Category: African-American Business

BBNomics and Black Crowdfunding

Introduction

10 years ago, crowdfunding emerged after the 2008 financial crisis in response to the difficulties faced by early-stage enterprises attempting to generate marketing traction and funding. As the inner-city African-American community embraces its potential, and the substantial reservoirs of untapped entrepreneurial talent are beginning to emerge daily the economic of these communities will change for the better as jobs, businesses and wealth are created in these once disinvested communities. There are millions of inner-city individuals and organizations that are able to make small crowdfunding investments in community businesses.

The Crowd Economy

As a crowdfunding consultant, my hope is that this trend will grab a foothold in inner-city African-American communities and continue to grow as friends families and community organizations will finance business ideas with crowdfunding’s online extension to access the capital and national reach of the community, or “the crowd”. Now, with the recent news of crowd investing options for startups, I look forward to seeing growing startups and real estate development engage in crowd investing to continue to grow their brand loyalty with their crowd and be able to spread the wealth through retail investing in local businesses and real estate development.

Black People’s role in Pop Culture

As a community, inner-city Blacks tend to set the trends in popular  American culture from music to fashion and we are beginning to become strong authors and filmmakers. These are all areas that have long been dominated by a relatively small number of wealthy and powerful people that determined what products made it to market and they would reap the profits. Today, driven by the crowd economy the dynamics will change as our community embraces crowdfunding as a driving force for creativity, marketing, and funding. No longer will our creativity and entrepreneurship be exploited for the gains of other communities.   

Building Wealth From Our Creativity

Black consumers are trendsetters and tastemakers for young consumers of all races, according to the Selig Center. They define mainstream culture and wield immense influence over how Americans choose to spend their money. Any marketing campaign targeting millennials “must include messages to reach African-American youth. With the advent of crowdfunding and crowd investing we now have the ability to create, market, fund, and distribute our creative products while building wealth as entrepreneurs and retail investors.

Takeaway

BBNomics – ‘A Crowdfunding Site,’ soon after many more initiatives were designed and privately financed to help our community organizations. This journey is long and extremely difficult, but I refuse to give up. My personal goal is for these platforms to raise millions in funding to help entrepreneurs and organizations open their doors to the public. BBNomics-Buy Black Economics other goals are to teach the fundamentals of group economics, group-love, and financial literacy through education, keynote speeches, panelists and most importantly, funding many start-up ventures. BBNomics-Buy Black Economics is all about group reliance, real money wisdom, for our people who want to beat the odds, prove everyone wrong and become a beacon of light in the world by living life with a purpose. The aim is making an impact by providing platforms for everyone to actively engage in fundamental principles of group economics, grouplove, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. It’s for our people who are serious about taking their lives — and their POWER — to the next level!

Influencer Marketing on Twitter

Introduction

Influencer/Blogging marketing involves a collaboration between crowdfunding campaigns and a select number of experts in a relevant field who have a large following on social media specifically Twitter for this post. Influencer marketing distinguishes individuals who have a significant influence on a potential group customer. When the right influencers endorse your product or brand, it can create a huge impact!

The way audiences interact with content continues to shift, making influencer/blogger marketing an even more effective and efficient model to exciting and engaging your crowd. Millennials purchase based on endorsements, reviews and ultimately trust. They view authenticity as one of the most, if not the most, essential elements of purchasing. For example, 33% of millennials read blogs and expert reviews before buying a product, so it makes sense for crowdfunding campaigns to highlight these expert opinions.

A quick review of your Twitter feed will show that people don’t always flock to companies for information about their products and services. Instead, they’re seeking influencers – popular, personable, and independent content creators who aren’t afraid to share opinions on social media. More than 90% of consumers trust earned press – characterized as word-of-mouth and recommendations from trustworthy sources – more than all other types of advertising

As founders building crowd investing campaigns how do we harness the power of earned media through Twitter influencers/bloggers to build our engaged and excited group of investors. These are the steps we use to tap the influencer/blogger marketing on Twitter

DEVELOP INFLUENCER MARKETING GOALS

  1. Expand brand awareness- Influencers have the power to rapidly increase your brand awareness because they have an established and engaged audience.
  2. Generate leads – A simple way to implement influencers into your marketing plans is to partner with them to share your brand’s blogs, features, products.
  3. Check influencer contribution – It is essential to quantify the overall reach and impression of your content. Use these numbers to calculate the ROI of your campaign by different parameters such as followers gained.

IDENTIFY INFLUENCERS

Identify relevant influencers/bloggers who are affiliated with your industry. Find your target audience and the influencers’ followers should be mutually inclusive. You can use Twitter Advanced Search to search Twitter and keep an eye on specific hashtags, mentions, and conversations about your brand.

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH INFLUENCERS

After identifying several leading influencers/bloggers, reach out! Rather than sending a cold email with your interest, go the extra mile by engaging and showcasing the fact that you have mutual interests.

  • Start following them on Twitter and start a casual conversation
  • Retweet their content to introduce them to your audience
  • Discuss something they have tweeted recently
  • Share their blog posts on Twitter
  • Connect on other social media platforms
  • Offer to write a guest post on their blog
  • Send products to them as free samples to review

Take time to source valuable influencers/bloggers and cultivate a professional relationship. When trust is established, and you’re confident that there is a mutual fit, you’re in a high position to launch an influencer/blogger marketing campaign.

DEVISE A MARKETING STRATEGY

From creating brand awareness to boosting sales, influencer/blogger marketing on Twitter has the potential to drive amazing results to your crowdfunding campaign.

  • Keep these things in mind before creating an influencer marketing campaign:
  • Prepare a list of leading influencers/bloggers you are in touch with
  • Define your target audience and goals for the campaign
  • Create a call-to-action and several achievable deliverables
  • Come up with a hashtag for the campaign and keywords
  • Research what your competitors are doing and what they have done previously

Going through this process will help clearly define what you want to get out of an upcoming campaign and ensure that you can meet those goals.

START RUNNING YOUR INFLUENCER/BLOGGER CAMPAIGNS ON TWITTER

After developing a clear strategy concerning the influencers you are going to work with, start implementing your campaign. Have the content of your campaign ready and prepare the tools your influencer/bloggers need to succeed before the campaign launch.

TAKEAWAY

Measuring the outcome of the Twitter Influencer/blogger marketing campaign using keywords and anchor hashtag from the campaign to track its overall reach and performance. Use a Twitter monitoring/social listening tool to do the individual analysis:

  • check the retweet count
  • calculate impressions/reach
  • gauge other relevant data-oriented results.

Not only will it help you judge the overall efficiency of your present campaign, but it will also let you identify leading influencers for your next campaign. This will be vital to maintaining an effective and efficient process for developing and implementing a Twitter Influencer/Blogger marketing campaign.

Engaging Through The Twitterverse

INTRODUCTION

Twitter is a potent tool for promoting your crowdfunding campaign. Twitter allows you to implement a #Hashtag strategy that provides your crowdfunding campaign with the ability to create an identification on the platform. This Hashtag identification enhances your campaigns ability to engage with the hundreds of millions of Twitter users on the platform who can become part of your audience. Using tweets, and retweets, like the sparks that ignite the interest of others, you’ll be able to personalize your crowdfunding campaign, tell your story, and enlist the benefit of others who share your goals.

USING TWITTER TO TELL YOUR STORY

Twitter is a great place to engage with your audience and keep them up to date on all of your latest adventures, and it provides a fun, laid-back atmosphere–the perfect venue for building an exciting and dynamic brand. Storytelling is an essential aspect of any crowdfunding campaign. The goal is to create a campaign brand that resonates with your audience–and to do that; it is critical that your name tells a story. A flat, one-dimensional label doesn’t give an audience any reason to pay attention. Telling your story and letting your brand evolve will naturally generate interest in your campaign brand.

USE TWITTER TO ENGAGE

Twitter is a great place to engage with your audience and keep them up to date on all of your latest adventures. Twitter provides a fun, laid-back atmosphere, so it’s the perfect venue for building an exciting and dynamic brand.  Always allow your followers to be a part of your campaigns ongoing experience by letting your followers know what you are up to many times a day if it drives the campaign narrative.

USE TWITTER TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

Your Twitter profile should not be all business, and in fact, it is much easier for your audience to truly connect with you when they perceive you as a “real” person. Tweet about your family, your hobbies, your opinions… don’t be afraid to open up a bit. The more you share your life on Twitter, the better your audience will feel that they know you. And the more they know about you, the more likely they are to support your campaign with dollars.

ENGAGE FOLLOWERS

The most overlooked concept when it comes to branding on Twitter is that interaction is critical. Too many business owners treat Twitter like a bulletin board–they log on a couple of times each week, post something, and then leave. But as you know from real-life experience, it is hard to connect with someone who won’t interact with you. Take the time to respond to your followers; your profile will become a much livelier and inviting place. And when your audience is paying attention, you can tell your story much more efficiently.

