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Article updated on November 12, 2023 at 9:00 PM PST

6 Handy Black-Owned Apps You Should Download Now

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Kourtnee Jackson
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Kourtnee Jackson Senior Editor
Kourtnee covers TV streaming services and home entertainment news and reviews at CNET. She previously worked as an entertainment reporter at Showbiz Cheat Sheet where she wrote about film, television, music, celebrities, and streaming platforms.
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Our Picks

See at SoLo Funds
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Peer-to-peer loans
SoLo Funds
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See at Kataramccarty
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Emotional well-being
Exhale
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See at Soko
soko app displaying outdoor farmers market with people and stands
Find local farmers markets
Soko
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See at EatOkra
eat okra logo against French Toast backdrop
Nationwide directory of Black-owned bars and restaurants
EatOkra
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See at Kiddie Kredit
kiddie kredit dashboard with user profiles and list of chores
Teaches kids financial literacy
Kiddie Kredit
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See at Melanin on the Map
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For travel and wanderlust
Melanin on the Map
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Though National Black Business Month has come and gone (it was this past August), we're continuing to highlight and celebrate Black-owned tech platforms and apps throughout the year. Right now is the perfect time to support and appreciate these businesses. Mobile apps have helped to streamline our daily lives, making it easy to do things like manage day-to-day tasks, shop, date, and discover exciting events and locales in any city. The founders of the platforms below used their own experiences as a benchmark to create cool digital services that teach financial literacy, deliver good times, support wellness, and more.

We've underscored six apps from Black creators that can be used year-round. For more, learn how to find minority-owned businesses on Google, Yelp and other services.

See at SoLo Funds

Peer-to-peer loans

SoLo Funds

SoLo Funds is a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows members to loan or borrow money from $20 to $575. Founded by Travis Holoway and Rodney Williams, the app launched in 2018 and has since surpassed 900,000 users and $160 million in transactions.

Individuals can finance or repay loans at their discretion, and are verified before becoming members. Users must have active bank accounts to participate as borrowers or lenders, and the platform uses a scoring system to help determine a borrower's ability to pay back a loan. Download for iOS or Android.

See at Kataramccarty

Emotional well-being

Exhale

Created by Katara McCarty, Exhale was designed as an emotional wellness app with Black, Indigenous and women of color in mind. Its content is meant to provide a calming, safe space for women coping with stress, grief, microaggressions and other negative feelings. 

The app features a beautiful layout with breathing exercises, meditations, guided visualizations and recorded talks to help boost your spirits. Click on a category to stream a meditation for compassion, learn a box breathing technique and more. Users can also receive push notifications for affirmations. Exhale can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices for free without ad interruptions.

See at Soko

Find local farmers markets

Soko

Need a farmers market locator? Scroll through Soko's listings of thousands of markets and individual vendors in cities across the US. The app allows you to search for farmers markets within a 20, 50 or 100-mile radius based on your current location, home address or city of your choice. You can also search for vendors by name. Users can shop ahead of time by placing preorders from vendors in their area, and set up digital payments, including SNAP benefits.

Soko was created by the same developer team behind Ujama, a social media network founded by Hugh Molotsi that connects locals through friendships, meetups and offers a marketplace. Soko is free to download on Android and iOS devices.

See at EatOkra

Nationwide directory of Black-owned bars and restaurants

EatOkra

Foodies looking to discover Black-owned restaurants should download EatOkra, a directory that features a variety of cuisines including vegan, Caribbean and breakfast spots. Launched by Brooklynites Anthony and Janique Edwards, the app includes restaurants, food trucks and food brands in communities around the country.

Type in a city or use the app's location feature to find where to eat in your area. EatOkra also allows you to click on a food category to check out the listings or make recommendations to add local eateries and bars. You'll also see a restaurant's hours of operation and a marketplace to buy items like bottled sauces or cookies. Download on Android on iOS devices.

See at Kiddie Kredit

Teaches kids financial literacy

Kiddie Kredit

Launched by Evan Leaphart, the Kiddie Kredit app teaches children about credit and smart financial habits. The app is aimed at 4 to 12-year-olds and tracks chores, allowing kids to earn points for tasks they complete such as homework, mowing the lawn or cleaning their rooms. The point system uses a scale of 1-100 and functions like a FICO credit score. Parents can opt to reward their kids with money or another incentive. Families can download the app for free on iOS and Android devices.

See at Melanin on the Map

For travel and wanderlust

Melanin on the Map

Melanin on the Map is a travel app geared toward people of color that boasts a global community of more than 45,000 travel lovers. Founded by Ashley McDonough, it serves as an information hub where you can find deals, destination education (and inspiration), trip tips and travel opportunities for those seeking to earn some income. 

The app is also a social network where users can connect with travel agents or vacation buddies who want to explore new adventures. In 2021, Melanin on the Map introduced its Travel Bae and Travel Bestie feature, which is designed to match users with potential love interests or friends. At the time of this writing, the app is available for Android.

Correction, Feb. 24: A previous version of this article misstated how many users SoLo Funds has. It has 900,000 users.