Empowering black-owned businesses and developing
eCommerce-solutions that serve everyone.
The Empower Digital Business Challenge
Our goal is to make sure we continue to develop flexible, creative commerce solutions that serve everyone, and that commerce is accessible to everyone, everywhere. Through the Empower Hackathon, we’re focusing our inclusion and diversity efforts on a key part of our business: our developer community.
Challenge Statement #1- The path to Recovery
Not all businesses are equipped with time or resources to support implementation of CRM, Customer Loyalty, digital payments or ePayment/ecommerce platforms. Given the impact the pandemic had on businesses over the last couple years, going digital is becoming increasingly crucial to support seamless eCommerce solutions to survive.
Recommended technology: Cybersource or Authorize.net for digital payment solutions, ISVs supporting various ecommerce solutions, Cybersource Developer Center for APIs/SDKs to help with digital transformation.
Challenge Statement #2- Post-COVID Enabling Underrepresented and Black-Owned Businesses
Nearly half of black owned small and midsize businesses have been wiped out YTD as the pandemic has ravaged minority communities disproportionately. "Black businesses experienced the most acute decline, with a 41% drop. Latinx business owners fell by 32% and Asian business owners dropped by 26% (Forbes 2021)” Can you help these businesses adjust for digital and contactless needs of today?
Recommended technology: Cybersource or Authorize.net for digital payment solutions, ISVs supporting various ecommerce solutions/form aggregators/social platforms, Cybersource Developer Center for APIs/SDKs to help with digital transformation.
Challenge Statement #3- Community and Social Impact Through Collaboration
Many areas around the world have suffered pre/during/and post-pandemic from lack of access to technology solutions not only in their businesses but personal lives as well. For example, lack of technology access has disabled many family members the ability to stay connected either-during lock-down/social distancing measures to not being able to be in hospital rooms while a loved one was obtaining treatment. This now extends to regulatory measures and mask-mandates for businesses to consider to stay open as many areas are opening back up. Underserved communities normally face difficulties getting back on their feet post economic downturns due to lack of access to technology and access to funding.
Recommended technology: Data and form aggregation/Cybersource or Authorize.net for digital payment solutions/transactions, AI or facial recognition/Machine Learning, ISVs supporting various ecommerce solutions or vertical industry solutions, form aggregators/social platforms, Cybersource Developer Center for APIs/SDKs to help with digital transformation
$1,000 amount USD to each team that best demonstrates a solution custom catered to Black & women-owned businesses in
Each project will be scored by our diverse panel of judges according to the following criteria:
Innovation (20 pts)
Value & Impact (20 pts)
Implementation (10 pts)
Has the solution been tried before at other businesses? Furthermore, is the solution a "game changer" or does it simply change a workflow while not saving enough time and money?
Does the solution provide enough value that is worth the company's time to implement? For example, will the solution save our employees time and the owners money, or will it be another hoop to jump through in our daily work? Is it a simple tool for users to begin using immediately, or will it require too much training and resources? Does it pinpoint the pain points of the target cities?
Can the solution be scaled easily? How developed is it? How many partner integrations and Cybersource APIs or tools have you successfully included? Is it something that is ready to produce, or will this need to be contracted out and developed further?
Jul. 27th, 2021
Sign up to access the platform and resources in advance of the call for submissions
Hackathon kick off: Call for submissions
The platform allows for team creation and project pages are open for drafting and submission
First of three webinars where idea generators can meet with developers on a call to matchmake. Already have a team? No problem!
Join informational briefing webinars from the integration partners, black small business and developer communities, and Cybersource to help you create and #BuildBetterTogether.
Project submission deadline
All projects must be submitted by this date for review.
Judges will review your project page and video submissions and select winners
Reach out to the BeMyApp team for any registration, hackathon platform or support questions!
At Cybersource, we know payments. We helped kick start the eCommerce revolution in 1994 and haven’t looked back since. Through global reach, modern capabilities, and commerce insights, we create flexible, creative commerce solutions for everyday life—experiences that delight your customers and spur growth globally.
Through the ease and simplicity of one digital platform to manage all your payment types, fraud strategies, and more. Knowing we are part of Visa and their security-obsessed standards, you can trust that your business is well taken care of—wherever it may go.
Idea #1: Develop a solution to help a local business who suffered from the pandemic to go digital and get up and running again.
Implement digital solutions for a business to be able to still sell their products when customers can’t enter a physical store or pay for products in- person.
Consider both small and large businesses that were impacted- you can also leverage our small-business solution (Authorize.net) to support any small-business solutions.
Consider where the business is in its life-cycle, even incremental solutions can make a big difference.
What would the impact be for the business and its corresponding community if they could distribute their goods/services digitally?
Idea #2: Technology can be expensive, confusing, and difficult to access. Develop a solution that helps recovering businesses a place where they can go to learn, grow, and access solutions/resources quickly to transform their business, speed up recovery, and minimize down-time.
Idea #3: Sometimes the transition to digital can be daunting and take resources that a local impacted business can’t afford. Develop a solution that could incorporate a community and social impact solution where perhaps communities could come together to support a local/underrepresented business. Use technology to make it easy for the community to invest in the business whether that’s donating monetarily to the cause directly or allowing people to volunteer time and/or resources.
Challenge #2 Potential Ideas
Idea #1: Healthy Black-owned businesses could be a critical component for closing the United States’ Black–white wealth gap, which we project will cost the economy $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion (in 2018 dollars) per year by 2028. The COVID-19 crisis, however, has further stressed Black-owned businesses and may cause the racial wealth gap to widen. Can you create solutions to promote communities to buy from black/minority/underrepresented-owned businesses?
Idea #2: Develop a solution where minority/black/underrepresented entrepreneurs who are just getting started can go to obtain technology or financial solutions that will enable them to start their business. Make it as easy as possible for them to access these solutions.
Challenge #3 Potential Ideas
Idea #1: Create a solution that could solve some of these issues- leveraging technology resources to keep people connected while being able to still converse, connect data, communicate, and process transactions where necessary and in geographies most needed- think global.
Idea #2: Create a solution that helps businesses solve regulation measures to open back up safely within their communities, use technology solutions to ensure communities are staying safe but still able to transact and engage in their local communities. What measures can be taken to ensure businesses and communities are in compliance to keeping one-another safe so economies can stay open?
Idea #3: Many verticals have been negatively impacted such as travel and hospitality during the pandemic and others have seen increased demand such as real-estate. This has caused minority/underrepresented communities to experience even harder hits during the pandemic whether it’s being able to afford housing, find job opportunities, or keeping their families safe during economic changes. Develop a solution that could help underserved communities get back on their feet and provide access. This can be via helping to optimize a business that helps communities of those in need with a technology solution and providing access to that technology or helping individuals/entrepreneurs with a solution that can help enable them to build their own digital business.