Category: Black Owned

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

Digital Marketing and Crowd Investing

Introduction

While at the Crowd Invest Summit in Los Angeles back in September, 2017 the event confirmed what I had suspected for a very long time.  Just like rewards based crowdfunding required a very powerful strategic marketing and PR plan the same would be required in the world of Title III Crowd Investing. Our panel was very lively and the audience was very excited and engaged. You need to have a strategy for putting your capital raise in front of enough people who are willing to invest in you so that you reach your goal, otherwise the whole process is a waste of time. And with only a few exceptions, the equity crowdfunding platforms don’t offer a lot of support for campaign marketing. And that can be really frustrating.

Facebook Ads

An effective Facebook ad campaign allows a company to effectively target likely investors based on Facebook users’ location, demographics and interests. Facebook is truly 21st century digital marketing. Facebook is the number one platform in social media marketing where you can target a customized audience, so you are able to reduce blasting out a message to who-knows-where and to whom. Facebook Ads reduce the waste of advertising dollars. Facebook is like picking up the phone and selling directly to someone. During your pre-launch you can create an ad and test multiple audiences. Whichever, one converts the best and is most engaged that is the audience that you should target for building your email list. Facebook Ads provide awesome targeting and analytic data along with the ability to create lookalike audiences and re-targeting.

Twitter Ads

Use Twitter ads if you have a Twitter handle, you have a great marketing tool for your product. Companies use Twitter to expand their community. Though this is a fast moving source, it can get you a lot of exposure. Twitter is also a great tool for influencer/blogger outreach. Twitter also provide a great platform for digital PR by reaching out to journalist and building relationships. Twitter a is great platform for building relationships with your many audiences.  

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn ads work best in a B2B context and can be used to drive people to a lead generation page for the right crowdfunding offerings.  Precise targeting of LinkedIn members with investment expertise in their member profiles, plus targeting to members of LinkedIn Groups for venture capital and private equity, helped Spotlight Ads and Sponsored Updates reach investors.

Search Engine Marketing

The most basic form of SEM involves paying for certain search terms and having Google drive traffic to your crowdfunding campaign based on what you paid for. With SEM, we know somebody is a potential investor based on their search terms, so you are directly reaching out to people who have already identified themselves as someone looking to make a purchase or an investment.

Email Marketing

Email marketing may not be as sexy as newer marketing tactics such as social media and video, but it can still be a huge factor in driving a successful equity crowdfunding offering. There are plenty of digital platforms available to deliver your message, but email marketing continues to offer one of the best opportunities to build relationships and drive sales. Early momentum is crucial in any crowdfunding campaign, and building your email list to engage people in what you are doing before asking them to invest or contribute will put you at a huge advantage on launch day.

Takeaway

Digital marketing is an essential part of every equity crowd investing offering, just as it has been for rewards-based crowdfunding. Working with the right professionals with the correct strategy and knowing who to target is the key to success. Digital marketing is a process that takes time. Most say it takes a potential investor seeing an average of five ads before they make a decision to invest. Converting digital advertising is a process, so start early in the crowdfunding campaign.

Please visit the Buy The Block website to sign up for this historical opportunity to be become a BlockVestor or Block Developer and own your piece of your community @ http://bit.ly/2zbAmzv  

The Black Panther Movie and Black Crowd Investing

Introduction 

Two months before the premiere of the Marvel’s Black Panther I was invited to take part in a premiere event that was sure to please. I was excited to meet the many Black business owners and professionals in the Louisville area that were going to participate on this project. It seemed that everyone was a buzz about the opening of the first Marvel movie that featured a Black director, predominantly Black cast, and a $200 million budget. To date the movie has lived up to all of the hype. The movie has been a box office smash with receipts in excess of $400 million already.

Crowdfunding for a Cause 

I came across an article by Adrienne Gibbs that brought a smile to my face as a crowdinvesting consultant. The Title of the article was Why Is ‘Black Panther’ Selling Out? Activists, Churches, Schools Buy Thousands Of Tickets. The article describes the in vivid detail how the Black community was willing and able to rally around a cause both politically and economically to achieve a goal. We showed the world, but most importantly our community, the economic power that our community wields in America and globally.

The Crowd Economy In Black America

The article chronicles how the movement began with a single #Hashtag from Harlem with the #BlackPantherChallenge, Frederick Joseph started a GoFundMe page to take some neighborhood kids to the movie. As I read on my heart began to pump faster and harder as I imagined the day in the Black community when we will #InvestBlack, #BuyBlack, #BankBlack and build #BlackWealth.  My hope is that the example of “Black Panther”would start a Black economic movement that would lead our community to commit billions of dollars to Buy the Block a black owned real estate crowdinvesting platform.

Seeing the Future of Black Crowdinvesting 

I thought of the day when business owners and other high net worth Black people would pool their capital into impact investment funds and invest a portion of their portfolios alongside non-accredited community investors to renovate urban commercial corridors and bring back the dense urban live-work-shop-play spaces, not seen since a time before urban renewal destroyed these economic community anchors. Crowd investing and impact investment can create communities where we #InvestBlack which then makes #BuyBlack make sense because there is the economic benefit in building #BlackWealth through entrepreneurship and real estate development.

My goal is that the next time a big-budget movie featuring a Black director and Black cast premieres it will come from majority Black-owned studio that was financed by crowdinvesting and is staffed by Black people that are trying to make their mark in Atlanta the Black Hollywood. The theaters that we buyout for the next premiere will be Black owned and in the urban core in our communities, so that we are employing people from the community.

Takeaway 

According to the article “Black Panther” is a game changer when it comes to imagery and modernity. Also, Black Panther ups the ante because many of the behind the scenes people are Black, as are the leading actors.  The political and economic impact of this one major studio blockbuster film “Black Panther” has had on the Black community across the country is immense.

Let’s make“Black Panther” the driver of a new movement to #InvestBlack with Buy the Block  #BuyBlack where you invested your dollars and build #BlackWealth. We now have a model that provides proof of concept for the power of a united community economic effort using crowdfunding. We have a Black owned crowdinvesting platform so instead of using GoFundMe campaigns to raise charity funds let’s take the #BuyTheBlockChallenge to invest in our communities and be the change we want to see!

Black People and the Crowd Economy

Introduction

I read Antonio Moore’s article Black Wealth Hardly Exists, Even When You Include NBA, NFL And Rap Stars and found it to be spot-on in its analysis of the current situation of the average Black family and their lack of wealth the dearth of Black home ownership and a true path forward. One of the first things that struck me in his article was the fact the so many Black celebrities fame and wealth are talked about in the news and on social media, but only upon in-depth research are you able to find the reality of Black social and economic daily life. I think about the Black people that I know are on the front line of this battle for economic empowerment and the pursuit of the American dream of home ownership.

As I read the data that is out there about the poor and declining state of Black American and the inner-cities. As I live in one of those neighborhoods on a daily basis that lacks access to fresh healthy food options, pharmacy’s, and desirable retail option. Home ownership is dismally low, crime is high and educational attainment is relatively low. These dark and gloomy social realities at their root stem from poverty, which is a of wealth. I have written in the past about how redlining and other discriminatory local, state, and federal government policies have retarded the development of Black wealth and how it will take decades to right these social and economic wrongs. But we have to live today and take care of our families. So we need to build strategies in flight to turn this tide on the bleak realities of Black wealth in 2018.

Black Impact Investing

I think of another writer that is deeply engaged in the fight for the growth and development of Black wealth and that is Dr. Michael Isimbabi author of the seminal book Pooling Our Resources to Foster Black Progress: An Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing Framework that outlines things we, as a community can do to pool our immense financial resources to organically build our communities and inter-generational Black wealth through entrepreneurship and impact investing. One of the areas of overlap I find between Mr. Moore and Dr. Isimbabi is the desire to tap the high net worth celebrities to have them pool their wealth in the form of impact investment funds that would provide professional management, diversity, and focused investment objective on Black business creation and real estate investment.

Buy The Block

Lynn P. the Black female serial entrepreneur that raised over $110,000 to build out the first Black owned real estate crowdfunding platform Buy The Block that provides a super low entry fee of $100 that lowers the barrier of entry for many of the people in the Black community to make their first foray into the world of real estate investing. This Serial Entrepreneur founded Buy the Block in a tool shed in Cincinnati in 2013. The company allowed her to couple her two passions, real estate investing and teaching others the art and science of real estate investment,  into a seamless online crowd investing experience for the Black community. Buy the Block has solved two of the major issues of the Black community.

The first is access to capital for businesses and real estate development and the second is an investment platform with a low barrier to entry to facilitate the building of community equity and Black wealth at the same time. Buy The Block now serves investors and developers all over the US and is thrilled to be a part of the global crowd investing and alternative finance industry.By bringing investors together with entrepreneurs, we are not just building stronger communities; we are building wealthier communities. In that wealth lies the only real independence.

Black people in the United States have a combined purchasing power of $1.3 trillion which would make us the 13th largest economy in the world, yet our wealth is encroaching zero as our income and education attainment continue to rise. We must as a community embrace the crowd economy pool our immense financial resources through impact investing, crowd investing, and entrepreneurship to create companies and build inter-generational wealth. Please Mr. Moore, and Dr. Isimbabi. Visit  Buy The Block  today and Join the Movement.  

Crowdinvesting for Black Athletes Building Community Building Wealth

Introduction

You have read the headlines time and time again. “athletes make too much money”,  “those guys are overpaid”, but Are we asking the wrong question in relation to the NFL and NBA. These are two industries where Black professionals make at the very least on average over $1 million annually.  There are 32 NFL teams with 53 roster spots each, which means 1,696 NFL players and there are 30 NBA teams with 15 roster spots each, totaling 450 NBA players at any given moment. According to Forbes on average, NBA players make $5.15 million and NFL players make $1.9 million per year  Blacks make up at least 80 percent or 1187 NFL Millionaires and 80 percent or 315 NBA Millionaires annually.  

Professional Sports a Cash Cow

The explosion of television and marketing dollars flowing to professional sports teams is pumping players salaries to unprecedented heights and has ushered in a gold rush of capital, fame, and influence in the age of social media where a LeBron James Tweet is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. There has never been a more lucrative time to be in the sports agency business either as the sports industry has mushroomed to dizzying heights in players salaries, the value of endorsement packages, and management fees.

The Sports Agency Industry

The firms featured in Forbes’ ranking of the most valuable sports agencies have negotiated a collective $37.6 billion in current professional athlete contracts, netting themselves more than $1.85 billion in commissions. Sports agency is an industry where professional Black athletes have the ability to choose their sports agent these numbers should be reflective of the 70 percent of NFL players and 80 percent of NBA players they can potentially represent.

We should dominate this multi-billion dollar industry, but we don’t.  This should be the question we are asking in 2018. The next question we should be asking is where are these millionaires investing their $2 billion dollars annually? According to a 2009 Sports Illustrated article, 78% of National Football League (NFL) players are either bankrupt or are under financial stress within two years of retirement and an estimated 60% of National Basketball Association players go bankrupt within five years after leaving their sport.

Charting a New Direction

The information above leads me to some questions. Should there be a concerted effort for Black athletes to employ Black sports agencies to manage their business affairs? Should Black players, agents, coaches and upper management make an organized play to exert more influence over the flow of the billions of dollars in professional sports? Sports is a multi-billion dollar industry where the hired help is overwhelmingly Black, but the fans and owners are mostly white how do we exert more pressure on the two leagues to empower our community?

Situation Analysis

With Black home ownership at a 50 year low and Black wealth heading towards zero in the near future what type of social and economic strategies can be put in place to turn the tide on these dismal statistics. I suggest that our Black athletes create impact investment funds that are managed by experienced and capable Black finance professionals. These funds would provide professional management for these professional athletes and targeted investments in building a stronger economy in Black communities through real estate development, retail, and the tech industry to name a few areas where our pooled resources can make a positive impact in our communities.       

Today, some of the world’s most respected and successful figures are in the tech industry. They include the entrepreneurs who have developed innovative products and launched industry-changing companies and the venture capitalists who provide capital and assistance to help these companies thrive. But while the technology sector continues to flourish, and its luminaries are seen as role models, the industry as a whole is suffering from a lack of diversity that has undermined its ability to fully realize its transformative potential.

The Need for Black Capital Aggregation

There were thousands of venture deals minted from 2012 to 2014, so few black women founders raised money that, statistically speaking, the number might as well be zero. (The exact number is 24 out of 10,238, or just 0.2 percent.) Of those few that have raised money, the average amount of funding its $36,000. That’s compared to the typical startup, typically founded by a white male, that typically fails. These manage to raise an average of $1.3 million in venture funding.

This disparity comes even as black women today comprise the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the US, with over 1.5 million businesses—a 322 percent increase since 1997. These businesses generate over $44 billion a year in revenue. Yet in the tech world, investors aren’t taking a risk on startups run by black women. I venture to say that these are the questions we should be asking about the NFL and NBA in relations to the Black political economy that operates within the United States.

Takeaway

Black people in the United States have made extraordinary gains in education, industry and even increasing salaries with over 8 million Black families making over $75,000 annually, but home ownership is dismal and on average we have little to no wealth when compared to our White counterparts. One way to increase our wealth both on the individual and community level is to pool our tremendous financial assets through the “Crowd Economy”. The crowd economy provides a basis for more efficient use of resources, but also reduces the strain on the environment and ecosystem services that are fast depleting.  The crowd economy will allow regulation crowdfunding platforms to allow regular citizens to invest in build economic capacity at the community while running capital parallel to the diversified professionally managed community focused impact investment funds of wealthier professional athletes.

Redlining: The Genesis of the “Hood”

Introduction to Redlining

Redlining, is an unethical and discriminatory practice that was committed by banks and other financial service providers (e.g., mortgage companies and insurance companies). These businesses either make it impossible or nearly impossible for people living in low-income neighborhoods in the ‘inner city’ to obtain a home loan, mortgage or other financial product because of a “perceived” high default rate in the neighborhood. The practice is called ‘redlining’ because in the past some of these financial institutions would literally draw a red line on a map demarcating neighborhoods where they would not provide services.

