Our inspiration for this project came from the recent developments and challenges faced in the Black Lives Matter movement due to racial injustice. We decided that this project would just be a small way for us to give back to their community.
What it does
With our program, users can enter a product that they are looking for, such as any home goods or accessories that they need. Then, they are presented with the name of a black owned business that is able to provide this product for them, as well as their website.
How we built it
We built this program using the Alexa Developer Console in Python. In this way, we were able to make the program interactive for the user, as if they were conversating with someone.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into many challenges throughout the course of making the hack. In the beginning, we had our minds on using the Google API to make lists of black-owned business using Google Maps and company locations. However, we eventually realized that this attribute was not supported, and we had to quickly transition into the Alexa Developer Console. We encountered challenges from here too, mainly due to the fact that one of our teammates with the code got locked out of their account and hour before it was due. This resulted in all our progress being lost, and we had to start from scratch again. However, in the end, we were able to successfully run and develop our hack.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
One accomplishment that we are most proud of was the ability to debug and find the errors that our program presented to us. Because the Alexa Console was very limited and did not provide many tools to debug, we had trouble finding out where our problems were, which took up a great portion of our time as we worked.
What we learned
One thing that we learned as we made our project was the functionality of the Alexa Developer Console, as well as a little bit about the Google API that we used at the very beginning. We also learned how to make intents and use the console that was provided to us to make the program interactive as well as informational for the user.
What's next for Black Owned Business Finder
For the future of the Black Owned Business Finder, we could ultimately expand it so that the businesses would also include any people of color. In this way, our program would be more inclusive while still giving back to these deserving communities. Furthermore we intend on implementing more functionality such as giving the location and saying reviews on the businesses.