Apps are proving to be key to encouraging diversity and inclusion by making everyone’s lives easier no matter race, gender, sexuality or abilities.
The world is changing. As we are becoming more visible through technological advances the necessity for inclusion is paramount. The need for diversity extends across all industries and the desire to make people feel more connected and included is a priority. As we become more dependent on our phones, the industry is keeping up with the societal shift as people recognize the space for apps to diversify the marketplace and allow people to feel more included.
Movements championing people of color, have encouraged corporations to do their part in diversifying the marketplace and encouraging racial parity. One of these ways is by supporting black owned businesses. Mobile apps are a simple way to encourage inclusion. We are seeing a consumer shift to using mobile to support black-owned businesses:
- Official Black Wall Street, is an app that can connect users to 5,000 Black-owned businesses globally. What’s unique about this app is that it alerts users when they are near a Black-owned business — using its location-based capabilities to foster further in-person connection.
- EatOkra, is an app that connects consumers to nearly 3,000 Black-owned restaurants across the US where people can search by location and cuisine. The app has seen nearly a quarter of a million downloads over the last year.
- DoorDash and Caviar also have search capabilities that allow you to search specifically for Black-owned restaurants in your area.
Whether tracking health or looking after your personal safety, apps designed by women for women are also seeing increased popularity.
- Clue is a free period and ovulation tracker app, where you can also map out your wellbeing and to discern patterns in your cycle. The app which has been downloaded over 73.2 million times was founded by Danish entrepreneur Ida Tin.
- Nabla, launched on April 8th 2021 by a French startup, is an app focused on women’s health. The app lets you chat with practitioners, offers community content, helps you centralize all your medical data and will soon offer telemedicine appointments.
- SHEROES is a social networking app out of India for women where they can share their interests, get free health and legal advice, get work from home opportunities, learn about online businesses, and more.
Mobile apps have also been developed to help people with disabilities.
- WheelMap is an app that locates wheelchair accessible places close to shops, restaurants and cafes. It also guarantees that they will be able to freely access the premises before arriving. The app has been downloaded over 210,000 times to date (May 26, 2021) worldwide.
- Petralex was created for people who are hard of hearing, and can assist them in social situations. It is essentially a personal hearing amplification device that acts as a hearing aid. Downloads have reached 1.4 million since its release in 2018.
- Choiceworks is an iOS app created to help individuals address and express their emotions healthily, particularly for children who struggle or autistic individuals. The app includes four sections: Schedule, Waiting, Feelings and Feelings Scale.
Apps supporting LGBTQ+ community are also gaining momentum.
- GayCities is an iOS app created to allow people unfamiliar with their cities' hotspots for LGBTQ+ to gain a better understanding of what is around them. GayCities locates bars, clubs and theatres that have special LGBTQ+ interest. It allows users to better locate nearby places to meet people within their community and be free to be themselves.
- Apps like Grindr and HER have allowed for members of the community to better navigate the dating scene while being true to themselves. Since Grindr came onto the market it has had over 56 million downloads globally to date (May 26, 2021), peaking in April 2020. HER has mirrored this traction with over 5.5 million downloads globally to date. Bumble and Tinder have introduced LGBTQ+ preferences in order to better connect people and cater to the needs of the community. Taimi, an LGBTQ+ dating app focusing on being creating a fully inclusive gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual conmmunigy has seen 7.6 million downloads globally to date (May 26, 2021).
The continued support of minority owned businesses and communities is crucial to a successful, diverse economy. These resources aren’t just available on commemorative days - they are available year-round. We will likely see new apps offering minorities, as well as their respective businesses, more resources, as well as longstanding apps introducing features or even champion initiatives promoting Black-owned business and Black creators. This represents an important market movement to watch as we head into the rest of 2021.
June 1, 2021Market Data