The History of Redlining

This discriminatory policy that continues to impact inner-cities was started in 1933, to relieve housing shortage the United States faced with after the “Great Depression.” The federal government began a program explicitly designed to increase — and segregate — America’s housing stock. The housing programs begun under the New Deal that was commensurate with to a “state-sponsored system of segregation.” There are far reaching social and economic consequences that resulted from this form of government sponsored segregation.

The Impact of Redlining on America

Redlining had the effect of artificially depressing the housing prices in “inner-city” and artificially increasing the prices of homes in the suburban areas of cities. The government for all intents financed the creation of white suburban middle-class families and sealed the fate of African-American families to live in inner-city neighborhoods that were denied accesses to mortgages, insurances. The Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934 and the Veterans Administration followed suite, which furthered the segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods.     

These decades-old housing policies have had a lasting impact on American society. The segregation of our metropolitan areas today  has lead to stagnant inequality, because families are much less able to be upwardly mobile when they’re living in segregated neighborhoods where opportunity is absent. If we want greater equality in this society, if we want a lowering of the hostility between police and young African-American men, we need to take steps to desegregate these neighborhoods, but this process correction will take decades to right these wrongs committed by government and private industry.   

Decreased African-American Home Ownership

In 2017 African-American home ownership has dipped to its lowest level since the signing of fair housing legislation was passed in 1968 during the Civil Rights era. African-American incomes on average are about 60 percent of average white incomes. But African-American wealth is about 5 percent of white wealth. Most middle-class families in this country gain their wealth from the equity they have in their homes. So this enormous difference between a 60 percent income ratio and a 5 percent wealth ratio is almost entirely attributable to federal housing policy implemented through the 20th century.

Decades of  Disintegration

African-American families that were prohibited from buying homes in the suburbs in the 1940s and ’50s and even into the 1960s, by the Federal Housing Administration, and gained none of the equity appreciation that whites gained by discriminatory  policies implemented by both local, state, and federal government and the financial services industries that continue to rake in record profits as the President brags about the astronomical rise of the stock market. The capital appreciation of these government subsidized suburban single family developments created massive amounts of wealth that allowed low-income and middle class whites to provide down payments for their children’s first home, pay for college, and help them gain access to the startup capital for the creation of businesses.  

Takeaway

To correct the massive negative social and economic impact of Redlining on the African-American community local, state, and the federal government and the financial services industry should create an impact investment fund that would run capital parallel to real estate crowd investment platforms that invest residential and commercial real estate developments in inner-city communities. This is not a request for a grant or a handout, but the creation of an impact investment fund that rights the decades of Redlining and it resulting social and economic chain reaction that has led to poor education, unemployment, food and retail deserts, mass incineration and many of the ills that specifically impact African-American communities today.    

Why Buy The Block

Introduction

While growth slowed somewhat in 2016 the 40% figure is still robust, and the US accounted for a large share of the $1 billion of overall industry growth this year. In 2015, the $1.5 billion in volume for US real estate crowdfunding represented only 0.3% of total real estate finance transactions in the US, indicating that the sub-industry still has enormous room to grow, even while remaining modest as a share of overall commercial real estate activity in the economy.

Crowdfunding and Wealth

Over the last few years crowdfunding platforms have specialized and molded themselves around particular niches within the space, focusing the profile of their deals. One of the main determinants in the absence of wealth in the Black community has been a systematic negative relationship between our community and the policies of the majority community that have historically maintained the Black labor resulting in White wealth dynamic. Redlining was a common Federal practice that impedes the development of Black wealth to this day. Why is wealth important?  

What is Wealth

Wealth is a crucially important measure of economic health. Wealth allows families to transfer income earned in the past to meet spending demands in the future, such as by building up savings to finance a child’s college education. Wealth also provides a buffer of economic security against periods of unemployment, or risk-taking, like starting a business. Wealth is needed to finance a comfortable retirement or provide an inheritance to children.  In order to construct wealth, a number of building blocks are required. Steady well-paid employment during one’s working life is important, as it allows for a decent standard of living plus the ability to save. Also, access to well-functioning financial markets that provide a healthy rate of return on savings without undue risks is crucial.

The Value of Wealth

Wealth is a vital component  to understand the many of the racial inequalities that exist in the United States. Wealth taps not only contemporary resources, but also material assets that have historic origins and future implications. Private wealth captures inequality that is the product of the past, and often passed down from generation to generation. Viewing racial inequality through the lens of wealth revolutionizes the concept of the nature and magnitude of inequality, and of whether it is decreasing or increasing.

The History of Wealth

The focus on wealth sheds light on both the historical and the contemporary impacts not only of class but also of race. Income is an important indicator of racial inequality; wealth allows an examination of racial stratification. The wealth perspective contends that continued neglect of wealth as a dimension of racial stratification will result in a seriously underestimated racial inequality. Tragically, policies based solely on narrow differences in labor-market factors will fail to close that breach. Taken together, however, asset-building and labor-market approaches open new windows of opportunity.

Takeaway

Buy the Block provides the real estate/technology basis for the Black community to begin the process of pooling our funds and using cooperative economics to build our communities through real estate development, business and job creation, and as investors and consumers of the very businesses that we create. There will be a real incentive for “Buy Black” and “Support Black Business” campaigns and that will be financial in either an interest payment or equity payout. Buy the Block provides the mechanism for our entire community to begin to create Black Wealth.

Please visit the Buy The Block website to sign up for this historical opportunity to be become a BlockVestor or Block Developer and own your piece of your community @ http://bit.ly/2zbAmzv  

The JOBS Act and Underserved Communities

Introduction

Following the housing crash of 2007 — as regulations were introduced and credit tightened — emerging companies were left with little or no access to the capital markets. In an effort to alleviate the credit crunch, Congress drew up the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act for short), broadening the scope of who can invest in startups. While the legislation was conceived with startup businesses in mind, interested parties quickly realized that the new rules could extend to real estate equity investments, allowing real estate companies to essentially market shares of projects to individual investors — a method of raising capital that had been legally precluded since the Securities Act of 1933.

Real Estate’s Use of Crowdfunding

Real estate companies are able to broaden the reach of their investor network through this new paradigm, individual investors also gain access to a realm of real estate projects that were previously available almost exclusively to very wealthy individuals and institutional players, lowering the barrier to entry and allowing many investors to participate in commercial real estate investing for the first time.  This value was evident enough to encourage the creation of Buy The Block a f hybrid real estate/tech company to enter this new and vastly untapped wealth and community building space for inner-city communities that have been systematically excluded from investing in commercial or residential real estate projects as a syndicate.

Buy The Block

Providing a platform that allows multiple investors to in multiple project throughout the country both in business creation and real estate development. This new investment technique will provide the needed access to capital for budding social entrepreneurs and experienced small business owners to provide many of the needed services that many of these under served communities have been starved of for many years and it develops these businesses in close proximity to the people that require the products and services. These new business owners now have the ability to raise capital directly from the people that will become the consumers of their goods and services. These consumers will have the unique ability to become a funder as well as investors in these community based retail projects. This is a very important concept in the “Buy Black” movements that have sprung up in many of the major markets that have large Black populations.

Financial Incentive

Today these “Buy Black” mantras don’t ring hollow in the ears of consumers looking for the best value for their dollars. By becoming the actual investors in these projects they now how financial interest in in Buying Black. The more profit these business do the higher their potential benefit will be. There is also a double bottom-line and a large part of the return on investment will be community equity of an improved shopping experience in their own communities, the growth in employment opportunities for community residents.

Please visit the Buy The Block website to sign up for this historical opportunity to be become a BlockVestor or Block Developer and own your piece of your community @ http://bit.ly/2zbAmzv  

The Power of Home Ownership

Introduction

A decade after the housing crash destroyed the American Dream for millions of homeowners, black homeownership rates have dropped to levels not seen since the 1960s, hobbling African-Americans’ efforts to build their wealth Nationally, only 42.2 percent of blacks owned homes in 2016, compared with 71.9 percent of whites, according to a new report by Harvard University‘s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The Power of Home Ownership

Home ownership is a way for people to generate stability and wealth and not just go to work everyday work and make someone else wealthy by renting.  Home ownership can change the trajectory and direction of neighborhoods. As the individual wealth of community members increases the pride and community equity will increase.   Without homes, blacks lack a powerful source of wealth creation. Homeowners generally build equity that allows them to eventually buy other homes or businesses and send children to college. Homes also are passed to younger generations upon death, allowing future generations to build wealth.

The Black Community is Losing Ground

After decades of making gains, the most recent nationwide African-American home ownership rate was the lowest it’s been since the Fair Housing Act of 1968 began tackling discriminatory housing practices. Historically, home ownership has been 28.4 percent higher among whites than blacks, but the racial gap in home ownership is now the largest since data became available in 1940. Prospects for black home ownership have gone from hopeful to pessimistic in only 15 years. Harvard researchers attribute much of the plunge in African-American home ownership to predatory lending practices that saddled buyers in poor minority neighborhoods with more debt than they could afford.

The Great Recession and The Black Community

As a result of “The Great Recession” and predatory lending practices that targeted Black and Hispanic communities these inner-city communities were hit especially hard by the housing crash and the foreclosures that ensued. The disproportionate foreclosure rates in Black communities resulted in increased credit scores damage by foreclosures and the short sales kept people from bargain-hunting in the wake of the housing crash. Prices were low, but even people with good credit struggled to get mortgages as lenders focused on borrowers with great credit. So as home buying has picked up among whites, Asians and Hispanics since the crash, African-American ownership has fallen, according to the Harvard research.

Rent Is Slavery

High rents also are keeping some from home ownership. As demand for rental housing has climbed, rents have surged the last few years, making it hard for many to pool enough funds for a down payment. Rent is slavery that prevents us as a community from building wealth and results in wealth building for someone else. Renting has moved our community to a place where a large number of our community members are paying more than 30 percent of their income for rent, which results in a deficiency in other area of our lives.These high rents keeps on the treadmill that will never allow us to build wealth for ourselves and our future generations.  

Takeaway

When empty foreclosed properties are fixed up and inhabited again, the values of surrounding homes rise. Without the rehab projects, the abandoned properties can “become nuisances in the community that bring unintended consequences,” such as crime, reduced home prices, and low levels of community equity. Buy The Block has create a crowd investment platform that allows us to pool our money together and buy, rehab, and sell properties as a community. The power of the Buy the Block program is that as a community we are able to increase home ownership, create employment for contractors and their workforce, and provide renovated housing stock in our community while allowing members of the community invest and build wealth.

Please visit the Buy The Block website to sign up for this historical opportunity to be become a BlockVestor or Block Developer and own your piece of your community @ http://bit.ly/2zbAmzv    

5 Steps to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

The Numbers Behind Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is democratizing the access to capital and with all the encouraging news stories, every inventor, creator, engineer, and startup would want to launch a crowdfunding campaign today to fund the next big thing since sliced bread. Kickstarter, the New York City-based crowdfunding platform saw 37 percent of its campaigns reach their fundraising goals in 2017, according to a report. That’s the highest success rate among the five crowdfunding platforms included in the study.  

The High Failure Rate of Crowdfunding Campaigns

Twenty-six percent of crowdfunding campaigns on Vancouver, Canada-based FundRazr met their goals in 2016, and a dismal  13 percent fully-funded success rate for San Francisco based Indiegogo. These numbers smack in the face of what the press is reporting about the crowdfunding industry as a place to make easy money for your startup.

Crowdfunding The Real Story

This is what the press is not reporting the amount of time, energy, marketing savvy, and work it takes to build an engaged and excited crowd of backers to complete a successful crowdfunding campaign. The pre-launch, a 3-6 month preparation stage before the launch of the campaign is crucial. After years of working on crowdfunding campaigns in many different facets, I have learned this one fundamental rule: Crowdfunding is a compound word and if you don’t build an engaged and excited crowd before the launch of your campaign you will not get the funding your desire.  

Implementing The Pre-Launch Strategy

There are many steps to creating a pre-launch strategy and the first step is to create a budget and a timeline. So many people head into crowdfunding campaigns with little knowledge of the cost of both time and capital that this 3-6 month process will entail. Always begin the with a timeline that realistically documents the task, the team member responsible for completing the task, and the time frame that task will be completed. This will be the driving force for staying on track while moving along this very labor and time intensive journey called a crowdfunding campaign.    

These are the steps that must be completed during the pre-launch phase of the campaign.

  1. Create consistent messaging and branding – Every company has a brand, whether they make it a priority or not. A brand is what people think about your product and the impressions they have when hearing or seeing your name. In most cases, your brand is reflected initially in your logo, and then supported by your messaging. These experiences influence attitudes and opinions about your company, product, or service. A good brand is built over time and requires thought, strategy, and consistent implementation.
  2. Leverage your social capital –  from the inside out to ensure 30% of the funding goal is guaranteed by friends, family and anyone else you can line up to make a financial contribution to your campaign on the day it launches. If you can raise 30% in the first couple of days of your campaign, you significantly increase your chances of reaching your goal.
  3. Build an email list –  Your email list is the lifeblood of your crowdfunding campaign. The more emails you have the better and using social media like Twitter and Facebook ads to drive traffic to a landing page to collect email address is vital. Services like MailChimp allow you to send out emails and drive traffic to your campaign page when it launches.
  4. Build your crowd using Social Media –  that is large enough so you can tap into not only for financial support but also to share your campaign with their followers. Twitter is the most active social network in the crowdfunding sphere. Depending on your funding goal and how many followers you currently have, this process can take several months. The goal is to identify and connect with relevant supporters and build a targeted audience.

Run a Press Release –  Create a press release through a service like Press Release distribution and high impact media lists. To make your campaign look attractive to journalists, do not send your press release or contact media before you have reached the 30% funding milestone. Journalists don’t just write about campaigns so they become successful, they write about successful campaigns in the making.

