Shopify 120-Day Free Trial: Who is It for & How to Apply [2024]


Despite the progressive attitude toward people of color, racial inequality is still widespread throughout society. That’s why Shopify partnered with Operation Hope to build the Shopify 120-day free trial program for black-owned businesses.

In this article, eComStart will help you have a better understanding of the program, including its benefits, the application process and everything around it.

Are you amped up? Let’s dive in!

1. What is 1MBB Shopify?

Shopify 1MBB free trial, aka 1MBB Shopify, refers to the “One Million Black Businesses” initiative, a partnership between Shopify and Operation HOPE. This program aims to create and scale one million Black-owned businesses by 2030.


👀 Hang on, what is a ‘black-owned business’?

Black-owned businesses are companies where Black individuals or entities of African descent hold a majority ownership—specifically, more than 51%. This ownership stake ensures that they have significant control over the business decisions and operations. 

Black-owned businesses can be in any industry, including retail, technology, fashion, healthcare, etc. 

2. What is included in Shopify’s free trial for black-owned businesses for 120 days?

The Shopify 120-day free trial for black-owned businesses is an exclusive offer that’s part of the 1MBB initiative. 

This trial period is significantly longer than the standard trial, giving Black entrepreneurs four full months to set up their online store, explore Shopify’s diverse features, and start selling without any initial cost.

Though Shopify 1MBB’s biggest perk is the extended trial, it’s not the sole benefit eligible merchants will get from the program. Here is a complete picture of what you’ll get from 1MBB Shopify 120 days trial:

  • A 120-day free trial
  • Networking opportunities through the Build Black Community and exclusive events for black entrepreneurs 
  • Education and training via courses, virtual workshops, and even 1-on-1 coaching

3. How does Shopify’s 120-day free trial differ from the standard trial period?

Shopify 120-day trial black-owned is exclusively for black-owned businesses. Shopify’s standard trial period only lasts 3 days. Afterward, you can use Shopify for $1 for the first month.

Besides the 1MBB and the standard free trial, Shopify has other free trial programs: 14-day, 60-day, and 90-day periods. While some of them are no longer available, some still work. 

Check out our article on Shopify free trial for more detailed and updated information on free trial programs by Shopify.

4. How do I get a 120-day free trial on Shopify? 

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Ensure that your business qualifies for the Shopify 120-day free trial. You need to be a new Shopify user, and your business must be majority-owned (at least 50%) by Black individuals.

Step 2: Visit the Shopify 1MBB landing page

Visit the official 1MBB program page on Shopify’s website at Once there, click the “Start free trial” button located at the top right corner of the page to begin.



Step 3: Complete Shopify’s questionnaire or skip it

Afterward, Shopify will give you a series of questions to better understand your business, location, industry and scope. You can answer them all or click Skip all.



Step 4: Pick a plan to start your 120-day free trial



That’s it! You now have 4 months free to use any Shopify pricing plan (except Shopify Plus). So, pick a plan that best suits you to enjoy your extended trial.

💡Bonus: Besides the extended free trial, if you are valid, Shopify also gives black-owned businesses lots of handy resources like courses, 1-on-1 coaching, and the Build Black community.

Hence, if you want these perks apart from the 120-day free trial, take Shopify’s 3-minute survey at and wait for Shopify staff to reach back to you via email.

After clicking on the link we provided, hit Register now! to start the survey. After you are done, hit Submit.


🔎 Suggested reading: Shopify Review: Is It Still The #1 eCommerce Platform in 2024?

5. The benefits of Shopify 120-day free trial

#1. Reduced initial cost

For many small businesses, especially those just starting out, initial setup costs can be a significant hurdle. Shopify’s extended 120-day free trial provides black-owned businesses with a longer period to build and grow their online store without worrying about immediate costs. 

This four-month period allows entrepreneurs to allocate funds to other crucial areas like product development, marketing, and inventory without the pressure of recurring platform fees.

#2. More time for learning and experimentation

Shopify offers a wide range of tools and features, which can take time to fully understand and utilize effectively. The extended trial period gives business owners more time to learn how to use the platform optimally. 

They can experiment with different Shopify themes, features, apps, and integrations to determine what best suits their specific needs. 

#3. Access to extensive support and resources

Shopify is known for its comprehensive support system, including 24/7 customer service, detailed help documents, and a wide community of users. 

During the 120-day trial, black-owned businesses can fully utilize these resources to ensure they set up their store correctly and make the most of the platform’s capabilities. 