USING HASHTAGS ON TWITTER

When developing the all-important Hashtag on Twitter make sure that you do some research on hashtags that will be relevant to yours and your campaign that will enhance your campaign’s visibility which will foster a broader community and more re-tweets. When you send out tweets, don’t forget “#” the words and phrases that are connected to your crowdfunding campaign so that people can find you. Make sure you are judicious in your use of the #tags to ensure that your messages don’t come across as spam.

TWITTER RESEARCH USING HASHTAGS

Check out the rest of Twitter using hashtags to ensure a relevant search to find out if someone is involved in a similar project to yours. Then determine your role in that conversation. Should you join in or should you be the one to get conversational? Their audience might be your audience. Make use of the connective tissue of Twitter hashtags to build a network of like-minded people, starting with the people you know. They may share some of your views; can you encourage them to share your vision?

TWITTER AND TRANSPARENCY

Your followers need to understand why you’ve decided to launch this crowdfunding campaign. What do you intend to do with the money and the business you are beginning? Let them know why you’re the one who can do it, and what happens when they help you achieve your goal. Let your voice be heard. Your Twitter followers need to feel that they know you, and they can best do that if you convey a personal sense of yourself. Don’t be afraid to stir things up in the Twitterverse through transparency and thought leadership make it personal and make it real for you and your followers. One way to excite and engage your followers is to ask questions. Questions are irresistible, and people love to answer them.

THE POWER OF THE RE-TWEET

Tweets with 100 characters or less are 17 percent more likely to get noticed than longer tweets. When tweeting be brief, succinct, and memorable. When using Twitter for crowdfunding remember your goal is to excite and engage your followers and to spread your campaign reach, so a couple of tips at the end of each tweet, please ask your followers to “Please Retweet” spelling out “Please Retweet” increases the retweet rate by a factor of 23 times. Always leave space for your @Username and the “Please Retweet” and leave 25 characters of free space at the end of each tweet.

TAKEAWAY

Twitter is a dynamic and engaging mechanism for building your crowdfunding community that will support your campaign. Twitter provides a way to reach out, excite, engage and make a city with the ability to test and measure your success at the same time. Twitter also provides the ability to engage with influencers and bloggers. These people already have developed trust based transparent relationships with large numbers of people on Twitter, and you can tap into that community through Influencer Marketing.  It is not easy to build the relationships once you do over time you will understand the power of influencers.

Crowdfunding and the Talented Tenth

Introduction 

I was working on a creating a spreadsheet of black professional organizations that would be my target for a political crowdfunding campaign that is a collaboration between Lynn P and her crowdfunding portals and WeCycl, Inc my crowdfunding and digital marketing company. I was entering data when I was hit with an epiphany. Black professional organizations leading the charge to economic and political empowerment not only through education, but through crowdinvesting.

The Talented Tenth

“The talented tenth” a concept espoused by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois  to describe the likelihood of one in ten black people becoming leaders of our race in the world, through methods such as continuing their education, writing books, or becoming directly involved in social change. Crowdinvesting provides another avenue for African-American leaders to empower the community through politics and economics. Crowdinvesting provides an element of both social engagement and capital aggregation for the community using social media and the platform.

Black Professionals as Investors

As I input the data of the immense number of Black professional organizations the thought came to me that for the price of a single cup of coffee per month these organizations have the ability, through crowdfunding, to raise $5 million monthly to finance the incredible work these organizations are doing. When put into proper context is, a single cup of coffee a month a large sacrifice, when we observe the many sacrifices our ancestors made for us to be able to access an education or the right to vote?   

Due to the strict levels of segregation and discrimination in the United States black professionals were forced to create their own associations. Today these associations of black professionals may just be the segmented crowds needed to bring crowdinvesting to African-American communities as a political and economic empowerment tool. The crowds are already formed now it is all about the messaging that will be able to engage and excite these crowds to constructive action.  

Conclusion

If we raised $5 per month from 1 million black professionals to support their organizations on a rotating basis that would be $5 million monthly that would support the black professional organizations and help them prosper and carry out their missions. As these groups became more and more familiar with crowdfunding they would be able to move to Buy The Block and begin the process of crowdinvesting.

If these same 1 million Black professionals invested $100 the minimum for an investment on Buy the Block monthly through a dollar cost averaging process that would be $100 million monthly invested in real estate development and  entrepreneurship in inner-cities with a estimated 10 percent return on investment we would achieve economic empowerment, increased real estate development, accelerated entrepreneurship and job creation.

Join The Movement

 

The Reality of Life in An Urban Food Desert

Introduction 

People living in food deserts also find it difficult to locate foods that are culturally appropriate for them, and dietary restrictions, such as lactose intolerance, gluten allergies, etc., also limit the food choices of those who do not have access to larger chain stores that have more selection. Additionally, studies have found that urban residents who purchase groceries at small neighborhood stores pay between 3 and 37 percent more than suburbanites buying the same products at supermarkets.

The High Cost of Being Poor

Healthier foods are generally more expensive than unhealthful foods, particularly in food deserts. For instance, while the overall price of fruits and vegetables in the US increased by nearly 75 percent between 1989 and 2005, the price of fatty foods dropped by more than 26 percent during the same period. While such inflation has strained the food budgets of many families regardless of their financial status, the higher cost of healthy foods often puts them entirely beyond the monetary means of many lower-income people.

The Consequence of Cheap Food

While unhealthy eating may be economically cheaper in the short-term, the consequences of long-term constrained access to healthy foods is one of the main reasons that ethnic minority and low-income populations suffer from statistically higher rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other diet-related conditions than the general population. Whatever their age, obesity puts people at a greater risk for serious, even fatal health disorders particularly coronary heart disease and diabetes,] the first and seventh leading causes of death in the US respectively.

Shining a Light on Food Deserts

Public awareness of the formidable problems posed by food deserts is growing, thanks largely to the efforts of community activists, entrepreneurs and government officials committed to increasing people’s access to healthy food options. Million investment from the government focused on providing tax breaks to supermarkets that open in food deserts.  Many urban areas are also implementing initiatives locally to solve their food desert challenges.

Food Deserts are Real in Chicago

In Chicago more than 500,000 residents mostly African-American live in food deserts, and an additional 400,000 live in neighborhoods with a preponderance of fast food restaurants and no grocery stores nearby.  Some food justice activists have sought to close this gap by opening food co-ops in under served areas where supermarkets have historically been unsuccessful. In addition to selling fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, bulk whole grains and beans, and soy-based meat substitutes, some of these stores also offer cooking and nutrition classes to educate the public about making healthy food choices.

The Roots & Vine Solution

Roots & Vine Produce and Café Inc., is a start-up aiming to revolutionize the convenience store concept.  “Connecting Farmers To People & Reconnecting People With Real Food.” Their core mission is to target and eliminate food deserts in blighted neighborhoods, create jobs for the communities They serve as well as specialized franchise opportunities. They are dedicated to building relationships with family farmers nationwide to supply our locations, that will increase their bottom line and provide Roots & Vine Produce and Cafés with the best quality produce available.

They are offering communal space alongside the store gives each location the possibility to connect with people of the community, host workshops, classes, food demos and healthy dialogue with customers to introduce to them healthier food options, recipes and solutions to reduce food related illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Takeaway

Please visit Roots and Vines offer as they sprout up in food deserts across the country and will quickly make the new startup a household name. Inserting themselves into blighted communities and providing fresh produce, bulk dry goods and essentials in areas that need it most and creating new markets for Black farmers.  

Crowd Investing Through The Black Church

The Black Church as Catalyst Wealth Creation

As I was conducting research for this article I found many people that have written in the negative about the Black Church and its relationship to the poor Black community that supports it financially. The Black Church is big business, whether one likes to admit it or not this is a simple fact. The church like any other organization must operate along sound business principles or risk becoming insolvent. LiveSteez research shows that Black churches, in aggregate, have collected more than $420 billion in tithes and donations since 1980.

That figure is staggering when analyzed alongside demographic data about concentrated poverty, low home ownership, low  business ownership, access to capital for businesses, and almost zero in accumulated wealth in the Black community. Annually Black Churches rack in over $14 billion tax-free, yet this demographic data has grown worse as time moves forward into the future. I live in a Black neighborhood and I see is a church on every corner (sometimes 3-4 per block), a liquor store, and businesses that aren’t owned by Blacks and these business plague our communities.

The majority of people that lie in the Black community don’t owns the place where they reside. This data in comparison to the amount of money that flows into the Black church annually has brought me to this reality as a Black crowd investment consultant that was raised in the Black church. My goal is to help the people in my community build wealth and community equity using Regulation Crowdfunding and impact investing. The Black Church must play a significant role in making this goal a reality.