Understanding Wealth and Income

Introduction

Income inequality has been accelerating, which suggests that the wealthiest, typically meaning Whites, are getting wealthier. According to a new study, the imbalance will shift so far that median Black and Latino households will lose the little relative wealth they have by about the time people of color form a majority of households in the U.S. By 2053, Black households will have a median wealth of zero. It will take Latino households another 20 years to drop to the same level, according to an analysis by non-profits Prosperity Now and the Institute for Policy Studies.

Wealth and Why Is It Important

Even black and Latino families who’ve achieved the traditional middle class status  a good-paying job and a college degree still lag far behind their white counterparts in terms of wealth. Black and Latino families with a member holding a four-year degree own just a fifth of the wealth of equivalent white families. In fact, they own less wealth than a white family whose head has just a high school diploma.

We typically describe middle class status in terms of income. But, if we change the definition to wealth, meaning you’d need between $68,000 and $204,000 in household wealth than middle class White households have nearly 8 times as much wealth as median Black households and 10 times as much as Latino households. Black and Latino families now have to earn two to three times as much as White families to catch up.

If we look at life as a 100 meter dash, wealth becomes the head start in a race, like putting someone on the starting line at the 100 meter mark and another, on the 10 meter mark in a 100-meter dash. By talking almost about income inequality, we essentially pretend that a problem made over decades can be addressed on a single year’s scale. It can’t mathematically work.

On the Road to Zero Wealth

According to the  report The Road to Zero Wealth The divide between the wealth of a typical black family and a typical white family today is vast. A median black family has just $1,700 in wealth—total assets minus total debt. Thirty years ago, that same family had $6,800 in today’s dollars. Latino families at the median have similarly small assets, just $2,000, and also saw a decline over the past three decades. White median household wealth, meanwhile, is significantly higher: $116,800, up from $102,000 over the same period.

So black and Latino families at the middle have seen their wealth slip while white families in the middle saw their wealth rise. What does this look like projected into the future? By 2053, just 10 years after the country is projected to become majority non-white, black median families will own zero wealth if current trends continue. Twenty years later, Latino median families will follow suit. White median families will continue to own six figures.

Takeaway

Changing our priorities in the savings and investment arena such as investments in bold new programs that focus on using social entrepreneurship to solve Black issues, by creating Black owned businesses and jobs, increasing home ownership, and using crowd investment strategies to increase community and personal wealth.  These tactics could reverse the decades-long rise in the racial wealth divide.

Buy The Block allows investors make debt or equity investments in opportunities that were historically difficult to access. Thanks to the Regulation Crowdfunding rules promulgated by the SEC under the JOBs Act, Buy the Block can create a community revolving around its web-based investment platform geared towards making investing in real estate easier for more investors. It presents an opportunity to invest with other connected investors, and provides the added benefit of giving each investor individual ownership in the “block.”

Please visit the Buy The Block website to sign up for this historical opportunity to be become a BlockVestor or Block Developer and own your piece of your community @ http://bit.ly/2zbAmzv

Locavesting For Urban Community Development

A revolution in early stage finance is changing the way inner-city African-American communities relate to capital formation, real estate development, entrepreneurship, and job creation. Thanks to the passage of the JOBS Act of 2012, a new market is being born that will revolutionize how early stage investing and community economic development works — It’s called Crowd Investing.

Bill Huston

To this end, I personally believe that equity crowdfunding is the most significant piece of financial based legislation for African Americans since the Emancipation Proclamation 1863 emancipation of the Southern slaves.

Rodney Sampson

“If African-Americans shifted just 1% of the $1.3 trillion they have in purchasing power to small Black-owned businesses and real estate development it would amount to $10 billion invested in Black Communities.  

 

That’s not a game-changer. That’s a revolution!

 

Shifting Dollars  from Consumerism to Local Crowdinvesting

May 16th 2016 the  SEC Rulings on crowdfunding intermediaries went into effect and today ordinary Americans are able to collaborate en masses to give small individual amounts of funding to startups, small businesses, and real estate developments online through crowd investing, and become shareholders in the process.

The Power of CrowdInvesting

When people understand the power of local crowd investing and begin to pull from their bank savings, mutual fund accounts and begin investing 1 percent of their disposable income  in order to put their money to work in their own communities. Crowdinvesting will have the power to change how African-Americans from all income levels make decisions about where to put their money and how to spend that money.

Buy The Block

Crowdinvesting isn’t a new way of investing, but as we transform the way we see ourselves as participants and investors in companies as well as customers there will be a paradigm shift.  Crowdinvesting will make investors into local companies a shareholder and brad advocate leading to the the birth of a new locally driven capital market that brings new access to capital for inner-city community entrepreneurs. To help shape and guide this new investment market, crowdinvesting platforms like Buy The Block  are working hard to help ordinary African-Americans understand the power they wield as crowd investors and how they can participate in this social and financial revolution.

From Consumer to Investor

Crowdinvesting will usher in a radical transformation forever redefining what it means to African-Americans to be a crowd investor in America by bringing local crowdinvesting into the homes of inner-city community members in the Internet Age. If African-Americans embrace the power of crowdinvesting then the most socially transformative part of crowdfunding will come from the power of local or community-based investing.

The Case for Local Businesses

There is overwhelming amounts of recent research from prominent economists, sociologists, and other researchers that find that small, local businesses are critical to overcoming many of our biggest challenges, from reducing economic inequality to building resilient communities. According to the Kauffman Foundation new businesses account for nearly all net new job creation and almost 20 percent of gross job creation.  

Takeaway

According to Local Investing fostering an economy of small-scale businesses may be one of the most effective ways to close the gap between rich and poor. Civic leaders are increasingly grappling with income inequality, and creating policies to foster an economy that’s based on local ownership and community-scaled businesses may be one of the most effective ways to do it. That’s the implication of new research that identifies links between corporate consolidation and the widening gap between the rich and poor.

Putting The Crowd in Crowdfunding

Introduction

Is Crowdfunding no more than persuading individuals to each give you a small donation $10, $50, $100, maybe more. Once you get thousands of donors, you have some serious cash on hand. Driven by the proliferation of social media platforms nonprofits, artists, musicians — and yes, businesses — are able to raise funds. Crowdfunding has been growing at an incredible clip since 2009 and there have been billions of dollars crowdfunded during this time period. I always tell people that crowdfunding has one fundamental rule: If you don’t build an engaged and excited crowd then you won’t get the funding that you desire. The next logical question would be how do you build an engaged and excited crowd to fund your project.

Building the Crowd

Crowdfunding can create a powerful marketing and funding chain that moves from reward to equity to an IPO on-ramp to take the company public. Crowdfunding is creating an entirely new path to funding that is completely customer focused. These are the 4 basic step that I begin the process of identifying and engaging people to build an excited and engaged crowd:

  1. Research Similar Crowdfunding Campaigns
  2. Define your target audience
  3. Develop a narrative and video
  4. Fund a project yourself to experience the process  

Understanding the Funding Cycle

List all the campaigns (both successful and not successful ones). Contact the manager and ask about activities that worked best/worst. Open Kicktraq.com, paste the URLs and review their funding curves. If most of the funding occurred in the beginning, it means most came most from their own network. More stable curve means there are interested backers from the platform.

Understanding Your Crowd

Conduct a survey on your Facebook Page and share it on social media. Ask about the problem you are trying to solve. You will gather invaluable info about your audience and most importantly their email addresses. Estimate what the key problems and pain points your audience is experiencing. Engage with them and provide as much value as you can. In a couple of months, you will have a strong community of targeted people who will help you get your early seeding as they fall into their role as brand advocates. Now you have defined your audience now segment them according to demographic data.

Who is the Creator

Be able, to sum up not just your campaign but yourself as well, using the ‘elevator pitch’ approach. Make it personal and authentic. Build both your campaign and personal story. It is just as much you as your product that they are investing their hard earned money.  Some things to include in your few-sentence bio:

  • your professional experience
  • where you’re from
  • why this is important to you
  • your passions and hobbies
  • how you got to where you are today
  • what you’re working on next.

Takeaway

The last but, maybe most important action is to participate in a campaign as a backer or funder. This experience is something that you can’t read about. Participating in a campaign is a unique experience that will help you craft your own campaign. Traditionally, you’d spend months sifting through your personal network, vetting potential investors, and spending your own time and money to get in front of them. Crowdfunding provides a much more linear path to get in front of the most interested parties and give them more ways to help grow your business, from investing thousands in exchange for equity to contributing $20 in exchange for a first-run product or reward. This is an experience I recommend to everyone that is thinking of creating a campaign.

Regulation CF and Small Business Finance

Small Business Drives Economic Growth

Despite being the strongest drivers of growth in the U.S. economy, small businesses face immense challenges garnering funding from traditional sources like venture capital firms, angel investor groups, or debt financing. 90 percent of small business owners still believe that banks are the first stop for business financing, despite more than a 30-year history of banks decreasing the number of their loans going to small businesses. Since small businesses aren’t the only ones struggling for financing – startups, entertainment projects, musicians, and others face similar challenges – the new (and popular) crowdfunding industry has increasingly filled the funding gap. 

Traditional Lenders Overlook Small Business

New business owners usually aren’t the best candidates for traditional small-business loans from banks or other funding sources, which typically require collateral, years of successful operation and excellent personal credit. Even if funding were approved, new entrepreneurs may not have the resources to begin making loan payments immediately. Rewards-based crowdfunding is an alternative to traditional small-business financing and provides the means to transform promising ideas into a profitable reality — without having to pay back a penny.

The Crowdfunding Model Works Well For Small Business

Small businesses that have a loyal customer base or large following can investigate the newly passed Regulation Crowdfunding. This new form of equity crowdfunding — which is the result of the new Title III of the JOBS Act — allows companies to raise up to $1,000,000 each year, from investors for their businesses, using crowdfunding platforms. You agree to sell stock in your business and can offer those shares to anyone. However, there are limits on what individuals can invest based on their income. The transactions are done through Web-based platforms — which will both help keep you compliant with all of the laws and rules and will also take a commission on the sale of the stock.

Regulation CF is Perfect for Small Businesses

This form of capital raising is especially attractive to “main street” businesses — which may have a great history and engaged customers, but find that banks aren’t willing, or able to lend to them. This model exists in many other countries, and we see local food-based businesses, bars and pubs, art and creative studios and other product based companies taking advantage of these models and raising on average about $700,000.

Crowdfunding Can Be A Catalytic Funding Event

Crowdinvesting can supply needed capital for equipment, growth capital or for strategic hires. In many cases, it becomes the on-ramp to other more traditional models of financing as a catalytic event. Some savvy small business owners have learned to leverage small early-stage investments through crowdinvesting to increase their bargaining power and get more money from venture capitalists or others later. Whether a tool to provide small funds to launch a startup or as an alternative to the high costs of IPOs, these new rules expand the financing options available to startups and small businesses across the USA.

Crowd Investing and Inner-City Transformation

Black Wall Street

Black Wall Street is a story that is often told in the politically and economically progressive circles of African-American communities. In the early 1900’s the oil boom provided African-Americans like other Americans the hope and promise of economic prosperity. But segregation an American reality which had very little to do with region and was quite simply an entrenched American policy and fact caused many of the black migrants to settle in the northern end of town under the strict lash of residential segregation.

The African-American community again demonstrating an strength and resilience not their own began to build in the face of stark and sometime brutal government and nongovernmental social, political, and economic oppression. The black entrepreneurial spirit again raised it head and these leaders began to take advantage of the entrepreneurial opportunities that strict segregation provide them.  They created an impressive business ecosystem “that included banks, hotels, cafes, clothiers, movie theaters, and contemporary homes.  Greenwood residents enjoyed many luxuries that their White neighbors did not, including indoor plumbing and a remarkable school system that superiorly educated Black children.”

This community was destroy by pure evil intent in the form of racial terrorism, but most black economically prosperous business centers were not destroyed by mob violence, but by government policies that drove private business decision making using urban renewal and redlining policies to systematically build wealth for working and middle class whites and to deny and starve black working and middle class residents of capital. 


Understanding Redlining

In 1933, faced with a housing shortage, the federal government began a program explicitly designed to increase — and segregate — America’s housing stock. Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a “state-sponsored system of segregation.” The government’s efforts were “primarily designed to provide housing to white, middle-class, lower-middle-class families,” he says. African-Americans and other people of color were left out of the new suburban communities — and pushed instead into urban housing projects.

The term “redlining”comes from the development by the New Deal, by the federal government of maps of every metropolitan area in the country. And those maps were color-coded by first the Home Owners Loan Corp. and then the Federal Housing Administration and then adopted by the Veterans Administration, and these color codes were designed to indicate where it was safe to insure mortgages. And anywhere where African-Americans lived, anywhere where African-Americans lived nearby were colored red to indicate to appraisers that these neighborhoods were too risky to insure mortgages.

The Current Impact of Redlining

Today African-American incomes on average are about 60 percent of average white incomes. But African-American wealth is about 5 percent of white wealth. Most middle-class families in this country gain their wealth from the equity they have in their homes. So this enormous difference between a 60 percent income ratio and a 5 percent wealth ratio is almost entirely attributable to federal housing policy redlining implemented through the 20th century.

In 1968 the Fair Housing Act was passed that allowed African-Americans to effectively purchase homes anywhere in the United States, but this law was an empty promise the damage had been done. Those homes are no longer affordable to the families that could’ve afforded them when whites were buying into those suburbs and gaining the equity and the wealth that followed from the government sponsored policy of Redlining.

The Promise of Crowd Investing Via Buy the Block

Lynn P. is a black female serial entrepreneur that used the first black owned crowdfunding platform, which she founded, to raise over $110,000 to build the first and only black and female headed real estate crowdinvesting platform — Buy the Block. Buy the Block offers an extremely low entry fee of $100 that lowers the barrier of entry for many of the low-moderate income black families that are looking to invest in businesses and real estate projects.