Additionally, with the 1MBB program, Shopify offers tailored advice and resources for black-owned businesses like the Build Black community and free courses & training. 

6. Inspiring businesses powered by the 1MBB program

#1. Lipbar

Niche: Beauty and cosmetics

Estimated traffic in the last 30 days: 220k



The Lip Bar was founded by Melissa Butler– an aspiring, ambitious woman in the American color community. 

Her lipstick business started from a corner of the kitchen, then a 26-foot-long truck, and now expanded into a top company that makes a buzz in the cosmetics industry. 

#2. Daily Paper Clothing

Niche: Fashion

Estimated traffic in the last 30 days: 248.5k



Daily Paper Clothing is another brand that takes the fashion industry by storm thanks to the 1MBB program. 

Daily Paper started in 2008 as a personal blog created by three friends in Amsterdam. They used the blog to share their experiences and thoughts on fashion, music, style, and their deep connections to African culture. 

As the blog became more popular, they decided to branch out into selling merchandise, beginning with just five branded T-shirts. Over the years, their small venture has grown significantly. Today, Daily Paper is a successful business worth €30 million.

#3. Jungalow

Niche: Home decor

Estimated traffic in the last 30 days: 67.9k



The Jungalow brand began in 2009 when Justina Blakeney started a blog about her plant-filled living room, aptly named Jungalow. What started as a simple blog has grown into a flourishing lifestyle brand that now offers a range of products from planters to wallpaper.

Jungalow’s mission is to inspire you to find your own unique style and to help you fill your home with vibrant, positive energy. By adopting the Jungalow style, you can transform your living space into a personal expression of beauty inspired by nature.

7. Tips to make the best of your 1MBB store

With the 1MBB program, you have a once-in-a-blue-moon trial period and it would be such a waste not making the most of it. 

Hence, below are some tips so you can set up your store for success in 4 months,

#1. Experiment and find your niche

Feel free to skip this if you are a physical store or already found what you want to sell. Otherwise, you should go the extra mile to pinpoint the right niche. 

No matter how stunning your website is and how good your marketing strategy is, it would be tough to scale up your store if you sell the wrong products at the beginning. 

💡 Check out our articles on small business ideas to expand your choices.

#2. Plan your budget

Next, work on planning your budget. This includes inventory, marketing, and future Shopify fees after the trial ends. Set clear financial goals for the trial period and maintain a close watch on your expenditure to ensure you stay on track.

🔎 Suggested reading: How Much Does it Cost to Build a Shopify Website in 2024?

#3. Add and fine-tune your product information

Your product pages can either be a deal maker or a deal breaker. Hence, if you want to set up your Shopify store for conversions, you need product detail pages that ‘kill’. Here are some tips you can keep in mind:

  • Use clear, high-resolution images from multiple angles to give customers a thorough view of your products
  • Write product description copies that highlight key features and benefits of your products
  • Incorporate relevant keywords in your product titles and descriptions to improve search engine visibility
  • Build trust by adding reviews to your products using a Shopify review app.

#4. Pick and customize your theme

The next thing to do is select the best Shopify theme that aligns with your brand’s aesthetic and adjust it to highlight your brand’s identity. While finding a theme for your store, here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Ensure the theme works well on all devices, especially mobiles, as a large portion of online shopping is done via smartphones
  • Select a theme that allows easy adjustments of visuals and layout without needing coding skills, ensuring it can evolve with your branding needs
  • Opt for a theme that loads quickly to enhance user experience and potentially improve search engine rankings, which is crucial for keeping customers engaged

#6. Install necessary apps

And last but not least, remember to try Shopify apps to enhance your store’s function and visual appeal. The Shopify App Store has over 8,000 apps spanning across multiple categories. 

However, in case the app cost gets out of hand, you should only install the ones that you need. Check out our best Shopify apps if you don’t know which app to install yet.

8. Ready to make the best of Shopify 120-day free trial?

With networking opportunities, education resources, and remarkably extended trial, Shopify 120-day free trial has gradually removed the racial barriers hindering black entrepreneurs from success. 

Are you eligible for Shopify’s 120-day trial? Have you successfully claimed your trial and other perks? Comment your results below to keep eComStart updated.

Don’t forget to explore for all the handy eCommerce starting guides, tips, and tricks.

9. Shopify 120-day trial review: FAQs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us

Fill in the form below or give us a call and we'll contact you. We endeavour to answer all enquiries within 24 hours on business days.