The Black Church as an Economic Center

So, before this becomes another article on how corrupt the Black church has become let me state for the record I strongly believe that the Black church as an entity has a substantial role to play in community economic development through the creation of Black-owned businesses, increasing home ownership, developing inner-city commercial real estate, and increasing Black wealth. Why do I believe this, first because I have met and spoken in depth with Black Pastors that care deeply for their communities and their people, but don’t have any workable solutions to drive economic development forward.

Second, there are much easier ways for people to make a living than pastoring inner-city churches that were devastated by the “Great Recession” and are struggling to keep their doors open for members. The Black church provides hope and direction for tens of millions of Black people in the 120 largest urban centers. The people are there and the funds are there, so let’s bring the crowd and the investment capital together through Regulation Crowdfunding platforms like Buy the Block and begin the process of Investing Black.

Black Churches and Black Investment

I urge all inner-city Black churches to use this unique opportunity to redirect the fortunes of their community. Rethinking the inner-city in economic and social terms will be uncomfortable for those who have devoted years to only social causes and who view profit and business in general with suspicion. The private sector, government, inner city residents, and community based organizations all have vital new parts to play in revitalizing the economy of the inner-city using Regulation Crowdfunding. The African-American Church, business people, entrepreneurs, and investors must assume a lead role and community activists, social service providers, and government bureaucrats must support them in our goal to transform these communities using market principles.

Takeaways

When such Black church-based developments takes place in low-income neighborhoods, they will increase property values, attract new residents and become magnets for diverse businesses and better-paying jobs. Church-based business enterprises will help rebuild the community’s social infrastructure and provide such much-needed values-based services as child care, youth development, elder care and substance abuse counseling along with other economic drivers. These activities tend to lead to improved schools, better public safety and an enhanced quality-of-life. From this type of community economic development, everyone—those living in the area and those in surrounding communities—benefits.

 

The Dearth of Black Farmers

Introduction 

Today in Illinois there are only 59 farms owned and operated by by African-Americans across the state, down from 123 in 1997, according to newly revised figures from a 2002 census. As farming has become a big business, it has become one of the least diverse businesses around. Whites operate more than 72,000 Illinois farms, Hispanics 488 and those of other ethnicity 219 combined.

The Rapidly Disappearing Black Farmer

In 1920, Illinois had 892 black farmers, and African-Americans owned 14 percent of the nation’s farmland. Now they hold less than 1 percent. The same pressure to consolidate that has reduced the ranks of farmers for the past century is making any turnaround unlikely. The number of black farmers in Illinois, currently less than one in 1,000, appears destined to eventually hit zero.

The numbers are dwindling across much of the Midwest, according to the Agriculture Department census, which was updated in April. Iowa has 31 black farmers, down from 40 in 1997. Indiana has 55, down from 61. Several states, such as North Dakota, list no black farmers at all. A few states reported small gains, but the numbers are tiny across the region.

Understanding the History of The Black Farmer

The scarcity of African-American farmers stems from a troubled history as well. Racial discrimination played a big role in driving blacks off their land in southern states. During the Great Migration that began with World War I, blacks moved north for jobs in industrial cities, not the hinterlands.

For sharecroppers, farming was associated with the poverty and backbreaking labor of slavery. For those who owned land, unequal treatment made it difficult to retain the property and earn a living. The Agriculture Department acknowledged that it had abused black farmers for generations. USDA agents approved only a fraction of financing requests, delayed loans until after the planting season and withheld other key payments.

Why is this Important to You

Why does any of this information matter to the most urbanized people in the world. Well it matter on many levels and we are going to explore some of these in this post. Today in most inner-city African-American communities are what the USDA classify as “Urban Food Deserts”. These urban food deserts have similar characteristics: Food deserts can be described as geographic areas where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent due to the absence of grocery stores within convenient travelling distance.   

The Economics of Urban Food Deserts

Economic forces have driven grocery stores out of many cities in recent years, making them so few and far between that an individual’s food shopping trip may require taking several buses or trains. In suburban and rural areas, public transportation is either very limited or unavailable, with supermarkets often many miles away from people’s homes.

What are Urban Food Deserts

The other defining characteristic of food deserts is socio-economic: that is, they are most commonly found in communities of color and low-income areas (where many people don’t have cars). Studies have found that wealthy districts have three times as many supermarkets as poor ones, and that white neighborhoods contain an average of four times as many supermarkets as predominantly black ones do, and that grocery stores in African-American communities are usually smaller with less selection.

People’s choices about what to eat are severely limited by the options available to them and what they can afford—and many food deserts contain an overabundance of fast food chains selling cheap “meat” and dairy-based foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt. Processed foods such as snack cakes, chips and soda typically sold by corner delis, convenience stores and liquor stores are usually just as unhealthy.

Urban Crowdinvesting and Entrepreneurship

Crowdinvesting has the ability to close the African-American urban-rural divide by allowing inner-city entrepreneurs to create local food stores that are able to provide healthy food choices to people living in urban food deserts and it opens new markets to the dying Black farmer.  

Roots & Vine Produce and Café is a unique and innovative new concept that is actively pursuing solutions to social justice, food justice and Black farmer issues from both the supply and demand side by creating a brand that addresses the needs of both of these groups of Black people using market based strategies that will create jobs, revenue, health and wealth for both inner-city urban food desert dwellers and the rapidly disappearing Black Farmer.

Takeaway

Please visit Roots and Vines offer as they sprout up in food deserts across the country and will quickly make the new startup a household name. Inserting themselves into blighted communities and providing fresh produce, bulk dry goods and essentials in areas that need it most and creating new markets for Black farmers.  

Invest in the First Black Woman-Owned Cafe & Farmers Market Franchise That Will Be Owned by the Community

Nationwide — Roots & Vine Produce and Café, spearheaded by Ena Jones, a single mother of 3, born and raised in Chicago, has set its Grand Opening for this fall 2018 on Chicago’s South Side in the Morgan Park Community. The plan is to create a Wi-Fi friendly café with a healthy menu, coffee, smoothies, and juices as well as tempting pastries.

Their in-house farmers market, supplied with fresh produce and bulk dry goods, are grown from black farmers nationwide. The company aspires to be a low cost and cashless grocery chain at the convenience store level to help eliminate food deserts across the country.

With nearly a quarter of the American population living in a food desert, access to fresh and healthy produce is crucial in the battle to reduce diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and other food-related illnesses in our families. Stop by to join in healthy discussions with their #GreenTableTalks, food demos and workshops; as they create jobs and unique franchise opportunities for people of the community.

#GreeTableTalk

Roots & Vine is a solution looking for investors. There is an opportunity to join their mission and invest at BuyTheBlock.com, with as little as $100. You can look at their offering and truly encourage the community, family and friends to live a healthy life. The momentum of Roots & Vine Produce and Café as they sprout up to bring water to food deserts across the country will quickly make the new startup a household name.

This startup is dedicated to addressing the problem of urban food deserts and revitalizing blighted communities. Connecting farmers directly with consumers and employing community residents, Roots & Vine aims to strengthen communities in several ways:

#1 – Offering fresh produce and bulk dry goods at the convenience store level.
#2 – Providing Farmers an economic opportunity to market their products in every store.
#3 – Providing local employment opportunities in serving communities.
#4 – Providing Communal Space in a daily open, free Wi-Fi café.
#5 – The café will offer food demos, workshops, and education on nutrition and meal planning that will enable those of the community to take control of their own health.

About the founder

Ena Jones is a caterer and seasoned entrepreneur with twenty years of experience and counting. She is also a self-published writer & owner of Everyday Butterfly Home Spa Collection, a self-care product line of 100% natural and organic ingredients.

Notes for Editors: Invest in their effort and bring water to the desert, visit their Buy the Block page at https://buytheblock.com/campaign/connecting-farmers-to-people-reconnecting-people-to-real-food

PRESS CONTACT:
Ena Jones
Roots & Vine Produce and Café Inc.
773-979-0199
EJones@RootsAndVineInc.com

Posted on October 6, 2018 By Staff With 0 comments

3 Reasons Why Black People Should Take Back The Beauty Industry

Barbershops and beauty parlors are often focal points for entire communities. They’re part beauty parlor, part gathering place, and all about the community.

That’s why we’re proud to announce an effort to fund and open twelve beauty parlors and nail salons in 28 months.

An Ideal Investment

Beauty parlors and nail salons represent ideal investment opportunities for underserved in a number of ways.

