Author and Conscious Commerce Expert Who Lived Exclusively Off Black Businesses for Entire Year Announces New Venture

Author, Activist and Conscious Commerce Expert Maggie Anderson announces her latest venture  The website, built by iSwop Networks is an empowerment resource for consumers whose habits, attitudes, and moral compass drive a duty and desire for buying from Black-owned businesses; and all institutions committed to supporting economic growth in the Black community. Maggie is best known for her family’s history-making and highly publicized stand and economic experiment to live off Black-owned businesses for a year. ‘The Empowerment Experiment’ is chronicled in her acclaimed book Our Black Year – One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy. Another major output of the experiment was the Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management’s study. The Kellogg study proved that nearly 1 million new jobs can be created if middle-class African American consumers would increase their spending within their community from the current 3% to 10%. Following that year, the book and the study, she knew the positive impact it would have on her community and country for more families and institutions to proactively engage these vital, yet under-represented businesses and entrepreneurs, and was born.

The foundation for is the same as for her extreme and, for some, controversial ‘Rosa Parks-ian’ stand –  a cry for individual accountability for and collective action toward resolving social ills disproportionately impacting the Black community. “I made that sacrifice and bring now to prove that there are so many wonderful Black-owned businesses out there, that we are not, shamefully, supporting them enough. And most of all, that we can counter poverty, recidivism and violence; and create jobs, role models, and self-sustained neighborhoods just by supporting them a little more,” states Maggie Anderson. To that end, wants to inspire, facilitate and track such increased spending, the social and financial impact on underserved communities, progress towards curing racial divides and disparities, and job creation.

Broderick Byers, CEO of iSwop Networks, and Managing Partner of, intends for the website to be the leading, innovative and transformational company in how conscious commerce is conducted and in facilitating increased economic activity, financial freedom and entrepreneurial excellence in the Black community. “Maggie’s year brought intelligence and inspiration. Now harnesses the power of technology and social media to empower our community through conscious commerce and business development. That is why we will work hard to earn your trust, delivering actionable content, special offers, reputable local business, as well as Black suppliers, franchisees, agents, independent reps, and Black-manufactured products enabled by our partner brands and retailers,” says Byers. is now registering users, businesses, advertisers, sponsors and partners.  The website officially launches Black History Month in Philadelphia, PA.

Maggie is a first-generation Cuban American with a BA from Emory University; and a JD/MBA from the University of Chicago, where President Obama was her law professor and mentor. Chosen by BET/Centric as one of “16 Most Fascinating Women of 2016”, she has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, TV One, and CBS News. Maggie lives in Oak Park, Illinois with her husband John (AB, Economics, Harvard University; MBA, Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management) and their two daughters.

BRODERICK BYERS, CEO of iSwop Networks, and Managing Partner of
Broderick, CEO of iSwop Networks, is a Syracuse University alumni where he majored in Television & Radio at the Newhouse School of Public Communications. Considered a social entrepreneur, his startups include National Association of Multi-Ethnicity In Communications (NAMIC), The Employment & Career Channel, and Second Chance Television (2CTV).  Byers’ corporate experience includes positions at BET, Tele-Communication, Inc. (TCI), Time Warner Cable, and UA-Columbia.



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