Black people in the United States have a combined purchasing power of $1.3 trillion that would make our community the 13 largest global economies, but our wealth is encroaching zero and only 5 percent of white America, our income is 60 percent of white America. Locavesting and crowd investing allow African-American communities to to invest in community based businesses and support these same businesses as consumers with a vested interest in the success of these businesses.  

WeCycl Providing Economic Direction

 WeCycl is a platform that allows businesses from undeserved communities to connect with people of undeserved communities to recycle spending dollars creating economic empowerment. Undeserved communities. WeCycl Connect  is an African American business directory and online marketplace with a goal to create the largest directory and digital marketplace of African American businesses and organizations globally. WeCycl wants to connect the over 2 million black owned businesses to over $1.3 trillion of African American spending dollars and also promote black businesses to partner and spend with one another.

  1. Black women are starting businesses at the highest rate in the U.S.
  2. The black dollar stays in the African American community for only 6 hours
  3. African American we over 50% of Hennessy consumer base which sells 2.3 million cases/year but drinks less alcohol on average than the rest of the U.S
  4. African Americans earning six figures is the fastest growing segment in America
  5. African American women are the most educated women in America
  6. African Americans use cell phone devices more than any other group

We must recycle our dollars. When we recycle our dollars we create jobs, we improve our socio-economic condition, and leverage political influence. Support black owned businesses.

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

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

BLACK FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR IS FIGHTING GENTRIFICATION USING CROWD INVESTING AND SHOWING BLACK PEOPLE HOW TO DO THE SAME-ONE BLOCK AT A TIME

Lynn P. President/Founder of Buy The Block

Introduction

When you walk into the stores at a strip mall or the local community commercial corridor to purchase your retail needs, have you ever wondered who owns the building that houses all of those retail establishments? The massive apartment complexes that adorned the inner-city skyline and house so many residents in very compact areas where the economic density is immense and truly illustrates the meaning of urban living. Who owns these massive structures that generate tremendous amounts of revenue by merely being present in the community? JOIN THE MOVEMENT! 

For more information or to pledge go to https://buybacktheblock.com/

Commercial Real Estate

The Commercial real estate industry consist of property that is used solely for business purposes and that are leased out to provide a workspace rather than a living space. Ranging from a single gas station to a huge shopping center, commercial real estate includes retailers of all kinds, office space, hotels, strip malls, restaurants and convenience stores, and the size of the United States commercial real estate market is in dollars is around $6.6 trillion according to worth of commercial real estate in the United States according to Statista.

Commercial Real Estate By The Numbers

  • Retail includes indoor shopping malls, outdoor strip malls, and big-box retailers. It also includes grocery stores and restaurants. Its value is around $2.1 trillion, or 36 percent of the total value of the commercial real estate. It consists of at least 9.5 billion square feet of shopping center space.
  • Hotels include motels, luxury resorts, and business hotels. There are roughly 4.4 million hotel rooms worth $1.92 trillion.
  • Office buildings include everything from Manhattan skyscrapers to your lawyer’s office. There are roughly 4 billion square feet of office space, worth around $1.7 trillion, or 29 percent of the total.
  • Apartment buildings are also part of the commercial real estate. That’s because companies own them only to turn a profit. There are around 33 million square feet of apartment rental space, worth about $1.44 trillion.
  • Industrial property is used to manufacture, distribute or warehouse a product. It’s not always considered commercial, especially in land use plans and in zoning. There are 13 billion square feet of industrial property worth around $240 billion.

Commercial Real Estate is White Males Dominate

According to a report from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, a national organization founded almost 50 years ago, and that has more than 18,000 members, used Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data and found that more than three-quarters of senior commercial real estate executive positions nationwide were held by white men. Hispanic, Asian, black and other women — own less than 1 percent of the CRE senior executive jobs nationwide, according to the report. During more in-depth research I came across this 2014 article by Duke Long 10 Reasons You Will Never Become a Commercial Real Estate Broker, and two of his reasons that stood out to me was point number 4 You are not a (White) man.  This article stands in stark contrast to the reality of Buy The Block!

Who Is Lynn P

Lynn is a serial entrepreneur that founded my first company at 28, with the help of family and friends. In 2010, she established BBE to pay it forward by providing education and funding for businesses. With Buy the Block, she has created the first Black-owned real estate crowd investing platform enabling the Black community to pool immense $1.3 Trillion in purchasing power to come together to make real estate and business development investments.  

Buy The Block

Serial Entrepreneur Lynn P founded Buy the Block in a toolshed in Cincinnati in 2013. The company allowed her to couple her two passions, real estate investing and teaching others the art and science of real estate investment,  into a seamless online crowd investing experience for the Black community. Buy the Block has solved two of the major issues of the Black community.

The first is access to capital for businesses and real estate development and the second is an investment platform with a low barrier to entry to facilitate the building of community equity and Black wealth at the same time. Buy The Block now serves investors and developers all over the US and is thrilled to be a part of the global crowd investing and alternative finance industry.By bringing investors together with entrepreneurs, we are not just building stronger communities; we are building wealthier districts. In that wealth lies the only real independence.

Buy The Block’s First Commercial Development

Lynn P is spearheading her next foray into the commercial real estate with a MAJOR move with Buy Back The Block movement, which will consist of over 1000 individuals raising over $1 million to Buy The Block. As a result, the facility will become 100% owned by the community members who support it. Construction will begin in April 2018, with a $600 thousand renovation that includes 11 retail spaces, office space and apartments. The development plans to reopen in June 2019 as a retail building for the Dayton, Oh community. 

Commercial Real Estate Development Project

Buy Back The Block and Stop Gentrification

The vision we all share at Buy Back The Block is to change investing from confusing and frustrating, to an accessible and enjoyable social experience. This is not what is currently obtainable, and as such we want to create a new generation of connected investors who feel informed, empowered, and confident.

We believe the current options aren’t meeting the expectations of the next generation. We are developing an accessible, collaborative, friendly and fun investing environment for both new and experienced investors. Our efforts provide a seamless and secure solution that empowers people to spend together in a way that has never happened till now.

Conclusion

Before converting this next commercial building project into it to a retail building, the 87-year-old building is sitting empty. Once this door of opportunity opens up, it will allow those of us who are conscious about legacy and generational wealth to say, ‘What are we going to do differently?’ Buying Commercial Properties is next phase in the exciting journey.Your contribution will help us complete the purchase of this property, rehab and host the block party. Also, it will help you buy a piece of your first block! Incredible to hear, but true. Join the Movement to Buy Back the Block at BuyBackTheBlock.  JOIN THE MOVEMENT! 

For more information or to pledge go to https://buybacktheblock.com/.


Posted on December 18, 2017 By Staff With 0 comments

It’s True! More African Americans Are Investing in the Stock Market

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A recent national study by Chicago-based Ariel Investments shows that more black Americans are investing in the stock market. For years, blacks stayed away from stock investments, but that trend is beginning to change.

67% of Blacks are investing

According to the study, stock market investing has grown among the black population over the years. In 1998, 57 percent of blacks were investing in stocks or stock mutual funds. By 2010, that number had grown to 60 percent, and today 67 percent of blacks invest in stocks or stock mutual funds. One reason suggested is that more employers are offering 401K programs for their employees. Since employers match 401K deposits up to various amounts, black employees consider this a very important reason to invest and grow wealth.

Investment attitudes different based on race

Investment attitudes and behaviors differ between blacks and whites. Blacks and Hispanics invest less money, and their investments are in safer yet low-returning assets, making their wealth levels about 90 percent lower than the wealth levels of median whites, even when their level of income is only 40 percent lower. This has an effect on the growth of overall wealth.

But wait, there’s more!

In addition, while blacks always considered their homes to be their “best overall investment,” that, too, is changing, falling from 61 percent in 2004 to its current level of 37 percent. How they view stock investing, however, is changing in the opposite direction. In 2004, only 28 percent of blacks felt that stocks were their best overall investment. But in the recent survey, that number increased to 41 percent.

What all of this may point to is closing the gap in wealth inequality between black and white Americans as the upward trend for more black investors in the stock market continues.

Would you like to join an investment group? Click here.
For more details about the study, visit www.arielinvestments.com/content/view/3006/1850/

 

Posted on December 6, 2017 By Staff With 1 comment

Top 7 Black-Owned Restaurants in New Orleans (The Best Gumbo, Jambalaya and More!)

New Orleans, Louisiana is known as one of the culinary capitals of the United States. Food served in this amazing city reflects the local Cajun, Creole, and French roots. Visitors come from all over the world just to taste its exquisite gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish, red beans and rice, and more. And every summer, hundreds of thousands of African Americans come to New Orleans to attend the Essence Music Festival.

Here are some of the best Black-owned restaurants in New Orleans:

#1 – Ray’s On The Ave: located at 1139 St Bernard Ave, famous for fast service, gumbo and fried chicken, boiled crawfish, and live music.

#2 – Fred’s BBQ & Soul Food: located at 3336 S Claiborne Ave, serves some of the best barbecues in New Orleans, along with Mac and cheese, yams, and corn.

#3 – Heard Dat Kitchen: located at 2520 Felicity St will more than satisfy you if your craving is for Cajun/Creole, Seafood, Soul Food. Try their crawfish stuffed shrimp and the blackened catfish and green beans for starters. Good food and southern hospitality.

#4 – Bennachin Restaurant: located in the French Quarter, serves some of the best African and Soul food around. From cabbage and couscous (Yasa) to the black-eyed peas and coconut rice with plantains (Kone Ni Makondo), it’s all good here!

#5 – High Hat Cafe: located; at 4500 Freret St, specializes in southern, soul food favorites like catfish, BBQ gold shrimp, shrimp Po boy, one-eyed burger, mac & cheese, cornbread, pimento cheese grits, and slow-roasted pork. The restaurant is also dog-friendly!

#6 – McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’: located at 1458 N Broad St, is a favorite among chicken-lovers. Customers consider their fresh, fried chicken the best in the city. Reasonable prices, too.

#7 – Catty Car Corner: located at 1340 Poydras St, has a 1980s style decor and serves cafeteria style, including breakfast. One of their specialties is grilled cheese sandwich made with gruyere, caramelized onions, and prosciutto. Customers say it is “melted high-quality cheese.” Try their pulled pork, too. The restaurant is closed for dinner but serves breakfast and lunch.

Posted on June 1, 2017 By Staff With 0 comments

Black Owned Crowdfunding Site Reaches $100k in Funding – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now

Black multi-generation family outside, the power of the crowd. Black Owned Crowdfunding Site Reaches 100k in Funding – Ain’t No Stopping Us Now

Nationwide, May 1, 2017 – To be successful, it is vital to have the courage to go for it. At a time where it was unpopular to birth and run a black owned crowdfunding site, Lynn Da, a young budding entrepreneur out of Cincinnati has taken the bull by the horn to make the impossible possible.

Founded in the year 2012, with the aim of helping members of the black community get funding for their businesses, Suffice it to say that in April, BBNomics has been able to raise over $100,000 in funding.

Speaking excitedly, Lynn, the organization’s founder said; “I am thrilled about this latest development. This particular feat will go a long way in strengthening our hearts and increase our faith for a better tomorrow for the black community, as we all work together to make it happen. Even though the journey is long and tough, this has made us believe that it is achievable.”

In recent times, BBNomics has funded some notable projects such as; Kimchi Socks (a young socks company), Bringing More Healing to the hood (a mental health clinic in Chicago) and much more. “My personal goal is for BBNomics to raise one million in funding to help entrepreneurs and organizations open their doors to the public, and I know we are almost there” Lynn added.

It is noteworthy to mention that ‘Basil Health Fund’ and ‘Buy The Block’ are some of the campaigns that BBNomics is currently spearheading. While the former focuses on raising funds for Basil Elby, the alleged mastermind of the I-85 Atlanta bridge collapse, the latter presents a platform that will allow groups and individuals to pool resources, share knowledge, vote on the property to invest and efficiently manage investments.

According to their website, anyone can start a campaign and get funding for businesses, organizations, social causes and more. For more details about BBNomics, visit – www.bbnomics.com or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bbeconomics/
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Posted on May 1, 2017 By Staff With 1 comment

7 Amazing Black-Owned Businesses in Paris, France

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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

Entrepreneur Making Global Impact with First Ever African Inspired Home Decor Business

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The home décor industry has gone through loads of changes in the last couple of years. Despite the recent economic downturn, its market growth has shown no signs of slowing down.

From the emergence of brands like Ballard Designs, C&B, and Anthropologie, not forgetting heaps of other global materials that have found their way into people’s homes, now the latest development in the home décor business involves the use of African prints and designs for homes. LakayDesigns.com, based in Miami, Florida, is the new pacesetter.

Owned by savvy entrepreneur Jojo, LakayDesigns.com is a first of its kind African Decor Business that is dedicated towards restoring the rich cultural heritage of African designs to homes, as well as adding the beauty of African ‘colors’ to the everyday life of African Americans.

Renowned as a provider of unique home décor services, their products which covers the; Kitchen, Bathroom, Living Room, Dining Room and Bedroom Essentials, is quickly becoming a favorite for conscious African-Americans in the USA, Caribbean and even the United Kingdom.

“After taking a careful look at what was already available in the home décor industry, I decided to produce an enviable line of product offerings that would make an impact, and which everyone could have 100% confidence in,” Jojo explains.
The company has created an innovative distribution channel by selling direct to wholesalers and retailers via their website. It is noteworthy to mention that most orders placed by 1pm are shipped on the same day.

Additionally, the LakayDesigns.com wholesale program features a low-cost system for other entrepreneurs to get involved in a fast growing business. They also have an affiliate program where affiliates can earn as high as 20%-40% commission on any sale they refer, which can add up fast.

“We’re helping to empower organizations in the community with our specialty items, which in turn generates income and pride back to the community,” says Jojo.
“I’ve had calls from all over; US, Canada and the Caribbean. Plus, the website has received requests from England, and loads of other European countries,” Jojo explains.

