Case Study

Black Wall Street Homecoming

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At the turn of the 20th century, downtown Durham’s Parrish Street found itself to be at the heart of an economic movement. Long before the end of segregation, minority business owners in Durham were thriving. Centering on Parrish Street, a variety of black-owned businesses—stores, banks, and others—emerged during the late 1800s and early 1900s. While Durham wasn’t the nation’s only “Black Wall Street,” it was one of the strongest.


Fast forward to 2015 and Durham is once again paving the way for economic development and the rise of minority-owned business. The city contributes to a booming regional economy and is quickly gaining national attention as an entrepreneurial hub. Black Wall Street is a North Carolina nonprofit organization that strives to encourage conversations and promote thought leadership around diversity in business, technology, and entrepreneurship. Created in honor of its namesake, the organization’s efforts culminate annually in a three-day Homecoming event where black-owned business, entrepreneurship, diversity initiatives, and culture collide. Homecoming features a pitch competitions, lectures, panel discussions, entertainment, and an array of networking opportunities, all with the goal of promoting diversity in business.

  • Branding

  • Content Development

  • Digital Strategy

  • Graphic Design

  • Web Design

Black Wall Street logo design by Kompleks Creative

The Challenge

a small town with big ideas

Although Durham is something of a micropolis, it has caught the nation’s attention as a hotbed for entrepreneurship and particularly, as a home for tech startups. Having no racial majority, Durham also boasts its status as the most diverse city in North Carolina—in fact, Durham falls in the top third of cities in the entire country when ranked for ethno-racial diversity.


Establishing Leaders of Thought

The challenge for Kompleks, from a marketing standpoint, was to develop and maintain a style and voice for the organization while helping to establish Black Wall Street as thought leaders. A key element to this was to identify Black Wall Street’s target audience and develop an inbound marketing strategy that would draw in this audience in an engaging way.

Our Strategy

Reaching out with a dynamic message

Our first step was to think about the entrepreneurial landscape of Durham and how it compares to that of the rest of the country. We also needed to take into account the different types of people we were trying to reach—black business owners, entrepreneurs, students, venture capitalists, startup groups, investors—and find ways to reach those people with a dynamic message. We identified mid-Atlantic metropolitan cities like Charlotte, Richmond, DC, and Atlanta as areas of opportunity for expanding brand awareness.



There was significant buzz surrounding 2015’s successful inaugural Homecoming event. Black Wall Street emissaries even had a presence at 2015’s SXSW, along with a national Black Wall Street event in DC and President Barack Obama’s SXSL. We had to keep that momentum rolling and capitalize on it. Our tactics for accomplishing this included producing promotional video and graphic design collateral, an optimized social media posting schedule, and social media advertising to strategically targeted audiences. We pulled out all the stops to promote interest and brand awareness, and to drive people to the website to promote ticket sales.

Black Wall Street Story

Black Wall Street (BWS) celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship within diverse, multicultural communities. Created in honor and as an extension of what was built during the heyday of Durham, NC’s Parrish Street, BWS creates conversations and promotes thought leadership around diversity, technology and entrepreneurship. No matter the city or decade, the spirit of Black Wall Street remains the same – building communities and wealth through business ownership. BWS is the remix. Same vision. New day.

The Impact

Increased Brand Awareness

The 2016 Black Wall Street Homecoming event was dubbed a success by the event’s creators and received an outpouring of accolades from the press and attendees alike. The success of our campaign can be measured by the increase in brand awareness and the overwhelmingly positive sentiment observed via social listening.


increase in
total website traffic
from the previous year


increase in the number
of unique sessions from
the previous year


decrease in bounce