  1. The overall financial commitment is relatively small. Nail salons don’t require the massive floor space or expensive equipment of a factory. They don’t have the low margins or spoilage found in restaurants and food stores. They’re easier to fund and easier to get off the ground.
  2. They serve a broad niche. Everyone wants to look good. We can talk all we want about looks not being all this or all that but at the end of the day, everyone wants to look good. That means the base of potential customers is a large one. If a nail salon opens in a community that isn’t already being served by one, its chances of success are quite high.
  3. They’re an investment in the community. Nail salons don’t ship overseas. They don’t hire workers from outside the community. They quite literally function to make people in the community feel better about themselves. That works on a micro level with their customers, but they will employ members of the community who will spend their wages at other businesses in the community and the entire community profits.

An Ideal Entrepreneurship Opportunity

Those same factors make nail salons an outstanding entrepreneurship opportunity, so we’re looking for entrepreneurs in underserved communities to step up and make a difference.

We’re looking for hard-working people of good character who are dedicated to making their communities a better place. With our help, we think you can make a real difference for real people.

We’re offering some training and other assistance that we think can really make the difference for the right candidate. That includes an e-book with information on budgeting, dealing with suppliers, marketing, and more.

On top of that, we’ve got in-house experts who can help you with crowd-investing strategies and tactics that will help your project full fund a quickly as possible.

Be the Change

If you want to change your life while transforming your community, this is your opportunity. They always say that the best social program is a job, and they aren’t wrong, but the always neglect to mention who does the hiring.

Here’s your chance to do the hiring. Here’s your chance to build on the strength of your neighborhood to make that neighborhood even stronger.

Businesses that are owned by community residents and which employ community residents make the community just that much stronger and more cohesive. Invest in your neighbors. Invest in yourself. Change the world—one neighborhood at a time. Join the movement!   https://buytheblock.com/campaign/oh-so-polished-beauty-lounge

Posted on October 4, 2018 By Staff With 0 comments

The Benefits of Crowdinvesting

Raise capital from your customers, so now your customers are owners!

Crowdinvesting is a way to connect with the people. It provides a platform predicated on neighborhood and community among residents, business owners and real estate developers. By allowing customers and community residents to invest in a companies and developments focused on bettering their lived experiences, entrepreneurs and real estate developers are providing opportunity for residents to literally take ownership of their futures. This is a win-win situation and an immense benefit of crowdinvesting.  

Crowdinvesting provides a new opportunity!

Professors, politicians, and community activist have touted the value of black people taking  all the money we spend on clothes, shoes, and hair, and put it into investing or starting a business. Well, it would be impossible to take all of our money and invest it businesses or real estate, but we can set aside a portion of our dollars to invest in the people that desire to start a business or develop real estate and that have the required temperament and skills to be an entrepreneur or real estate developer and invest in them. Crowdinvesting provides investment opportunities that have never in our history in America existed!  

Crowdinvesting is the answer to raising capital and marketing your business!

The U.S. rate of entrepreneurship has declined over the past 30 years, entrepreneurial activity in the African American community has increased. The problem is access to capital. Black entrepreneurs start businesses, but—often—do not have access to the capital necessary to market and grow those businesses over time. Data from the 2015 Survey of Business Owners shows that the number of businesses majority-owned by Black women grew 67 percent between 2007 and 2012, compared to 27 percent for all women and 13 percent for White women. Nielsen quantifies that growth at 1.5 million Black woman majority-owned businesses as of 2015. Crowdinvesting provides a platform for these black women to share the risk and reward of entrepreneurship with their community as investors and consumers.

Crowdinvesting Empowers the Black Community

Crowdinvesting has the potential to  unleashing $1.3 trillion in black buying power to fund black businesses and real-estate projects and it is one of the greatest wealth building opportunities ever made available to the African American community. But none of this will come to fruition without us taking action on the opportunities that crowdinvesting have brought to the table in our community.

African Americans have historically been frozen out of wealth building opportunities necessary to build generational wealth. Usually, when wealth building opportunities have been made available, it was only after other communities had access. This makes crowdinvesting singularly unique in African American history. Crowdinvesting allows black investors and entrepreneurs to have access from the beginning and can share in the economic gains made by startups growing and hiring. Black consumers—trendsetters—can use their dollars and influential platform to select which products, services, and solutions get funded from the beginning.

Takeaway

Crowdinvesting is a great opportunity to both support local business and build livable communities. It provides an opportunity for small businesses, the ones that have the hardest time finding funding, to get investments from those likely to patronize them: local residents. It puts business owners in a place to create a different narrative about their business and who they serve, while allowing them to focus their marketing and fundraising effort in a concentrated area, saving time and money.

Goldman Sachs estimates that crowdinvesting has the potential to be a $1.2 trillion industry. For diverse founders, crowdinvesting can be a game changer for companies and real estate developers seeking investment. It’s a wealth-building opportunity for investors previously restricted from investing in startups.

 

Join the Movement!

The Value of Blogging for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

Introduction

Blogging is a great tool to connect and share information with your crowd on a regular basis. By a regular basis, I mean that they can expect to read a new blog post every Friday at 1:00 pm Eastern Time. Never has it been easier to share your experience and expertise in such a direct and concise manner. Writing a blog is a perfect platform to strengthen the connection between you as a professional and your audience, customers, and colleagues. Besides the obvious benefits for a business such as driving traffic to your website and SEO, there are many reasons why blogging is essential to every crowdfunding campaign during the prelaunch period.

Audience Connection

Blogging provides a great way to connect with your audience and help them to get to know you and what your campaign is about and how your product can impact their lives. This helps to build trust, as you become a source of expertise in your field. Consumers like to be informed, and appreciate any knowledge that can be shared with them in a quick and time effective manner. Blogging is also a great platform to receive feedback and engage in dialogue with your customers and audience, helping both you and your audience grow.

Demonstrating Thought Leadership

The best blogs share expertise that is concise and extremely informative. If you have an expert opinion and product for crowdfunding, a blog is a great way to expose your views to the world. When you consistently create content that’s helpful for your audience, it establishes you as an authority in your field. Once you are seen as an authority clients will come to you for all their needs related to your niche and learn more about your product in the case of a crowdfunding campaign. Your blog is a powerful tool to add value to their lives and build trust between you and your audience for your the future launch of your crowdfunding campaign.

Reaching New Customer for your Campaign

Writing blogs is a great way to reach new customers. Potential customers will stumble upon your blog and get an insight into what you and your crowdfunding campaign are all about, and the value you can provide. A blog can easily be shared through social media, quickly exposing your knowledge to the world. Linking back to your website is an obvious way to get new customers to link back to you potentially opening you up to a new relationship with them.

Takeaway

Blogging is a tool like many others that it is used for marketing, but it is more than that because people can look to you as being knowledgeable about the information that you blog about. The importance of blogging for a crowdfunding campaign cannot be stressed enough in today’s marketplace. Along with the other tools that are available such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, incorporating a blog site that gives your audience information that is useful will help you have your crowdfunding campaign growing in no time.

Black Man Is Building Vodka Distillery, Restaurant, Bar and Invites Black Community to Join in as Investors!

A true renaissance businessman located in Fort Lauderdale with deep ties to professional sports and entertainment, spirits industry veteran Victor G. Harvey plans to build a 5000 square foot building housing offices, a distillery and restaurant with tasting room in Flagler Village. Construction is anticipated to begin early next year. The successful entrepreneur’s Victor George Spirits Vodka, already a favorite in South Florida, will launch statewide and hit the Atlanta, Georgia market in early 2019.

Victor George is working with Buy The Block, an industry leader in crowd funding to assist with the expansion of the brand. More information regarding this opportunity can be found at: https://buytheblock.com/campaign/creating-the-worlds-first-black-liquor-company-one-bottle-at-a-time A Victor George distillery may make the brand a one of a kind African American owned spirits company, truly historic.

Victor G. Harvey walked into Ohio’s Bowling Green State University as a NCAA Division 1 basketball player and in 1990 he walked out with a business degree and immediately went into the investment business earning his business license as a financial planner. He bought no bling or toys with his money and at 23 years old invested in his first real estate project. While in college Harvey also developed as a rap artist and in 1993 he plowed some real estate profits into creating his own record label, Educated Records in Miami, Florida. In 1996, Harvey’s hit record “The Rise, The Fall, The Rise,” which he produced and performed on under the stage name Tai-Pan, made him one of the top independent record label owners of that time.

Harvey also had the hit single “Can’t Stop It,” that was popular throughout Florida. Always looking for opportunities to climb higher in the investment field, Victor G. Harvey bought his first hotel during 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. He later sold the hotel and focused on investment opportunities in Miami where he acquired several commercial properties for development. However, in 2007 the bubble burst and the market crashed. Harvey says “ we got out with minimal loss and started our first liquor brand V Georgio Vodka, which became one of the fastest growing vodka brands in Florida history.”