The company’s African print designs are available globally through the website and from authorized wholesalers. “I bought one a while back, my mom took it from me. They’re excellent material and the big pockets are very useful. Very satisfied with the purchase, now I just need to get another for myself again,” says Princess Dixon, one of their numerous satisfied customers.

Always on the cutting edge, LakayDesigns.com has a new line of Bath, Bedding, Kitchen Essentials and Home Decor that would be released and available for purchase very soon. To learn more about their line of products visit http://www.lakaydesigns.com/store.html

About Us
“Home is Home! Small batch manufacturing and distribution of African print designs for your home as well as everyday life.

LaKay Designs is a way for you to jazz up your home or business with gorgeous unique one of kind pieces. Our African print fabrics have the capacity to inspire the most intriguing conversation. Our designs set the tone for your culture.
We know YOU’RE different; you set your own standard! Show off your unique style with LaKay. LaKay means ‘Home’ in Haitian Creole. Support black business.”
To know more about Lakay Designs, visit – http://www.lakaydesigns.com/about.html

Lakay 032

PRESS CONTACT:
Jojo Pierre
Tel: 513-873-9255
home@lakaydesigns.com

Posted on June 2, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

BUY BLACK ECONOMICS 2ND ANNUAL BLACK BUSINESS CONTEST

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If you’ve followed BBNomics or Buy Black Economics social media networks, you know we are kicking up our efforts to raise awareness about Black Businesses.  We’ve launched our first annual campaign to support businesses that support our communities. We are utilizing Crowdsourcing to find these black businesses and their customers. All throughout July customers can Nominate a Black Business that exceeded their expectations!

This contest will allow black businesses gain access to capital and garner support from our community, meanwhile rewarding all contributors with prizes for their nominations and support.  Do you know of a black business that supports the community? Did you visit a black business that fulfilled your need immediately and had impeccable service? Let us know!

By appealing to our customers, we hope to grow our community of supporters and to increase business awareness, especially among our young people.

Here is your chance to win the following:

  • 1st Prize Buy Black Economics Pop Up in your city and your location
  • 2nd One Year Platinum Business Listing on Buy Black Economics  *value* $600*
  • 3rd  Prize winner will receive $100 gift card from our favorite BOB. 
  • 4th  Prize Four (2) fourth place winners will receive a $25 gift card to several BOB’s.

Each Black Business Nomination, during the month of June will enter the entrepreneur and the nominee in a drawing for a chance to win prizes. You can nominate businesses in the comment section below. 

Each time you nominate a (BOB) Black Owned Business, during June, the nominee will be added to the drawing. 

You may nominate people/businesses in one category, a few select categories or every category.  Please provide as much of the information requested as possible so we may notify your nominee of their nomination and instruct them on next steps.  We do not share with nominees who actually nominated them.  You may nominate as many deserving people/businesses as you like in the same category but will have to submit a new form for each one.

You will be able to nominate businesses in any or all of the following categories:

How you’ll Enter:

  • Write a compelling story about how a Black Business “Wow’d” you. 
  • Share the story with us  via email, fb, twitter, linkedin, instagram etc..
  • Tell the business you entered them in Buy Black Economics 2nd Annual Black Business Contest. 

Each nomination received will be entered  in a drawing, each entry earns prizes mentioned above.  BBNomics & Buy Black Economics  method helps us all by creating much-needed jobs, entrepreneurs and something for our community members who support these endeavors.

Want to nominate more than one business?  Great!  Each additional nomination will get you another entry, plus there are extra prizes at for multiple nominations.  The more you nominate the more prizes you are eligible for. A thank-you from BBNomics & Buy Black Economics Team, a free spotlight of your business all year round and a custom-designed t-shirt and much more.

Remember, BBNomics uses 100% of its publicly raised funds to help speed access to capital for up and coming young black entrepreneurs. This contest-driven model allows BBNomics & Buy Black Economics supporters to win prizes while helping to build our community, one business and organization at a time.

The contest starts June 2nd, 2016 and end July 28th, 2016 at 11:59 pm eastern time, so enter now and share it with your friends and family!

  1. Website: https://buyblackeconomics.com/
  2. Twitter: @buyblkeconomics
  3. Intstagram: https://www.instagram.com/buyblackeconomics/
  4. Pinetrest: http://pinterest.com/bbnomics/boards/
  5. Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/bbeconomics/

Rules & Guidelines:

  • Contest valid ONLY at BBNomics & Buy Black Economics (and social media networks), no other site will qualify.
  • No limit to the number of black businesses you can submit to enter the contest.
  • Winners will be randomly selected on July 28th, 2016 and contacted via email or phone the week of August 13th, 2016
  • Winner’s prizes will be mailed from BBNomics. BBNomics reserves the right to choose a new winner.
  • BBNomics reserves the right not to select a winner if, in its sole discretion, no suitable entries are received.
  • Employees, Family member of employees and Partners of BBNomics are ineligible to take part in the contest.
  • Any prize, awards, rewards will be sent to the our contributors after the contest ends and no later than January 28, 2017.

Thank you and best of luck!

Disclaimer:  (Businesses Must have at least 1 year in business, with a track record of success, and a strong outlook for 2017) and nominated by a customer. Businesses can not nominate their self. 

BUY BLACK ECONOMICS

PRESENTS:

2ND ANNUAL BLACK BUSINESS CONTEST

 

Posted on May 28, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

Black Woman Rejected by Airline Decides to Start Her Own Airline — And Does!

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When Sibongile Sambo, a 42-year old woman from South Africa, was told by South African Airways that she did not qualify for a flight attendant position because she did not meet their minimum height requirement, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
She became an entrepreneur, and started her very own airline called SRS Aviation, and until this day, her company is the only Black woman-owned and operated aviation company in Africa.

So, how did she do it?

Starting an airline is not an easy or cheap thing to do, but despite this, she was still able to get it off the ground.

First, she formed her company and gave it the name of SRS Aviation. Then, she bid and won a contract for cargo transport issued by the South African government and formed a partnership with MCC Aviation – a South African-based fixed & rotor wing charter operator. Finally, she sold her car and cashed out her mother’s pension to help her obtain an Air Operating Certificate from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). It wasn’t an easy process, but she was able to raise the needed capital and make it work!

Now, Sambo’s company offers their clients professional and personalized flight options to destinations in Africa and around the world. Their services include VIP charters, tourist charters, cargo charters, game count & capture, and helicopter services. Her customers pay anywhere from $1,000 USD to $200,000 USD per flight.

Her vision

Sambo’s vision is to be the number one choice in affordable air service solutions for individuals and businesses, locally and worldwide, by providing an unparalleled air service. She also aims to uphold the highest safety standards.

When it comes to giving back to her local community, she is also very passionate about helping young people by sharing her knowledge and expertise. During a recent interview with CNN, she commented, “I’m where I am today because somebody invested in me. It’s my opportunity now to invest in other people.”

For more details about SRS Aviation, visit www.srsaviation.co.za

Watch the video below:

Posted on May 10, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

Top Five Black Farmers, Black Farming is back on the rise!

After a Century in Decline, Black Farmers Are Back and on the Rise

These Black farmers don’t stop at healthy food. They’re healing trauma, instilling collective values, and changing the way their communities think about the land.
farm1

Blain Snipstal, second from left, with members of the Black Dirt Farm Collective. Photo courtesy Blain Snipstal.

Blain Snipstal and Aleya Fraser
Farm:Black Dirt Farm Collective
Location: Preston, Maryland
Number of Years Farming: 7
Revered Elder: Harriet Tubman

About 80 miles southeast of Baltimore, Black Dirt leases 2 acres that long have been home to the Black freedom struggle. Harriet Tubman once rescued her parents and nine other people from enslavement in this place, which was one of the first stops on the Underground Railroad.

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Vegan farmers JoVonna Johnson-Cooke and Eugene Cooke raise corn and other native crops at their Stone Mountain farm. Photo by Nicole Bluh.

Eugene Cooke and JoVanna Johnson-Cooke
Farm: Grow Where You Are Collective
Location: Atlanta and Stone Mountain, Georgia
Number of Years Farming: 14
Revered Elder: Wangari Maathai

Collaboration is also key for the nine members of the Grow Where You Are collective, who operate a 3-acre farm and food forest in Atlanta, as well as a 5-acre farm in the nearby rural community of Stone Mountain.

Yonnette Fleming holds a Rhode Island Red hen at the Hattie Carthan Community Garden. Photo by Quincy Ledbetter.

Yonnette Fleming holds a Rhode Island Red hen at the Hattie Carthan Community Garden. Photo by Quincy Ledbetter.

Yonnette Fleming
Farm: Hattie Carthan Herban Farm
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Number of Years Farming: 16
Revered Elder: Hattie Carthan

Yonette Fleming’s passion for agriculture comes through in the poetic urgency of her words. So it’s surprising to learn she once tried to escape it. She was raised in Guyana, where her family cooperated with indigenous communities to grow coconuts, sugar, rice, and other crops. She took a detour into corporate America before finding her way back to the land.

Lindsey Lunsford gathers peppers at TULIP’s community garden. Photo by Wil Sands.

Lindsey Lunsford gathers peppers at TULIP’s community garden. Photo by Wil Sands.

Lindsey Lunsford
Farm: Tuskegee United Leadership and Innovation Program (TULIP)
Location: Tuskegee, Alabama
Number of Years Farming: 2
Revered Elder: Booker T. Washington

The educator and activist Booker T. Washington once sent a letter to every resident of Tuskegee’s Greenwood neighborhood, encouraging them to grow home gardens in order to build self-sufficiency. Through her work with TULIP, Lindsey Lunsford is continuing his legacy.

Chris Bolden-Newsome shows off a basket of marshmallow root he grew at Bantram’s Garden. Photo by Owen Taylor.

Chris Bolden-Newsome shows off a basket of marshmallow root he grew at Bantram’s Garden. Photo by Owen Taylor.

Chris Bolden-Newsome
Farm: Community Farm and Food Resource Center at Bantram’s Garden (a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative)
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Number of Years Farming: 12
Revered Elders: Rufus and Demalda Newsome (his parents)

Before the “food justice” movement existed in the United States, Black farmers in the Mississippi Delta were cooperating to feed the community. Raised by farmers in that movement, Chris Bolden-Newsome assumed that growing food was something everybody did and was shocked to find otherwise when he moved north. He now manages a 50-bed community garden in his current home of Philadelphia, where he reconnects Black people to their agricultural heritage.

Source: Leah Penniman wrote this article for YES! Magazine. Leah is a farmer and educator based in the Albany, New York, area.

 

 

Posted on May 6, 2016 By Staff With 5 comments

Take Your Business To Haiti with The Film Black Friday

Take Your Business To Haiti

Take Your Business To Haiti Reserve your space today! http://bit.ly/haititour2016

Take Your Business To Haiti with The Film Black Friday

Join an amazing tour and see what opportunities are available to you outside of the United States. BBE and The Film Black Friday Director Ric Mathis will help you discover the opportunities that are just waiting for you. The tour will start from July 28 to July 31, 2016. The team will be filming on Haiti and interviewing participants and choosing the ones that will be featured in the next film.

Black Friday is a documentary that takes a deeper look into the spending behaviors of African-Americans in the US. Every year, 1.2 trillion dollars leave African-American communities. According to Nielsen Company’s recent survey, African-American consumers shop more often and are more aggressive patrons of media. They shop more, watch more television, buy more ethnic grooming and beauty products and read more economic magazines than any other group.

Black Friday shows the incorrect financial education of African-Americans and the economic drawbacks that continue to prevent the community from progressing and growing. Black Friday aims to improve the financial responsibility and economic awareness of African-Americans and thus, presents solutions that will help better manage the money spent by the African-American communities. The film also emphasizes the importance of leaving an ethical and economic legacy for the next generations.

Reserve your space today! http://bit.ly/haititour2016

Ric will release the next Black Friday film on Black Friday in 2016. The tour will be a great chance for businesses to connect with African-American to bring their business to Haiti to grab the opportunities that await them.

The tour will also benefit the Centre orphelinat du bon berger de l’Archaie, an orphanage  established by Pastor Valembrun Estinfil in 2008. The extreme level of poverty faced by many Haitians prevents parents from taking care of their children. To help them meet their needs and live a better life, we are accepting donations for African centered books, school supplies, clothes, sneakers cleats and other items that will make life easier and more comfortable for the children. Your donation will be given to children aged 12 months to 13 years old. We are accepting new or gently used items.

Please call 9134BUYBLK 913-428.9255 to arrange your donation or if you have questions about this trip.

Haiti’s Growing Economy

The devastating earthquake in 2010 dealt a great deal of damage to Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. It also resulted in significant financial losses almost equal to the nation’s GDP. The international community has pledged around US$10 billion to support the country’s reconstruction projects. Haiti’s economy is progressively improving. There are also a lot of great opportunities that provide SMEs with their much needed strategic support, financial expertise and funds.

Haiti’s economy is growing. The country has a free-market economy that boasts a pro-business government, capital demands and low-cost labor that will only continue to improve in the future. Moreover, the Haitian government has joined forces with the international community to create more job opportunities for the young workplace by making it easier for foreign groups to invest in the country.

The proximity of the country to the United States, which is also its main trading partner, the massive support from the global community and the low-cost yet eager and motivated workforce are other factors that will contribute to Haiti’s growth. For businesses that are planning to invest in Haiti, here are the main strategic advantages of the country.

