Black Expat-Owned Businesses Around the World
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Marshida King.

Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Marshida King.

Black Expat-Owned Businesses Around the World

black owned business
Jasmine Osby
Jasmine Osby Jun 17, 2022

Each year, more and more African-Americans leave the US for living opportunities beyond what they’ve experienced in the states. Not only that, many of these people are entrepreneurs; trading in their corporate offices and tailored suits to become digital nomads living abroad. If they’re not working remotely, Black ex-pats around the world are opening brick-and-mortar style businesses internationally and bringing a new flair to what it means to run a business overseas.

While some may think owning a business while living internationally is an impossible feat, many Black and brown American do it every day and bring a fresh wave of innovation and creativity to foreign industries. Here are a few black expat-owned businesses from around the world.

1. Jerk Soul Rooftop Restaurant & Bar

Previously located in St. Louis, Caribbean infusion restaurant Jerk Soul packed up and relocated to Ghana in 2022. Owner Tellie Woods set up shop on the rooftop of Oyarifa Mall in Accra, fulfilling a personal dream of residing in the motherland. Woods sold all his things and followed his heart to Ghana, where Jerk Soul has been redefining how Ghanaians experience Jamaican cuisine. 

Jerk Soul’s menu is the perfect blend of traditional African-American cuisine merged with a Caribbean flavor. Although the dishes vary a bit from the original menu in St. Louis, Jerk Soul stays true to its roots as patrons enjoy a variety of tasty food items designed to feed the soul.

2. KURO Restobar


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Owned by Micus Ralls, KURO Restobar brings a fresh perspective to the restaurant experience in Korea. Meaning ‘black’ in Japanese, KURO’s industrial and modern design paired with its impressive menu of culturally infused bar snacks and alcoholic beverages make it the perfect place to chill and unwine if you’re ever in the ​​Clarke Quay area. 

The restaurant is 4,000 square feet and can accommodate 230 guests. There’s an outdoor seating space, two VIP lounges, and a stage space for live performances. Much of the interior wood design features were recycled from a nearby church and KURO has grown in popularity since opening in 2014, adding a dash of African-American flavor to Korean culture.

3. WAO

Black expat owned businesses
Photo Courtesy of Karolina Grabowska.

After visiting Trinidad and Tobago in 2015, Zach realized he’d been living life all wrong. The young, Black man left Houston and relocated to Costa Rica and started his company WAO, an organization dedicated to helping other African-Americans relocate to Costa Rica. WAO is an acronym for We Are Organic and it is dedicated to helping others find a home in their permanent paradise. The company helps ex-pats find housing for reasonable prices, negotiates leasing agreements with foreign landlords, and walks them through the arrival process.

4. S.I.A.K Originals


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Currently serving in the US Army and living in Korea with his wife and children, SirIsrael Azariah King is the owner of S.I.A.K Originals, an art company that sells original pieces. King’s artwork depicts real-life imagery and portraits featuring human faces and interaction. His art is life personified in a still shot surrounded by color, patterns, and textures. Images can be purchased as canvas print, framed print, metal print, and other formats. 

5. Resplendence Language Arts

Black expat owned businesses
Photo Courtesy of Emmanuel Ikwuegbu.

With 75 years of experience combined as a team, Resplendence Language Arts is reducing and removing language barriers for students in Tanzania while sharing cultural knowledge. Owner Shayla Gaskins opened the language house to create a sustainable and students can enroll in a 10-week virtual class to learn a variety of African languages including Yoruba, Wolof, Twi, Swahili, and more. The language house opened in 2021 and even has a program for children that immerses them in the African language and culture.

6. Afro Expats

Black expat owner businesses
Photo Courtesy of ROMAN ODINTSOV.

After relocating to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Michelle Wedderburn-Waters created Afro Expats to help others travel and relocate to Mexico. The company provides relocation tours and spends a full week acquiring information on buying and renting real estate, securing Mexican residency, health insurance options, and more. Wedderburn-Waters also owns two other companies; Journey Retreat, a holistic healing retreat company, and  Casa ELM Boutique Guesthouse, a luxury home experience where travelers can connect with other ex-pats.

7. Munday Young Coaching

International lifestyle coach Munday Young became an expatriate after serving in the military and relocating to England. Since then, she and her family have settled in France where her coaching services help others move abroad. Young helps people integrate themselves into foreign cultures and provides them with resources and tools to deal with stress, find career opportunities, and establish a routine abroad. Through her coaching sessions, Young encourages people to live their best lives while growing personally and spiritually.

8. Soul Food House


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Located in the heart of Tokyo, Japan, David and LaTonya Whitaker opened Soul Food House in 2015 bringing authentic American Southern and Cajun cuisine to the Japanese culture. At Soul Food House, you can taste the love in every bite. Everything is made from scratch and dishes like chicken and dumplings, classic mac n cheese, and shrimp and grits teleport guests from Asia to the kitchens of Black grannies across the US. The restaurant also has an incredible ambiance, great music, and a warm, loving atmosphere that meets you at the door.

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