The Victor George Spirits site in Fort Lauderdale’s historic Flagler Village will represent a significant job creation venue through construction and ongoing operations with some training opportunities. The company plans to focus on veteran and minority training and hiring, including women at all levels. “I am very excited to begin the next stages for the Victor George brand,” said CEO Victor G. Harvey, Sr. “Over the next few weeks, we will accelerate our proven business strategy to increase awareness and sales in our key markets,” he said, “and anticipate making significant announcements regarding growth opportunities including marketing initiatives and celebrity partnerships and distribution deals, including international sales.”

Rendering of proposed Victor George Spirits Flagler Village site Photo of Victor George spirits CEO, Victor G. Harvey, Sr.

 

 

 

 

Posted on August 28, 2018 By Staff With 0 comments

The Oldest Black-Owned Restaurant in the U.S. — In Business For More Than 100 Years!

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner in Marianna, Arkansas is believed to be the oldest Black-owned restaurant in the country. Currently owned by James Jones and his wife Betty, the diner has been open since at least 1910 and is still widely known for serving the best barbecue pork with a secret sauce. James’ grandfather, Walter Jones, was the founder and first pitmaster.

From humble beginnings

When Walter started the restaurant, he reportedly lived in a nearby dogtrot house. And from his back porch, he served barbecue on Fridays and Saturdays.

Hubert Jones, Walter’s son and James’ dad, said the family’s initial barbecue set-up was “a hole in the ground, some iron pipes and a piece of fence wire, and two pieces of tin.”

Remaining true to it’s roots

As the oldest African-American-owned restaurant in America, having been around for several generations, the diner remains true to it’s roots. James tends the pits, and his cooking apparatus is still elemental. And the pork shoulder, hacked into savory bits and served on white bread with a spritz of vinegary sauce, is as smoky as ever.

Located not too far from the Mississippi River, Jones Bar-B-Q Diner continues to shine as a beacon of community pride and continuity.

Finally getting national attention

In 2012, the restaurant was honored by the James Beard Foundation (the Oscars of the food industry) for it’s “timeless appeal” and a quality of food “that reflects the character of their community.”

The diner has also been featured in several high profile publications in the South including Saveur, The Oxford American, and Southern Foodways.

Follow the restaurant on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JonesBarBQDiner/ or visit their location at 219 W Louisiana Street, Marianna, Arkansas 72360.

https://youtu.be/e1DBINabAng

Source: http://blog.blackbusiness.org/2018/06/jones-bar-b-q-diner-oldest-black-owned-restaurant-marianna-arkansas.html#.W4QXP-hKhPY

Posted on August 27, 2018 By Staff With 0 comments

Thanks to These 56 Black-Owned Companies That Offer Shared Co-Working Office Spaces, You Don’t Need Your Own Office Anymore!

 

All in all, there are at least 56 Black-owned businesses that offer shared co-working office spaces in urban communities around the country. Their goal, according to Motherboard is to “provide more than conference rooms, Wi-Fi, and limitless coffee.” Instead, “they are built to give black entrepreneurs a safe space to find themselves in the work of innovation where they have largely been excluded.”

Real-estate centric coworking spaces are about selling desks first, with building community as a secondary goal. Owners of such services usually target freelance professionals, remote workers, and small to medium enterprises who need a space and seek a community with a collaborative spirit.

Here are just 5 of the many Black-owned ones that exist:

#1 – Black Space NYC: Based in New York City, this a collective of young, Black changemakers, systems thinkers, learners, and lovers. By bridging the gaps between policy, people, and place, their platform allows for the greater understanding, access, and cooperation needed to address inequality and injustice.

#2 – Inclusive Innovation Incubator: Based in Washington, DC, this is the first Black-owned community space focused on inclusion, innovation and incubation. The incubator is committed to creating a collaborative environment where under-resourced members have access to the space and services needed to build or grow a successful business.

#3 – Space Called Tribe: Based in Miami, Florida, this is a Black-owned collaborative shared office/co-working space that also houses an urban innovation lab for under served high growth minority entrepreneurs.

#4 – Vector 90: Based in Los Angeles, California, this is a Black-owned hyper-modern industrial-style space with hot desks, a kitchen, and private conference rooms. They give their members the freedom to build their plans from the ground up.

#5 – The Gathering Spot: Based in Atlanta, Georgia, this Black-owned co-working space serves as a hub of diverse collaboration, connections and experiences uniquely positioned to build the future of what community looks like. Frustrated with an inability to find “space and community”, the two founders came up a concept that would “gather” people from all walks of life under one roof with a unique mix of activities.

For the full list of all the Black-owned co-working office spaces, visit:
www.medium.com/theplug/an-almost-comprehensive-list-of-black-owned-co-working-spaces-70c5d086f9ec

Source: http://blog.blackbusiness.org/2018/08/black-owned-companies-offering-shared-coworking-office-spaces.html#.W3WNOOhKhPY

Posted on August 16, 2018 By Staff With 0 comments

Rappers Jay-Z, Nas and Snoop Invest In Free Cryptocurrency & Stock-Trading App

What do Jay-Z, Nasir Jones (also known as Nas), and Snoop Dogg have in common? Aside from being Black Americans, being successful music stars, and having big bank accounts, they are co-investors in the free stock trading app called Robinhood.

Jay-Z’s new venture capital firm Arrive just announced that he will be investing in Robinhood, a free stock trading platform. Jay-Z will be joining Nas and Snoop Dogg who were its big-time backers since 2014.

From its launch in 2013, Robinhood has currently accumulated over 3 million users and is valued at about $1.3 billion.

Last January, the trading service company also announced about Robinhood Crypto which would allow users to trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Etherium. Through the app, users can build their portfolios and test the cryptocurrency markets without having to deal with fees or middlemen.

Arrive was launched in early 2017 with the goal to help start-ups with branding, business development, advisory, and capital services to increase growth. It has previously invested in Devialet, a French audio technology company, and InSite Applications, an upcoming location-sharing service.

For more information about the Robinhood app, visit www.robinhood.com

Source

Posted on February 26, 2018 By Staff With 0 comments

Black-Female Serial Entrepreneur Raises over $110 Thousand Through Crowd Investing To Create The first Black-owned Real Estate Crowd Investing Platform In The United States

The JOBS Act of 2012

Crowd investing is being made possible by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, a law intended to encourage funding of small businesses and real estate development in the United States by easing many of the country’s securities regulations. It passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 5, 2012.  

Crowd Investing for Everyone

On May 16th, 2016 Title III, the regulation crowdfunding act went into effect and the floodgates of capital aggregation have been open to the Black community for the first time in History.  Rodney Sampson, an entrepreneur, educator, and journalist calls “Title III Regulation Crowdfunding the single most important legislation for African-Americans since the Emancipation Proclamation!”

Buy The Block

Crowd investing through Buy The Block allows community members to invest in businesses, residential and commercial real estate with their community peers to build a self-sustained business/investment ecosystem for disenfranchised communities and neighborhoods to build community equity and personal wealth. Buy the Block is the first foray for the Black community into the multibillion-dollar global real estate crowd investing industry as an owner.

Why Crowd Investing

Businesses new and old, small, and large, are now incorporating crowd investing to change the paradigm of urban economic development.  The capital formation playbooks have changed under the weight of the rising tide of “crowd capitalism”. The interest in how to effectively implement crowd investing to is reaching new and dizzying heights every day and Buy the Block is at the forefront of this innovation.

Funding “Black Girl Magic” Through Nail Spas

According to Nielsen Black women have experienced steady growth in income, population, and educational attainment, according to the study. Between 2007 and 2012, Black female entrepreneurs have grown by 67 percent. In education, 64 percent of Black women graduating from high school go straight to college, while 23 percent over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. But On average, black female-led startups raise just $36,000 of outside funding which amounts to 1 percent of VC funding.

Buy The Block intends to transform the relationship between Black female entrepreneurs and access to capital through with their Nail Spa Initiative. Buy The Block is on a mission to fund 12 Black-owned nail spas over the next 12-24 months including the commercial real estate where the spas sit.   

Why does CrowdInvesting matter in this market?

Many inner-city Black communities are retail and food deserts, which means that they lack access to some of the most basic necessities in their communities. These communities have very low Black-owned retail businesses and own even less commercial real estate. Black homeownership is at its lowest level since the 1960’s fair housing laws were enacted, and even though Black start businesses at a high level over 75 percent of them are undercapitalized. The best thing about CrowdInvesting with Buy The Block is that it focuses on solving issues on the inner-city market and allow people to become investors for just $100.  

If you want to find out more about CrowdInvesting or you want to support the 12 Nails Spas initiative, just visit Buy The Block to find all the details and information needed to bring our community project to reality!

JOIN THE MOVEMENT!

Did you join the movement? 

www.buytheblock.com 

Posted on December 13, 2017 By Staff With 0 comments

Join The Celebration October 30 is National Dashiki Day!