  • Pro-business government – The first on the list would be the pro-business government. Haiti’s president, Michel Martelly, has promised to create more than 500,000 jobs in the next 3 years. The Haitian government also has started to streamline steps on starting a business and loosen restrictions on foreign land ownership.
  • Strategic Location – Haiti’s strategic location is another factor that will attract businesses. The country is located between the largest economy in the world (USA) and developing economies in South America (Columbia and Brazil). The economic development throughout the region would benefit Haiti. The country is also located in the Caribbean, which provides Haiti with great maritime trade access.
  • Favorable Economic Signals – Haiti’s 8 percent GDP growth in 2012, economic incentive from billions in foreign support and free-market economy make up for favorable economic signals.
  • Growing Trade Integration – Haiti has been a member of WTO since 1996. It is also near large economies, which guarantees low costs for transporting products to international markets. The implementation of Special Economic Zones also provides exemptions on taxes and tariffs.
  • Unexploited Resource Potential – The country has abundant, unexploited mineral deposits of copper, calcium carbonate, bauxite and gold as well as a young, low-cost workforce.
  • Expedient Labor Conditions – Haiti has plenty of trainable and motivated workers.
  • Geography – The country has natural sea ports at Jacmel, Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haitien and Gonaives as well as 1,700km of coastline and topnotch unspoiled beaches.
  • Massive International Support – Over US$10 billion of foreign support has been given for reconstruction projects. More than 3000 non-government organizations are also working in the country to provide the necessary support services. The Inter-American Development Bank offered more than US$2.2 billion for development and recovery projects. United States HOPE and HELP Acts will also help in rebuilding the country’s garment industry.

If you’re thinking of doing business in Haiti, now is your best chance. Join the tour and learn how you can maximize the business opportunities in the country. You should arrive in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on the 28th of July 2016, at least three to four hours in advance. Bring your passport and another identification form. We have to check in two hours in advance and clear all customs properly.

Reserve your space today! http://bit.ly/haititour2016

Posted on May 4, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

The Presence of Black Businesses in the Community Helps to Reduce Local Crime Rates

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An increase in Black-owned businesses in any local area will result in a decrease of crime, according to Karen Parker, professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware.

Parker is also the author of the 2013 study, The African American Entrepreneur – Crime Drop Relationship: Growing African American Business Ownership and Declining Youth Violence, and she says that when we address unemployment, poverty and joblessness in urban areas, we are also addressing the crime rate.

Is she right?

It seems so because according to the finding in her study, since 2001, Black-owned businesses have increased by 60 percent (from 1.1 million businesses to 1.9 million), and the crime rate in those areas that have high volumes of Black businesses has decreased by 29 percent. Why?

Researchers point to three primary reasons for the cause-and-affect discovery.

  • Black-owned business owners serve mentors and positive role models for black youth in particular
  • Black-owned businesses raise morale throughout their communities
  • Black-owned businesses create more local jobs and economic opportunities for African Americans that reverse poverty

Influence is more than economic

Like other business owners, black business owners are very much involved in their communities through business and social organizations, churches and schools. They support the black community by hiring black employees, bringing jobs and infusing more money into their communities.

But it is more than that! Black-owned businesses are a powerful influence to youth and others. They demonstrate that, if they can do it in spite of huge obstacles, others can do it, too. They bring not only economic advantages, but hope.

http://blog.blackbusiness.org/2015/05/black-businesses-community-help-reduce-local-crime-rates.html#.Vx9WWtIrK2w

 

 

Posted on April 26, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

6 Black-Owned Beverage Companies — Stirring Up Wines, Teas, and Energy Drinks

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African American entrepreneurs are widening out and starting companies in all kinds of industries. They are no longer just owners of barbershops, hair salons, and restaurants. Nowadays, they are investing in bigger more global ideas like tech companies, investing firms, and global food and drink distribution.

When it comes to beverages, the most popular brands are Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Snapple, and Lipton, but there are also some brands that were created by African American business owners.

Here are 6 Black-owned beverage companies that you can find online and in local grocery stores:

#1 – SoRen Tea: a luxury lifestyle brand with a gourmet selection of blended, loose teas. Established in 2011 by African American sisters Sonnia Shields and Rena Williams, SoRen Tea is one of the first fashion-forward lines of loose leaf teas. The brand has received a tremendous amount of local and national press. In its first year of business, SoRen Tea was invested in by Oscar nominated actress Taraji P. Henson.

#2 – Ellis Island Tea: an all-natural, antioxidant-rich hibiscus tea founded in 2008 by Nailah Ellis-Brown. She got the recipe from her late great grandfather, who told her, “This recipe is to be sold, not told. Ellis Island Tea is a smooth, flavorful Jamaican blend, steeped in family tradition, brewed and bottled in Detroit, Michigan.

#3 – Jin+Ja: a revitalizing, anti-inflammatory and metabolism boosting tea brand that was started in the summer of 2009 by entrepreneur Reuben Canada (pictured above). He initially made the drinks for himself and for friends, but then realized that he had something bigger on his hands. After doing a test at a local retailer, the product kept selling out every 3 days for first three months and the rest is history!

#4 – MoFaya Energy Drinks: As the first 100% black owned beverage company in South Africa, these energy drinks use high quality ingredients to create an energizing & stimulating effect, which enhances endurance and boosts performance. They also have a product formulated for extreme hydration that contains electrolytes, minerals, and carbohydrates to promote optimal fluid replacement.

#5 – Heritage Link Brands: a delicious wine brand founded by entrepreneur Selena Cuffe after she learned there that, out of South Africa’s $3-billion wine industry, less than two percent were owned by blacks despite them representing 80% of the country’s population. Recognizing an untapped opportunity to introduce a new era of producers to the American market, the idea for Heritage Link Brands was born. Today the company serves a customer base of over 4,000 outlets, including household names from Disney to Whole Foods, and their award-winning portfolio is represented in over 40 U.S. states, South Africa, Nigeria, and literally, worldwide, on three different airlines.

#6 – Bee D’Vine: a popular brand of honey wine that was created by entrepreneur Ayele Solomon after he realized that flowering trees in Ethiopia were an ideal source of nectar and pollen that bees use to make valuable honey. This set him on a quest to better understand the art and business of creating honey wine. He evaluated production in Ethiopia and South Africa, but settled on the world-class wine region of Sonoma – not far from where he grew up – using California honey for the first varietals.

http://blog.blackbusiness.org/2016/03/black-owned-beverage-companies-wines-teas-energy-drinks.html#.VxQ5edQrK2w

Posted on April 17, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

6 Amazing Black Tech Organizations That Are Making a Difference for Young People!

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It is no secret that there is a severe shortage of blacks in Silicon Valley. Although more and more minorities are graduating from college with degrees in computer science and computer engineering, many are not getting hired — even though they qualify.

Here are 6 black technology companies that support high-tech job opportunities for black youth:

#1 – Black Girls Code: this non-profit organization established in 2011 offers workshops and after-school programs to young girls of color with the goal to grow the number of black girls seeking careers in technology. The organization teaches young girls in underrepresented communities skills such as computer coding and programming languages.

#2 – New Me, Inc: this company was started in 2011 by Angela Benton, technology expert and entrepreneur. The company teaches entrepreneurs, particularly women and minorities, to identify and use their non-traditional backgrounds to create thriving businesses.

#3 – Teens Exploring Technology: this organization helps young men of color from low-income communities to learn skills that will turn them into technology leaders. The organization was established in 2010 and their programs are open to young men of color from grades 7 to 11.

#4 – NSBE, Jr: this organization helps young black students envision themselves in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) by providing students in grades 6–12 with fun, educational STEM activities and events. They also offer NSBE and corporate-sponsored scholarships to students entering college to major in STEM fields.

#5 – All Star Code: this non-profit organization prepares young men of color for careers in technology fields. Their programs provide mentorship, exposure to the technology industry, and intensive training in computer science. The program is located in New York City and is FREE for all accepted students and includes daily transportation and lunch.

#6 – Yes We Code: the goal of this organization is to help urban youth create promising futures in technology. The Oakland, California organization’s goal is to make 100,000 young black men to be the best computer coders in the world. The program focuses on giving technology skills to low-income youth.

 

http://blog.blackbusiness.org/2016/04/6-black-tech-organizations-for-young-people.html#more

Posted on April 15, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

How 1 man single-handedly opened the only grocery store in the 9th Ward

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Burnell Cotlon is talking intently to the soft-spoken woman on the other end of the line.

“Can you hear me, Grandma? What’chu want down there?” he asks. ” Some bread, some ham and cheese?”

The woman requests a jug of Hawaiian Punch.

“I’ll drop it off to you, okay?” he confirmed. “Yes, ma’am.”

It was a quick phone call for Cotlon, but a lifeline for the woman he calls Grandma and the thousands of other residents who live in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward.

More than 10 years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and all but destroyed the Lower Ninth, Cotlon has sunk every cent of his life savings into restoring the quiet neighborhood to the family-friendly community he remembers from his childhood.

Visit him here: 

Lower 9th Ward Market 

2036 Caffin Ave

New Orleans, LA
 (504) 319-8855

Facebook

 

Read more: http://www.nola.com/dining/index.ssf/2016/04/burnell_cotlon_9th_ward_grocer.html

Posted on April 9, 2016 By Staff With 1 comment

3 Super Easy Ways To Support Black-Owned Businesses

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Small businesses represent a very important aspect of our entire economy. The same is true about businesses owned by African Americans and other minorities. There are many people in America who really do want to support black businesses, but they may have no idea how to go about it.

Here are three great ways in which we can all lend support to black-owned businesses.

#1 – Look for them: it may take some homework to identify black-owned businesses because they are not as abundant in communities. Maybe you have to drive a little further, but know that by doing this, you are supporting a black-owned business.

#2 – Try something new: this is a great opportunity for consumers to mix it up and try different products and services they may end up liking even more than those they were used to purchasing from mainstream businesses. Nix the stereotyping and respect black products.

#3 – Recommend them to others: whether it’s word of mouth, social media, recommendations to friends, or actually taking the initiative to reach out to a black-owned business, do it. Whenever you have the opportunity, promote a black-owned business.

It’s not enough just to avoid discrimination

Not discriminating is, without saying, absolutely necessary. But taking positive action to reach out and include black-owned businesses in your B2C or B2B plans is an action that will make a difference. You will be not only supporting black-owned businesses but also showing them that black economy matter as well.

 2 Million Jobs Movement!

2MILBLKMENS

Posted on March 27, 2016 By Staff With 6 comments

Get in Shape With These 7 Black-Owned Fitness Companies

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When it comes to supporting black-owned businesses, we often think of all the retail industries, restaurants, hair care, financial services and other types of industries that are owned by blacks. But there are other industries to also keep in mind, like fitness centers.

Getting in shape is the goal of millions of Americans, and there are so many successful, black-owned fitness businesses that are good at it, and make it fun, too. Here are the top 7:

  1. KTX Fitness – these Atlanta-based fitness centers are led by Keith Thompson whose trademark is cycling to urban and hip-hop music. The centers also offer boot camps, step classes and total body workouts. Their classes also travel to places like D.C., NY, Cincinnati, and Toronto.
  2. Mr. Shut Up and Train – Rahman Grayson leads this Atlanta-based fitness program that offers free workout plans. Grayson offers fitness challenges as well as personal training services that are designed to push people out of their comfort zones in order to accomplish their fitness goals.
  3. Black Girls Run – launched in 2009 by Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks, Black Girls Run now has 69 running groups in 30 states across the United States. Their goal is to help African Americans fight obesity and stay fit.
  4. Brukwine – this fitness company, founded by dancers Tavia and Tamara, combines a very rigorous routine of dancing and workout. For those who want to learn Caribbean dance as a way to stay fit (Rihanna, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez like it!), classes are currently being held in New York.
  5. Shaun T – is one of the most popular fitness gurus. His fitness infomercials include Insanity, T25, Hip Hop Abs, and Rockin’ Body, and he has sold 10 million DVDs. He tailors his workouts to fit every one’s style and makes it fun, too.
  6. Black Men Run – helps black men fight against cardiovascular disease and stroke by scheduling running/jogging events in cities across the U.S. The organization started in 2009 to develop a healthy brotherhood for African American men.
  7. JJ Smith – is a popular nutritionist, certified weight-loss expert, and author who shares advice about losing weight and getting healthy. She has appeared on shows such as The Steve Harvey Morning Show, The Montel Williams Show, The Jamie Foxx Show, and The Michael Baisden Show and has been featured in magazines such as Glamour, Essence, Heart and Soul, and Ladies Home Journal.

Posted on March 21, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

What is Happening to All the Black-Owned Book Stores? Only About 50 Are Left

Desmond Reid, owner of Dare Books, a once-popular book store in Brooklyn, New York that closed back in 2009 after more than 22 years.

Desmond Reid, owner of Dare Books, a once-popular book store in Brooklyn, New York that closed back in 2009 after more than 22 years.

What is happening to black-owned bookstores? By 2012, 66 percent of black-owned bookstores in America disappeared. Since that time, half of the remaining bookstores have also gone away. Is it something black bookstore owners are doing wrong? Not necessarily, according to The National Endowment for the Arts.

What is happening to black stores everywhere

The fact that black-owned bookstores are closing everywhere is not necessarily a negative reflection on the owners. One of the biggest problems in America right now is that people are not reading as much anymore. The National Endowment for the Arts stated as far back as 2004 that “…literary reading in America is not only declining among all groups, but the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young.” If reading is on the decline, bookstores are no longer a viable business.

Other factors

There are, of course, other causes for the close of black bookstores, such as a weak economy, rise in rent costs for bookstore owners, and bad business management. But the largest, most contributing factor appears to be also the most disturbing factor, and that is the lack of interest in reading books. Even web sites that feature books by African Americans and about the African American culture are suffering.

With other sources of information available now through technology, black and white bookstore owners are facing a tough business environment. Some have suggested that, instead of just books, bookstore owners need to be creative to get people in the door by selling other products they would be interested in. Others have speculated that black bookstores have added to their demise by focusing just on the black community and need to expand their products to include books of interest to a wider community.

Friday, March 25, 2016 at 6:00 PM we will take the #2MillionJobs campaign on the road to support a local black owned bookstore. #EachAndEveryFriday #SupportBlackBusiness Help us save black owned book stores!

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Smith & Hannon Bookstore Address: 1531 California Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45237

What do you think?

