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Aurora James

Aurora James is the founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge, and the creative director and founder of the luxury accessories brand Brother Vellies, founded in 2013 with the goal of keeping traditional African design practices alive while sustaining artisanal jobs. In June 2020, Aurora founded the Fifteen Percent Pledge, a nonprofit that partners with retailers to diversify their shelves and commit 15 percent of purchasing power to Black-owned businesses. What began as an Instagram post has become an organization with ten full-time staff members.

“I wanted to create change that put actual money in the hands of Black American entrepreneurs.”

— Aurora James
Featured in these episodes:
Aurora James, guest
November 18, 2021

In May 2020, as companies began making promises about how they’d help Black-owned businesses, Aurora James launched the 15 Percent Pledge with an Instagram post. Tagging major retailers, she declared that 15% of retail shelf space should belong to Black-owned businesses. Learn the tactics and strategies that allowed one small, dedicated effort to unlock $10 billion in revenue.