14492405_1268861609843135_5208595518636788890_nNational Dashiki Day

Oct. 30 is National Dashiki Day — a day of cultural celebration to the colorful garment that was adopted by African-Americans in the 1960s and 1970s as a symbol of pride, awareness, independence, and power. Although the loose-fitting pullover garment traces its roots to West Africa, it found a place in America during the post-civil rights era of the late 1960s during the black power movement.

National Dashiki Day takes place on Oct. 30, 2017, where it is referenced across the internet, including 10000’s of mentions on Twitter. Facebook & Instagram.

To join in, all you have to do it wear your Dashiki on October 30,  and make sure you join the parties in every city participating in this beautiful festival.  Muslim, Christian, Jew, black, white, red, brown or blue. Whatever or Whoever you are-Stand-Up and Stand-Out against hatred, racism and spiritual persecution! Gather your neighbors, friends, relatives, co-workers and participate in the National Dashiki Day. Wear yours to work, shopping or school. Anywhere and everywhere! Get creative! Host the˜best dashiki’ contest. Get the kids involved! Then post your pics on all over social media and on the net.
Do you need a Dashiki but don’t know where to find one? Check out Lakay Designs, they specialize in everything African Inspired. Don’t forget to support Black Businesses in the process, Lakay Designs is one.
#NationalDashikiDay

October 30, 2017

More info on Dashiki Day can be found on the Wiki page for Dashiki, or on social media  ‘About National Dashiki Day,’ via Twitter & Instagram, use ‘#DashikiDay,’ “#NationalDashikiDay.

Posted on October 4, 2017 By Staff With 3 comments

After Waiting 8 Years, Black-Owned Company Finally Wins $700 Million Contract to Redevelop South Central LA Community

Quintin E. Primo III, CEO of Capri Investment Group

A $700 million project to redevelop a neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles has been approved by The Los Angeles Planning Commission. The proposal was made by Black-owned Capri Investment Group, headquartered in Chicago, and includes homes for low-income earners and an expanded and revitalized shopping mall.

Chairman and CEO of Capri, Quintin E. Primo III, has been waiting for approval for 8 years. After final approval from the Los Angeles City Council, he can begin his master plan which includes 961 condos and apartments, a new 400-room hotel, a 10-story office building, retail stores, and restaurants. By tripling the plaza’s size to over 3 million square feet, the new complex will provide additional retail/restaurant services and replace surface parking with new housing conveniently located near public transit.

More housing and jobs coming to South Central LA

Some initially had concerns that the new complex would hurt black residents from nearby areas with limited financial resources. However, according to Luci Ibarra, a senior city planner with the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, no one would be directly displaced by the redevelopment project because there are no homes currently at the site. In fact, the project will result in more, affordable housing and better housing choices for low-income residents.

In addition, 25 percent of all jobs created during construction and operation of the expanded plaza will be offered to local residents, resulting in more jobs, more housing, and a better place for people to live, work and enjoy a good quality of life.

Making history

The $700 million investment by Capri is the first time that amount of private commercial capital has been invested in South Los Angeles. Primo is very optimistic about the value it will add to South Central Los Angeles, adding, “While there still is a governmental and community process to be completed for this large, complex and socially impactful investment, we believe its redevelopment holds the potential to become the new City Center for South Los Angeles, a chronically underserved minority area.”

Stores and businesses that will remain and continue to operate include the 15- theater Cineplex, anchor stores Macy’s and Sears, and all other retailers at the mall. Final approval by City Council is expected to be attained later this year.

For more details about Capri Investment Group, visit www.capri.global

Source

Posted on October 4, 2017 By Staff With 1 comment

Program Is Showing the Black Community how to ‘Buy Back the Block’– One Investment at a Time

Lynn the Founder of Buy The Block

Lynn, Founder of Buy The Block — Program Is Showing the Black Community how to ‘Buy Back the Block’s One Investment at a Time

MEMBERS OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY RALLY TOGETHER TO ‘BUY BACK THE BLOCK’– ONE INVESTMENT AT A TIME

Following the successful creation of ‘Buy The Block’ as well as the passionate contribution of the community towards ensuring that the movement’s goal of raising the sum of $100,000+ is reached.  Lynn is thrilled to announce the highly anticipated launch of their new one-stop online crowd investing real estate investment platform,  2017.

Even though we are not yet there, it is heart-warming to see black people across the U.S., unite as one to embrace and support this unique concept via their continued contribution. With their help, we’ve been able to raise almost $109,000+ an amount we are devoting towards the development of our website, app and buying our first block” said Lynn, CEO at ‘Buy The Block’. In the coming months, contributors will be taking advantage of some excellent features that will take everyone by storm. These unique offerings will be targeting the existing state of affairs and bringing a breath of fresh air to the industry.

Suffice it to say that ‘Buy The Block’ aim to lead sponsors and developers in a significant number of investor’s projects if not all. This major factor in their operation distinguishes them from other crowd investing platforms.  While loads of their competitors only handle third-party sponsored projects and front as mediators through the provision of technology to execute funding for outsourcing deal. Buy The Block has been able to carve a niche for itself by putting their money where their mouth is and spearheading their project development with the help of their in-house Block Development Success Managers.

Doing this has helped us to reduce risks to the barest minimum and increase investors’ returns. Furthermore, through the creation of a personalized portal per investor, we furnish each of them with frequent real-time investment updates.  Our process will help us to earn their confidence without hassles.”  With a team of sound and highly respected professionals, Buy The Block is on a mission to change the face of crowd investing real estate. By keeping each investor informed through the provision of regular updates, the company continues to endear itself into the heart of investors.

“We have a blueprint of what works, and it will produce results. We are here to stay and lead the way by making real investing easier than ever” Lynn concluded.  Buy The Block was live on Saturday, June 17th, 2017 (Juneteenth)! Visit our Facebook page for more details.

Buy The Block goal was 500 members, we now have 450+!  Way to go!

Join The Movement

###

Contact:
Buy The Block
Email: info@buytheblock.com
URL: https://www.buytheblock.com

Posted on February 23, 2017 By Staff With 73 comments

The #1 Financial Principle YOU MUST KNOW

The #1 Financial Principle YOU MUST KNOW

 

Financial literacy is not just about knowing how to save your money.

Anybody can do that.

Financial literacy is about knowing how to — USE money.

Look, we know that the average White family in the U.S. has 13 times more wealth than the average Black family1 with Whites at $144,200 compared with Blacks at $11,200.

The income of the average educated Black income is $43,300. For Whites, its, $71,300.

Do not be confused by the difference in wealth and income.

Wealth is the total sum of your assets (things you own with value i.e. houses, businesses, stocks) MINUS your total debt.

Annual Income is merely the amount of money you make in a year.

Of course, most of that wealth gap can be attributed to historical racial oppression:

The long history of Black exclusion by Whites from homeownership2, education3, and jobs4 worked to keep Black folks from generating and maintaining wealth.

But you knew the wealth gap existed before you read this.

That’s not why I’m here.

I’m here to tell you that real financial literacy is about knowing how to — USE money & how to THINK with money. It’s using your money like little soldiers, sending your dollars out on a mission to recruit and capture more dollars.

Let me let you in on an often forgotten secret…

Black people save.

Black people are responsible.

Black people are tremendously intelligent.

The problem is not that we don’t know how to save money or that we only care about Jordans’.

The problem is that saving is not enough.

Saving is only one aspect of financial literacy.

It’s like you’re learning to read and write again- you finally learn where the Period goes in the sentence…Good. But there are key principles that you still need to know in order to actually become literate.

I want to share with you the # 1 key financial principle that you must know. It’s time to learn the rules of money. I’m so grateful someone shared the game with me back when I thought that if I just play by the rules, get my Master’s degree, then I’ll be alright.

SMH.

Back when I didn’t understand the Rules of Money, I found myself standing in the EBT line like so many of our people. I was demoralized… I mean, I never went to jail, I got an education, a Master’s, networked, treated people nicely….

 

I never knew The System was not built to reward Black people for being educated and hardworking. The system was built for people who know and play well by the Rules of Money.

 

Like it or not.

 

That’s why I’m sharing this with you.

Still though, I hear too many people talking about how Black folks will never be able to overcome the wealth gap, how Whites will destroy whatever Black people build, or how there is nothing Black people can do to live better if government does not intervene. It’s infuriating to me.

The problem: These naysayers are often right.

However, this Does Not Mean that Black people should be doing NOTHING but marching.

Why? Because there ARE ways to GENERATE WEALTH for the average Black family if we understand the Rules of Money.

White folks are not stopping you from reading this. They will not stop you from investing, either.

You have tremendous Power.

If you start with the #1 financial principle, you can enhance what you know and generate wealth for yourself and our community.

The #1 financial principle I want to share with you is: LEVERAGE.