Read more at www.aalbc.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/31/54-black-owned-bookstores-remain-america/

 

Posted on March 21, 2016 By Staff With 2 comments

ORGANIZE BLACK YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS EXPOS IN 2016

Child Entreprenuer Day

Let’s get our youth involved in business. We encourage you to work with our children this summer and aid them in starting their own business. Also, if you currently own and operate a business or businesses teach our children to play an active roll in your company. Please take pictures, record videos create social accounts for our children to spread the word.

Kids can learn how to prepare for the future by running their own business. It can also help build their confidence.

Give your child some food for thought when it comes to deciding on their kid business idea:
-What are their interests?
-Do they like to work alone, with other kids, adults?
-Do they like work outside (like at the pool?)
-Do they have any interests in sales?
-Is there a best friend they want to partner with?
-Can they help with your own family business?

“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open”….Harry Edwards

Here are some tips to planning your own ‘Black Youth Entrepreneurs Expo”:

  1. First decide how the money will be handled, since you are working with children maybe using tokens or tickets in exchange for currency in order for people to purchase good and or services.
  2. Next, find a location that can host several youths at the same time, if this is your first time, try someone with a huge backyard. Make certain where the event is going to be held is accessible.
  3. Third, get interested parents together, choose date and time. Note* try not to make the event longer than three hours, they are children and their attention will wonder after a few hours. 
  4. Finally, each youth with their family need to decide what to sell.  

Here are some additional resources below to engage our children in their entrepreneurial endeavors. 

ORGANIZE BLACK YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS EXPOS IN 2016

Business For Kids

Teaching children about business at a young age is important for the future of business as a whole. When kids are taught the specific lessons of money management and organizational skills, they can not only apply their skills towards building a business for themselves, but they can also apply the skills they have learned to their personal lives. Once your children become of age to start their own business, they can start off by building a lemonade stand and managing the money they have earned. There are also other business ideas for kids at a young age such as dog-walking or craft-making.

Business Lesson Plans

Money Management Lesson Plans

Business Games for Kids

Business Ideas for Kids

Recommended Reading

ORGANIZE BLACK YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS EXPOS IN 2016

Posted on March 10, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BLACK BUSINESSES

Image of happy young businessman looking at camera at workplace in office

Where are most Black businesses located?
Black-owned businesses accounted for about 28% percent of all businesses in Washington, DC, the highest ratio in the nation. Second, was the state of Georgia, where 20% of businesses were Black-owned, and the state of Maryland, with about 19%.

The state of New York, however, has the most Black-owned firms at 204,093 but this only accounts for 10.6% of the businesses in the state. Second is the state of Georgia, third is the state of Florida, and fourth is the state of Texas with the most Black-owned businesses but not necessarily the highest ratios.

What types of businesses do African Americans own?
Well, it varies, but most offer some type of service, opposed to selling products. For instance, nearly 38% of Black businesses are in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services. Other categories include advertising firms, auto dealerships, consulting services, restaurants, beauty-care (barbershops/beauty salons), and more.

How many people are employed by Black businesses?
Not very many. Of the 2.5 million Black businesses, only about 107,000 of them have actual employees. Such firms employ more than 920,000 people with a total annual payroll of $23.9 billion. The other 1.9 million businesses do not have paid employees.

Who are some of the top Black-owned businesses?
There are few Black-owned firm that generate billions of dollars in annual revenue, but many that generate millions. For instance, GlobalHue, an advertising agency in Detroit, Michigan, generated more than $480 million in revenue in 2015. RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Group, a chain of car dealerships throughout the country, generated more than $540 million in 2015. And, World Wide Technology, a global technology consulting firm and the largest Black-owned business in the country, posted revenues of more than $2 billion.

Why are there so few Black businesses?
It’s true that the numbers should be higher. African Americans make up more than 13% of the U.S. population, but only own 7% of the businesses there. The answer to this question will vary depending on whom you ask, but most agree that racism, discrimination and predatory lending are all factors because many aspiring Black business owners have been unfairly turned down by bankswhen applying for small business loans.

Another factor is that there is a lack of economic and business resources in African American communities. This leads to a lack of education on how to properly start and manage a successful business.

Are there resources available to help?
Yes, there are many programs available to assist African Americans and other minorities. Banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America have special lending programs that make sure that African American business owners are getting the loans they need. Many non-profit organizations give grants and free training via workshops to minorities. In addition, many Black business events (conferences, workshops, etc) offer unique opportunities for African American professionals to network with key decision makers and others who can be of assistance. Finally, there are many magazines that offer weekly or monthly news and advice for Black and minority business owners.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BLACK BUSINESSES

Posted on March 10, 2016 By Staff With 1 comment

Black business owners see progress, opportunities in industries while challenges still loom

DANNY TINDELL / DOTHAN EAGLE Dr. Russ Nichols, a dentist in Enterprise, works on patient Steve Hicks during a recent appointment at Nichols' office, Fresh Wave Dental Care, earlier this month.

DANNY TINDELL / DOTHAN EAGLE
Dr. Russ Nichols, a dentist in Enterprise, works on patient Steve Hicks during a recent appointment at Nichols’ office, Fresh Wave Dental Care, earlier this month.

Jerry Hollins said it wasn’t uncommon in the 1960s for his father, a sharecropper, to jump in the back of a pickup truck for work even though the seat in the cab of the truck, beside a white driver, was empty.

Such memories of life on a farm in rural Mississippi are what Hollins said fueled his decision to join the military as an aircraft mechanic after graduating high school in 1979. His drive to be self-employed and sustain residual income led him to the ownership of his own commercial trucking line, Inheritance Transportation in Dothan, after retiring from the Army.

Black business owners see progress, opportunities in industries while challenges still loom

Read more

 

Posted on March 9, 2016 By Ras Das

100 BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT 365 DAYS A YEAR

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100 BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT 365 DAYS A YEAR

Jermaine Dupri and Killer Mike kicked off Black History Month by joining Usher and the Influencer Coalition family at Atlanta’s only Black-owned financial institution, Citizens Trust Bank. We decided to create a list of 100 businesses you too can support all year round.

A statement from Usher,  “Empowerment starts with ownership. We’re here supporting Citizens Trust Bank as a Black bank, but it also stands for the support of all the Black businesses that they support. It’s all about supporting our own,” Usher explained.

Let us take it a few steps further, by supporting as many black businesses we can find all year round. Also, remember to join our #2millionjobs campaign by supporting local or online black businesses #eachandeveryfriday. 

Visit or  2millionjobs.com for more details. 

Here is your list of 100 Black-Owned Businesses to support – LET GO! 

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BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES RUN BY CHILDREN 

#1 – Lemonade from Bee Sweet Lemonade – Today, the award-winning BeeSweet Lemonade is buzzing off the shelves of Whole Foods Market, the world’s leader in natural and organic foods, and available at a growing number of restaurants, food trailers and natural food delivery companies.

#2 – Bow ties at Mo’s Bows – Mo’s Bows is a company I started in Memphis, TN in 2011 when I was just 9 years old. I couldn’t find fun and cool bow ties, so one day I decided to use my Granny’s scrap fabric to make and sell my own. I like to wear bow ties because they make me look good and feel good. Designing a colorful bow tie is just part of my vision to make the world a fun and happier place. -Moziah

#3-  Clothing and accessories at Maya’s Ideas – I’m a 15 year old philanthropist, environmental activist, entrepreneur, eco-designer, inspirational speaker, artist, animator, coder, (I make animated short films), illustrator, and writer. I am the CEO of Maya’s Ideas, a company I started in 2008 when I was just 8 years old. I create eco-friendly clothing and accessories. My designs are sold all over the world and I have customers in Denmark, Italy, Australia and more. I love to use my creativity to give back. 10-20% of my profits go to causes local and global charities and environmental organizations.

#4 – Cookies from Mr. Cory’s Cookies – Cory has always had a dream of making the world better for everyone he knows.  That passion, combined with a love of treats and an entrepreneurial spirit, led Mr. Cory to be the owner of Mr. Cory’s Cookies at just 9 years old.  His delectable cookies are all-natural and made from high-quality ingredients – not wacky ingredients with names that you can’t pronounce. In 2009, Mr. Cory told his mother he was tired of taking the bus to school and he wanted to buy his mom a car. He crafted the idea to sell hot cocoa to raise the funds. Mr. Cory put all his spare time into selling hot cocoa at the Roman Inn in Englewood, NJ, and later in front of his home.

#5 – Gourmet popcorn from E & C Popcorn Shop – E & C Popcorn, aka Ethan and Collier Popcorn Company, is an Atlanta based online retailer of homemade “gluten-free”gourmet specialty Caramel popcorn. As a way to reward their two young sons for having a productive day at school and to teach them about business and entrepreneurship, Monique and Ben Evans along with their sons, Ethan and Collier started E & C Popcorn Company, and this families love of popcorn was born

BLACK OWNED RESTAURANTS IN MIAMI- DADE COUNTY

# 6 – Bahamian Connection Restaurant  – Bahamian Connection Restaurant was established in 1978 by Arlington Ingraham better known as Big Links from Tarpun Bay Eluthera and Bain Town, and West Street Nassau Bahamas. Bahamian Connection Restaurant is a family owned business operated by Andy, Philip, Richard and “Mike” Ingraham of Fort Lauderdale Florida
4400 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33127
Contact: 305-576-6999

#7 – Jamrock Cuisine – Bridging Jamaican eats with Chinese delicacies, this former Jamaican grocery store dishes out the best of both Caribbean and Asian worlds. The bright and casual dining room with homey furnishings and framed island prints is as cozy as the menu is exotic. Jamaican patties with coco bread, curried goat and brown stew fish please islander palates, while Chinese Jamaican dishes include pork with ham choy and chicken dun goo with mushrooms. Patrons who want to treat Chinese Jamaican cuisine as more than just a spectator sport can purchase some of the imported staples and seasonings from the family-owned marketplace.
12618 SW 88th St., Miami, FL 33186
Contact: 305-598-7625

#8- Aunt I’s Jamaican Restaurant – Aunt I’s is not only the name of the restaurant but the nick name of a real person, Inez Grant. The vision was born out of a mother’s exceptional Jamaican country-style cooking ability, a love for people and a heart for service. Inez had a yearning to open a restaurant ever since she moved to Florida from Kingston, Jamaica.
19934 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33169
Contact: 305-654-9638

#9 – Sheri Restaurant – Sheri African Restaurant is a concept that transports Nigerian home cooking to America. Southern Nigerian cuisine is a combination of traditional foods (gluten, lactose and dessert free diet) and colonial foods (sweet and savory pastries) influences. At Sheri Restaurant they specialize in authentic traditional cuisine. Their food is handcrafted from scratch with fresh and natural ingredients; they do not use artificial ingredients, butter and sugar.

16595 NW 27th Ave., Opa Locka, FL 33054
Contact: 305-622-310

#10 – Chef Creole Seafood & Catering – At Chef Creole, their menu contains an enticing array of seafood, inspired by a mixture of Bahamian/Haitian flavors and has become the standard for fresh seafood the owner “Ken Sejour” has grabbed his native Haitian cuisine by the fishtail and created Haitian seafood for the masses

Caribbean
13105 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami, FL 33161
(305) 893-4246
 
NW 54th St., Miami, FL 33127
Contact: 305-754-2223
 
1392 NW 119th St, Miami, FL 33167
(305) 769-9440200

7957 N.E. 2nd Ave.
Phone: 305.754.2298

20356 NW 2nd Ave (441)
Phone: 305.651.4761

NAIL POLISH

#11 – Adore Her Nails – Former model turned nail lacquer enthusiast, Devorne Love, created this eye-catching and affordable line that also has a fun and flirty appeal.

#12 – Polish and Company – From cosmologist and nail expert, Theresa Williamson, this brand was created for the beauty bombshell with the aesthetics of a Southern belle.

#13 – Underground Nail Queenz (UGNQ) – Created by former army brat, Jacklyn Berry, this new, chic & revolutionary nail polish brand promises to add a shimmering iridescent shade with a special touch.

#14 – Ginger + Liz – Created by Ginger Johnson and Liz Pickett, this line is heavily influenced by arts, travel, entertainment and especially the Classic Chic, Modern Luxe, Bohemian Hipster, and Rock Glam fashion driven lifestyles.

#15 – Bernadette Thompson Nail Care and Color – Created by Bernadette Thompson, a trend-setting nail artist, this line give a seasonal presentation of slick, sophisticated, fun colors that literally put the latest fashion trends on women’s finger tips.

#16 – Lisi Cosmetics – Lisa Hill, a make-up, and nail artist, created this brand that boasts a nail lacquer line with a vast selection of glitter-crazy, and delectable glimmering colors.

BLACK OWNED NAIL SALONS & SPA’S 

#17 – Symmetry MedSpa – D’Livro L. Beauchamp, MD is a Board-Certified Physician of Urgent Care Medicine. Dr. Beauchamp earned a Doctor of Medicine from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. He performed General Surgery Residency Training at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. Dr. Beauchamp has a special interest in aesthetic medicine and anti-aging medicine

#18 – Gigi’s Mind Body & Soul – Gigi’s was founded by Germaine Abraham-Leveen in 2009. Gigi’s strive to bring you the best current treatment methods customized to your specific skin type For the past 4 years, Gigi’s personal mission has been to provide clients with the most professional and relaxing experience. The Day Spa services all your skin care needs from head-to-toe. Gigi’s believe in providing a “personal touch” to each client that give a sense of individuality in resolving their skin care concerns.

#19 – Delord Clinical Skincare – Since the start of her esthetician career, Traci Williams, Ph.D., Integrative Esthetician, Beverly Hills Facialist, has been on the cutting edge of esthetics, as she developed the Alternative Acne Therapy and Medical Esthetician training protocols in 1990. After studying Health Science at a local university she also received her holistic nutrition degree’s through Clayton College of Natural Health.

