans and entrepreneurs with the tools needed to compete in e-commerce,so they can do what they do best: create the products you love.