Let me ask you a question:

I want you to really imagine that debt collectors are knocking down your door, you’ve been stressing for months, your debts fall into default mode. You can’t sleep.

Let’s say your total debt is $60,000 (student loans, credit cards) & your total annual expenses are $40,000. You’re having a hard time finding work.

If you had $60,000 dollars in debt and you were given $100,000 to use any way you want, how would you spend the money?

Would you pay the $60,000 debt, then invest the rest in a business?

Bad Idea.

This decision shows a lack of understanding of financial principle #1- LEVERAGE.

Here’s why:

If you completely pay off the debt right now, you just lost $60,000 and now only have $40,000 to work with.

$40,000 in free money sounds great don’t it? Especially to someone who couldn’t sleep only nights before because of crushing debt.

However, there is a bigger picture at work.

Financial Leverage= using a small amount of money to acquire assets that generate larger amounts of money.

You are going to purchase an ASSET. Assets are things that make you money. For example, when you purchase a stock, every year that stock will pay you just for owning it in the form of interest and dividends. This is what makes the stock valuable.

After you purchase the asset, you are going to make that asset pay off your debt for you.

Here’s What You Do With The $100K:

First, pay down your debt to the point where it falls out of default. THEN STOP. Let’s say this requires $10K.

You will keep up monthly payments so that you are slowly paying down your debt. Your monthly payments on this loan are $800.

Now you have $90K left. You are about to create a debt plan that applies LEVERAGE.

With the $90K, you go to a bank and finance a rental property. You will put 20% down on a property in a great, affordable location. The property cost $200K.

20% of 200K means that you will put down $40K to purchase the home. You’ve done your research and see that the mortgage payment plus all expenses is $950 (assuming a 3.5% interest on the mortgage).

You also know that you can rent out this property for $1950 a month.

This will create a profit of $1000 each month.

That means that you just used $40K to acquire a $200K asset. You generate $1000 each month off of the asset ($1950 rent-$950 you owe to the bank for the mortgage).

You use this $1000 a month to pay down your $800 monthly debt in credit cards/student loans. This is applying LEVERAGE.

Think about it- If it cost you $800 a month to pay down your $50K credit card and student loan debt, that means you will pay off the debt in 5.2 years.

Now how long will people be renting your house?

You will still be able to rent out your property even after your debt is paid off.

This means you have an asset consistently working for you even after it pays down your credit and student loans debts.

This is applying Leverage- you have purchased an asset that consistently generates money for you and you didn’t have to spend a lot to do it.

You spent $10K to get out of default, $40K to finance a property. You still have $50K left to invest in another property, stock, business, or seed through crowd-sourcing to your community.

If you would have paid off the $60K right away, you would only have $40K left, and no assets that are making you money. You would be in a financially worse position.

Much better than just paying down ALL your debt outright.

Right now, you’re thinking- “That’s smooth and all, but no one is about to give me $100K”.

Fair enough.

The point is for you to get busy thinking about how you can LEVERAGE the money you do have in order to improve your future financial position.

Here’s what you can do today:

Purchase some stock– From the privacy of your own home, you can put money in the S&P 500 ETF (purchase thru Vanguard or any online trading platform). Interest is around 7%. That means that every 10.2 years, your money will double. So if you only put $1K in today AND NEVER PUT ANY MORE MONEY IN, in 10 years (on average), that $1K will turn into $2K.

However, if you put $1K in EVERY Year for 10 years consecutively, you will have $14,783. At the end of another 10 years, $43,865.18, if you continue for another 10 years, $101,073.05. This keeps on going.

In a total of 30 years, you will have generated $100K.

Keep in mind that only $30K is money you put in directly- $70K is pure earned compounded interest.

Let me put it another way:

At the end of 30 years…

you would have generated more than $100,000…

for less than $2.80 a day…

That’s using rule #1- Financial LEVERAGE in order to create large sums of money with very few dollars. Your money is working like little soldiers for you now.

Now, maybe some of you are saying- “I ain’t got 30 years to wait.”

First, you don’t need 30 years. Imagine if you could put $10K into the market instead of just $1K.

Or…

Imagine if you began crowd-sourcing to raise money directly for your business today.

Or…

Imagine doing both. Having a long-term strategy of disciplined investment in the stock market and a short-term strategy of starting your own business to generate income.

For people who think that Time is STILL a problem…

I’m sorry, but it’s not really about you.

Never invest in the market just for yourself.

If you have children, in 30 years, they may be able to use $100K to fund real estate, businesses, and invest in stocks.

Invest NOW for THEM.

The wealth gap between Blacks and Whites is staggering. This will likely remain the case.

That does not mean that you are powerless to enhance your financial future. If you understand the #1 financial principle- you can take steps to build Generational Wealth today.

We Black folks are good at doing a lot with a little.

Luckily, the rules of money DEMAND that you learn to do a lot with a little…

Sounds like you already got a leg up. 

 

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These Two Black Entrepreneurs Are Fighting Gentrification — One House at a Time!

Andrew Colom and David Alade, founders of Century Partners

What does a real estate developer in Mississippi and a banker in New York City have in common? On the surface, nothing, but inside, both are gentrification fighters, having a burning desire to revitalize neighborhoods in Detroit, one house at a time.

How they got started

Two friends, Andrew Colom, 33, and David Alade, 29, left their jobs and together started a company called Century Partners. Both partners had previously thought deeply about inequities in the world and came to the conclusion that something needed to be done. While Alade initially was turned off about the idea of investing in Detroit revitalization, Colom visited Detroit and saw potential. He convinced his partner to join him.

Now the two black entrepreneurs are working hard to bring Detroit back. Their company buys abandoned homes in Detroit’s historic district and works with other African Americans in the neighborhood to invest in the rehab.

It’s a win/win situation because neighborhoods are getting revitalized which brings back value, and investors make money from their investment through rent paid after the rehab or by selling their homes back to Century Partners for cash.

More than revitalization

The goal of these two motivated entrepreneurs goes beyond gentrification. They want to see vibrant neighborhoods again with increasing values, but they also desire to create diverse neighborhoods. Building wealth in neighborhoods, one house at a time, is their approach.

Alade said they are “looking forward to seeing how it looks on the other side when home values go up and neighborhoods are vibrant again and abandonment is gone.”

For more details about their company, Century Partners, visit www.centurypartners.org

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Posted on February 1, 2017 By Staff With 0 comments

Compton’s First Ever Black-Owned Business Celebrates 60 Years

 

More than 100 local residents recently gathered together to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Naka’s Broiler, a Black-owned restaurant which also happens to be the first ever Black-owned business in Compton, California.

A lot has changed in 60 years

Naka’s Broiler was founded by Katherine Banks and her husband in 1956. Banks was a mother figure for many black students back then, and made sure they had a safe place to eat lunch, after which she ushered them safely back to school. It was a different era, filled with racism in the predominately white community. Even the location of the restaurant on the northwest edge was as far away from whites as they could get.

The restaurant was (and still is) across the street from Centennial School, where many black students came to eat after school. Interestingly, the school itself was also located at the far northwest edge of the city. Stanford history professor, Albert Camarillo, states it was intentional to keep black students away from Compton’s white students.

A good example for the community.

Local residents say that Banks has always been an excellent example for others as a Black entrepreneur and community leader. The celebration of the 60th anniversary of Naka’s Broiler included both teachers and students so that the students could learn about the history of the restaurant and it’s importance to the community.

The restaurant is still going strong, having been recently purchased by another local Black entrepreneur, David Fisher. Fisher says that she taught him well about the business, and that he feels like her adopted son.

Visit the restaurant at 961 W El Segundo Blvd, Compton, CA 90222 or learn more about them online at www.yelp.com/biz/nakas-broiler-compton/

 

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Posted on January 9, 2017 By Staff With 1 comment

Thanksgiving initiative pushes support for black-owned grocery store

stiles_farmers_market

The George Washington Carver Initiative was developed by our leadership team as a local initiative to assist Black Farmers within the state of Florida by encouraging individuals to shop for their Thanksgiving holiday needs at Stile’s Farmers Market located at 5920 W Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderhill, FL 33313. Stile’s Farmers Market is the only Black owned full service grocer in the State of Florida, and receives over 50% of their produce from Black or minority suppliers. The initiative has been well received and has enjoyed national attention from outlets such as The Griot (http://thegrio.com/2016/11/03/black-owned-grocery-store/), Michaelbaisden.com ,(http://michaelbaisden.com/thanksgiving-initiative-pushes-support-black-owned-grocery-store/), and hopefully now, we can receive your support as an NPHC leader. Your work in the community to provide inspiration, hope, and encouragement is greatly respected and appreciated. The importance of this initiative comes at a very critical time in our local and national community. We are requesting your support in encouraging your networks to shop at Stile’s Farmer’s Market for all their Thanksgiving needs this year in an effort to support the ONLY BLACK OWNED SUPERMARKET in the entire State of Florida, and one of the few within the entire nation.

To participate in our local initiative, we set up a Facebook invite page requesting organizations to direct their memberships to sign up for their shopping commitment this Thanksgiving holiday. Interested individuals would visit the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/562383407290126/ and select to attend the event. We encourage churches, fraternities, sororities, restaurants, families, and individuals to commit to shopping Black this Thanksgiving!`

Why should you support The George Washington Carver Initiative
– Help to expand and improve the ONLY BLACK OWNED FULL SERVICE GROCERY STORE IN FLORIDA
– Help to improve the Black Food Ecosystem
– Help to eliminate unemployment within the Black Community
– Support Black Farmers

Best,

Starex Smith
The Hungry Black Man
(786) 256-7363 Cell
https://thehungryblackman.com/

Posted on November 18, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

7 Amazing Black-Owned Businesses in Paris, France

miriam_maxo_black_owned_business_paris

Paris is the capital and the most populous city of France. It is also one of the most romantic cities to visit. It has the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, museums, fashion and restaurants. It is also home to these 7 amazing black-owned businesses:

#1 – Black SpoonOwned by Fati Niang, this restaurant is the first food truck in Paris to offer African cuisine. Her dishes includes Yassa chicken with lemon served over steamed rice, and Tiep bou Dienn, a grouper filet served with carrots and cabbage.


#2 – Sakina M’sa: this fashion designer of Comorian origin uses recycled materials in her fashion designs. Her creations of high culture ecosystem fashions and dedication to fight the social and economic exclusion of disadvantaged women earned her a Social Entrepreneurs Award in 2010 by the Kering Foundation.
#3 – Nefer by Daniel Tohou: is a high fashion brand for men that offers elegant Paris fashion with an African heritage influence. Daniel’s designed are inspired by the “Harlem Renaissance” as well as by art and music.

#4 – Myriam Maxo: If its home decor you’re looking for, this shop uses African-inspired fabrics with abstract patterns and wax. The designer, Myriam Maxo (pictured above), offers contemporary designed furniture, decorative items and other odds and ends.

#5 – Présence Africaine: looking for a good book? This African quarterly cultural, political, and literary magazine, founded by Seneglese-born Alioune Diop in 1947, was the first imprint to publish most of the best known Francophone African writers of the 20th century. They are now both a publishing house and a bookstore.

#6 – Afrostreamthis movie streaming service only features African and African-American content. It was founded by Tonjé Bakang Tonjehas who is known as “The Netflix of Africa”.

#7 – Alexis Peskine: this artist is a Parisian resident, a 2004 Fulbright Scholar who holds a B.F.A. from Howard University an M.A. and M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). His work focuses on race and identity issues in France.

Posted on September 18, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

Black-Owned Cupcake Enterprise Named “Family Business of the Year”

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Every year, Black Enterprise names one family-operated business as “Family Business of the Year.” This year’s prestigious award went to Nashville, Tennessee-based cupcake company, The Cupcake Collection, owned and founded by entrepreneur Mignon Francois.

Sweet success

The Cupcake Collection was started by Francois in her own kitchen in 2007. By 2008, she opened a boutique-style bakery in Nashville, Tennessee’s historic Germantown area. The bakery specializes in home-made cupcakes and wedding cakes. By 2015, Francois’ business reached over $930,000 in revenue, with sales expected to go over $1 million within the next couple of years.

Her cupcake collection includes yummy sweet potato, strawberry, sweet lemonade, pineapple upside down, key lime coconut, red velvet, carrot cake, and many other flavors that will make your mouth water.

Chemistry at work

Francois used the knowledge of chemistry she gained in college to come up with her baking formulas, such as the sweet potato cupcake which is one of the favorites at her bakery. But it was more than just baking knowledge that earned The Cupcake Collection the Family Business of the Year Award.

It was determination, innovation, experience, and expertise. Francois has 6 children, and all her children are involved in the business, including running the register, baking cupcakes, and creating the company’s business plan.

Every year since 1997, Black Enterprise recognizes and awards African American entrepreneurs for successful small business accomplishments. In addition to Family Business of the Year, awards are presented for Franchise Company of the Year, Techpreneur of the Year, and Teenpreneur of the Year.

To learn more about the Cupcake Collection and/or to place an online order, visit www.thecupcakecollection.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cupcakecollection/

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Posted on July 16, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

Top 7 Black-Owned Doll Makers and Designers

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Doll making has been around since the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. The first usage of dolls as toys has been documented in Greece around 100 AD. The most well-known doll makers and designers in the U.S. include Mattel, Hasbro, and others. But there also many African and African American entrepreneurs that are in the business!
Here are 7 of the top Black-owned doll makers and designers:

#1 – Trinity Designs: This Texas-based doll maker began making African American dolls in 2001. Their product line includes dolls that capture the image and character of the African American sorority sister, as well as adult, collectible dolls, which can be purchased online.

#2 – Uzuri Kid Kiz: This doll maker is based in Columbus, Ohio, and has been making dolls that reflect the African American culture since 1997. The word “uzuri” means beauty and expresses the company’s belief that all kids are beautiful, no matter what color or race they are.

#3 – Queens of Africa Dolls: This Nigerian-based company makes dolls (pictured above) and doll accessories that promote the African heritage. Their dolls have both natural and braided hair and are dressed in clothing made from African colors and prints. The dolls are available worldwide, but are especially popular in Nigeria, where they are said to be easily outselling Barbie® dolls.

#4 – Tonner-One World Dolls: This company’s slogan is “We are pretty girls, and we rule the world.” Founders Trent T. Daniel and Stacey McBride-Irby (who  former designed Barbie® dolls for Mattel) created a multi-cultural line of girl dolls in 2010 to fill a gap in diverse representation in the doll industry. They are based in Houston, Texas.

#5 – Double Dutch Dolls: Double Dutch Dolls designs and produces a line of multi-cultural dolls, books, and accessories for girls ages 8 and up. The dolls are African-American, Hispanic, Biracial and Multiracial. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Marietta, Georgia.

#6 – Positively Perfect Dolls: The company was founded in 2010 by a mom and former professor as a way to encourage young girls. The dolls, which are available in local Target and Walmart stores, are designed to “encourage dreams, promote intelligence, challenge perceptions, and open hearts to all types of beauty.”

#7 – EthiDolls: This company makes authentic, collectible African-American signature dolls and accessories that embrace African heritage, culture, and history. The company was founded in 2003 by two women Ethiopian entrepreneurs from the New York City area. Their goal was to develop a line of culturally authentic and unique Signature Dolls and Accessories that teach history and celebrate cultural diversity.

Black doll enthusiasts are also encouraged to visit The National Black Doll Museum in Mansfield, Massachusetts. The museum was founded in 2012 and is the first museum in New England and the second museum in the nation dedicated to preserving the history of black dolls. For more information, visit www.nbdmhc.org

 

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Posted on July 11, 2016 By Staff With 6 comments

The World’s First African-American Rolls Royce Car Dealer

thomas_moorehead_african_american_rolls_royce_dealer

Thomas Moorehead is not only the first African-American Rolls-Royce car dealer but the only Rolls Royce dealership in greater Washington, D.C. He is thriving in one of the wealthiest communities in the country, but he is also one of the most humble business owners you’ll ever meet who has never forgotten the people who helped him along the way.

Building a ‘Sterling’ reputation

Owning a Rolls-Royce dealership was not Moorehead’s original plan. With encouragement from his parents, he started out pursuing a Ph.D. degree in teaching. He was only a few credits away from his degree when a friend offered him an opportunity to learn the automobile business from the ground up. Moorehead was very interested because he always wanted to own his own business.

Taking the risk

It was a risk, one that many people would not have the courage to do. It took him two years to learn the business, and all of his savings, but eventually he became the owner of a Buick dealership in Omaha, Nebraska. He quickly made a reputation for himself as a good businessman who treated his customers well. It led to an invitation from Rolls-Royce to join an exclusive club of just 33 dealers around the world. He accepted, opening his new Rolls Royce Motor Cars of Sterling in Washington, D.C.

Moorehead, the man

Moorehead’s goal is to deliver the best product to his customers. No hard sell from this entrepreneur. In fact, most people think he is a salesman, not the owner because he refrains from having his name on the dealership logo. He has pictures in his office taken with Presidents Obama and Clinton, but what he is most proud of is the ability to pay forward to others who have helped him achieve success. As he states it, “This is really what it’s all about, bringing other people up and giving something back.”

Thomas Moorehead is not only a successful entrepreneur but an amazing man.
For more information about Moorehead’s dealership, visit www.rrmcsterling.com
For more details about his foundation, visit www.themooreheadfoundation.org

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Posted on June 9, 2016 By Staff With 2 comments