#20 – Lady Dee’s Day Spa  – We have a unique approach to skincare which delivers the best results in a very short period of time. During your initial visit to our studio, you will be seen by a para-medical esthetician who will provide an in-depth analysis of your skin, addressing your specific concerns. Your skincare program will have two distinct stages. The first is to achieve the desired results, and the second is to maintain those results. 

#21 – AM Salon & Spa – AM Salon and Spa is owned by Toney Canty and Ana Marquez, offering you a diverse group of experienced hair stylists and the ultimate in pampering and renewal. 

#22 – Le Skintique Day Spa and Beauty Salon – Full service salon and day spa for women and men.  Skin care,  body rituals, make-overs, waxing, complete ethnic natural and synthetic hair care, men’s grooming.  Call for an appointment now and receive a free skin analysis and complimentary samples of products. 

#23 – Sanctuary MedSpa – Sanctuary MedSpa services include SmartLipo, Botox and Fillers, Laser Hair Removal, Bio-Identical Hormones, Laser Skin Treatments, Microderm and Peels, Facials, and more. 

# 24 – JoJuDa’s Salon and Day Spa – We offer a wide selection of professional services including styling, cutting, color, weaves / extensions, braids, makeup application, brow shaping, nail care, facials, massage therapy and more. 

#25 – Nailphoria Day Spa – Manicures, Pedicures, Skin Care for Men and Women, Waxing, Eyelash Enhancements, Brow and Lash Tinting, Massage, Herbal Foot Soaks with Massage, Spa Parties, Mobile Services Available for your Special Events. 

# 26 – Violet J Spa & Wellness – Violet Johnson, PhD developed a spa menu to reflect her background as a nurse midwife and psychologist and her skill as an acclaimed esthetics professional. Violet is also a leading expert in the unique issues of multi-ethnic skins, including pigmentation problems, sensitivity and acne. 

#27 – Essenza Medi Spa – Dr. Edythe Woodruff Stewart is the Medical Director for Essenza Medi Spa.  Dr. Stewart attended medical school at the University Alabama-Birmingham.  Always one devoted to the health and well-being of all people, her most recent endeavor is to heal not just the body, but to raise the self-esteem of both men and women in the Central Valley.   She has a full staff of Registered Nurses, licensed Aestheticians, and certified Massage Therapists who are all qualified to help you look and feel your best. 

#28 – 2GORJIS Spa – Kim Evans is a licensed Aesthetician, Makeup Artist, Holistic Massage Therapist, Business Woman, Nutrition Educator, Consultant and owner of  2GORJIS Integrated Health & Wellness, a private facial practice for both women and men for a decade plus.

#29 – Francine’s Salon and Day Spa  – Francine Austin is the proud owner of Francine’s Salon and Day Spa, the first African American Salon & Day Spa in Hartford County, located in Bloomfield, Connecticut for over a decade. She is a 20 year plus veteran of the cosmetology industry were she utilizes her passion to inspire others to embrace their outward appearance, but more importantly their inner beauty.

# 30 – Beautiful Spirit Salon & Spa – Bernadette Johns is a licensed beautician and cosmetologist providing the best hair care using quality products.  Offering natural hair and weaves, braids, scalp treatments, manicures, pedicures, lash extensions and facials. 

#31- Edward’s Wellness & Skin Care  – Thelma Carole Edwards is a Licensed Aesthetician (Skin Care Therapist), Certified Massage Technician (CMT), Reflexologist, and a Nationally Certified Make-Up Artist. Come enjoy the art of wellness in Skin, Body, and Spirit.

#32 – Raquel’s Signature – Racquel has been in the Beauty Industry for more than 20 years. As Master Stylist and Image Consultant her expertise ranges from Cosmetic Hair Extensions, Precision Hair Cutting, Hair Care, Hair Coloring, Relaxers, Hair Texturizing, Alopecia Or Hair Loss reconstruction, Custom Wig Making, Lash Extensions, Makeup, Brow Shaping and more. 

#33 – Flawless Wax & Spa  – We provide the ultimate spa experience while being Downtown Orlando’s premier wax and skin spa. Specializing in waxing, eyelash extensions, semi permanent makeup, and skincare.

#34  – A Visible Difference Beauty Concepts – A Visible Difference is a source of refuge, a place where you can retreat then return to your normal routine anew. The menu of services is specially created with the wilted flower (a tired woman) in mind to help rejuvenate and restore you to a striking beautiful flower. Our technicians are highly trained individuals with over 30 years combined experience. The goal is to have you, the client, leave our establishment feeling refreshed, looking beautiful and anxiously waiting to return.

#35 – Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa – iwi fresh Garden Day Spa is located in the Castleberry Hill art district in Downtown Atlanta, GA. We offer garden fresh skincare products, made by-hand, and provide one-of-a-kind spa and salon services Tuesday thru Sunday of every week.  

#36  – Too Groovy Salon & Spa – Founded in 2003 by healthy hair care innovator, Robin D. Groover, Too Groovy Salon has transformed the hair of thousands of women from coast to coast. Our Hair Care Specialists use award winning techniques in the arts, sciences and methodology of advanced hair care to achieve optimal results.  Too Groovy Salon has won numerous awards, to include the Bronner Brothers Icon Award and the Steve Harvey Neighborhood Award for best Hair Salon.  Come and experience for yourself why so many women travel for miles to indulge themselves in the most sought after chemical-free system for silky-smooth-straight styles, and textured styling for those seeking definition, elongation and curl manageability. 

#37 –  Nubiance Spa & Salon – Indeed, Master Hairstylist and Color Specialist Vicki Pouncie proudly possess a very creative, eclectic, and classy sense of style that emanates from her heart, mind and soul, which she takes great pride in displaying to her clients via her innovative hairstyling techniques and exceptional hair color application services. 

#38 SoKai Salon & Spa – Sokai Spa Salon is an upscale salon located in the heart of the East Atlanta Village. Forever finding new ways to pamper clients, Sokai Spa Salon offers a fun, relaxing atmosphere in which clients can feel comfortable and at ease.  

#39 – Suite 20 Salon & Day Spa – We have more than 20 years of industry experience, and our licensed dieticians and stylists take pride in providing personalized services to help you look and feel your best. Kristy Gaiters, our owner, strives to provide the community with affordable and healthy services. 

Con’t 175 + more nail salon & spas, click here100 BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT 365 DAYS A YEAR

BLACK -OWNED HOME DECOR AND FURNITURE

#40 – Harmony Designs Furniture & Interior – located 115 SOUTH 4TH AVE  MT. VERNON NY 10550; PH: 914-699-0809

#41 – Home Beautiful Decor – located Address: 502 W Kearney St #200, Mesquite, TX 75149; PH:(972) 288-0705

#42-  Ali Sandifer Studio – located in Detriot, MI. Design is our passion and craft is our medium. Ali Sandifer is a design studio and workshop with a particular fondness for furniture. Our work is born from a simple belief that design, material, and craft must work together to achieve intelligence, beauty, and longevity.

#43 – Lakay Designs –  located in Ohio. THE  PLACE FOR ALL YOUR AFRICAN INSPIRED HOME AND BUSINESS DECOR. Home is home, and all areas of the home must be ‘home’ to the occupants. But this can only be achieved when the ambiance of the home is fascinating. Nothing however can make any home attractive except the unique decor of the home.

#44- Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles – located 832 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130; PH:(215) 546-9616 Secondhand furniture & decor, with sales supporting the African People’s Education and Defense Fund.

BLACK OWNED BANKS

#45 – 65 – (21 Black-Owned Banks) – click here for an interactive map http://blackoutcoalition.org/black-u-s-banks/

RETAIL STORES OWNED BY BLACK MEN 

#66 – Kimchi Socks – Jason V. Holmes a native of New Orleans is stirring up competition in the very low-tech industry of socks. This brother is turning his passion into a great business model, as well as giving back to the community.

#67 – Talley & Twine -was founded on two principles: legacy and lifestyle. We want to set the standard for future generations, and we want to look good doing it. The number seven on the face of our watches represents completion while giving our timepieces a distinct look that sets us apart from other brands.

# 68 –  Mechael Grey  Footwear – Superior Design comes from a concept… A concept derived from experiences in the world around us, or the truly imaginative mind. Life, travels, studies, technique, and my passion for creation is the very DNA of MICHAEL GREY FOOTWEAR. A distinctive blend of Industrial design + architecture, combined with vintage looks of years before, form my unique line.

BLACK OWNED FOOD BRANDS IN YOUR LOCAL STORE 

#69 – Freedom Paper Company  – Freedom Paper Company LLC (FPC) is a privately owned distributor of bathroom tissue and other paper products headquartered in Baltimore Maryland. The company is unique from other corporations as it is born from the foundation of grassroots movement combined with the best of corporate culture and business acumen.

#70 –  Michele’s Food – Sunday mornings at the Hoskins home began with a gathering and a tradition of delicious homemade waffles, a variety of breakfast meats and a special concoction of honey, cream and butter that was made just for the occasion.  This secret syrup recipe was created by America Washington, a former slave, and the great, great, great grandmother of the only daughter in the household, Michele Hoskins.  America Washington created the recipe in the 1800s as an alternative to molasses for her plantation owner’s family.In the early 1980’s, this family delicacy was passed down to Michele from her mother and she continued the tradition by making it for her three (3) daughters and friends. “My mother inherited that secret recipe and when I married, it was given to me.”  The pancake syrup soon became the talk of the neighborhood. Its delicate honey taste and its rich, creamy consistency brought compliments from all that tasted it and ultimately requests for more!

#71 – 2TWater –  2T Waters, LLC – is committed to introducing premium beverages that are made with the finest quality of water. We are a health conscious company that mainly focuses on health beverages. We believe our water source is one of the purest natural springs known with no artificial mineral additives or demineralization.We specialize in presenting different beverages using our water source to provide our consumers with the healthiest beverages possible.

#72 – TGIN (Thank God I’m Natural) –  When Harvard graduate, Chris-Tia Donaldson  started her first law firm job, she wore a wig to disguise the fact that her hair was naturally kinky.

BLACK-OWNED HEALTH CONSCIOUS FOODS 

FOOD/DRINKS

#73 – Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar – Located at 402 H Street NE in Washington DC, this award-winning juice bar/ restaurant was founded by Khepra Anu, a raw foodist who has dedicated his life to sharing his knowledge of systematic fasting and detoxification.

#74 – Karyn’s – Located at 1901 N. Halsted in Chicago, IL, this Black-owned restaurant serves cooked, conscious vegan comfort foods such as pizza, burgers, fries, meatloaf, taco salad, eggplant, and more. They also have a well-complimented vegan brunch and serve raw dishes for lunch and dinner.

#75 – The Grain Cafe – Located at 4222 W Pico Blvd in Los Angeles, CA, this restaurant appeals to vegans and vegetarians as well as meat-eaters. They serve veggie wraps as well as deluxe burgers with red berry ice tea or mint lemonade. Even their coffee is natural and organic.

 #76 –  Tassili’s Raw Reality  –  Located at 1059 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd Atlanta, Georgia is a fast casual restaurant located in Atlanta, Georgia.  They specialize in raw vegan cuisines and provide a unique variety of raw vegan entrees like spicy kale salad, kale wraps, and more.

#78 –  Land of Kush – Located at 840 N. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD Voted 2015 Best Vegan Crab Cake by Baltimore’s City Paper!  They are the Ultimate Vegetarian Experience!  THE LAND of KUSH inspires you to feed your spirit.  They are Vegan Soul!  Celebrate a new way of life with healthier food.

HAIRCARE

#79 – CURLS: This Black-owned company is a nationally recognized leader in the natural hair care industry for their unique formulations of certified organic ingredients. Supported by Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, Nia Long, Tia Mowry, and more.

#80 – Curl Kitchen: This Chicago-based company sells natural/ organic-based hair care products tailored to those who wish to embrace their tresses in its naturally ethnic state. Their products are for women and men with waves, curls, kinks, coils, and/or locs.

#81 – Indigofera Beauty: This Black-owned Etsy store produces a variety of all-natural, chemical-free hair care supplies that are made from plant-based ingredients and infused with essential oils. They are known locally and nationally for selling the best products for natural hair, coils, kinks and locs.

SKINCARE

#82 – Beija-Flor Naturals: This Black-owned Etsy store produces organic skin care and natural hair products. The brand is inspired by the owner’s Brazilian background and uses the best ingredients from the Amazon rain forest to the Savannahs of East Africa.

#83 – Blac Minerals: This Black-owned company sells 100% non-toxic, high quality, high performance, hand-crafted mineral makeup formulated for women of all colors. Their natural makeup products are lightweight, and blendable, helping your skin to breathe.

BLACK-OWNED HANDBAGS 

#84 – Minku – Minku is considered the Hermes of Africa when it comes to handbags. They are all handmade and can take up to 50 hours to complete and are lined with repurposed items of Yoruba ceremonial dress. The Nigerian company was started by founder Kunmi in 2011 and is a family-run business.

#85 – ZAAF – ZAAF offers handcrafted luxury leather handbags made in Ethiopia. They are crafted with the finest materials and produced in a remote Ethiopian village. The company was founded by Abai Schulze, a remarkable CEO who is under the age of 30.

#86 – Gregory Sylvia  – This handbag designer was co-founded by Gregory and Terri “Sylvia” Pope. The husband-wife team started their company in Charlotte, North Carolina and are known for their luxury, elegant handbags crafted from fine leather.

#87 – Adela Dejack – These African-inspired designer handbags are made in Kenya. Their collection of handbags, jewelry, and other accessories are inspired by African shapes, textures, and techniques. Designer Adèle Dejak had plenty of design experience in England and Italy before moving her company to Nairobi, Kenya in 2005.

#88 – Christopher Augmon – Christopher Augmon high-end luxury designer handbags are made in New York and reflect the richness of various cultures. His distinctive handbags can be found in boutiques around the United States and online at augmon.com.These designer handbags are made by many of the designers for both women and men.

BLACK- OWNED SHOE DESIGNERS 

 #89 – Artyce Design –  The vision of Artyce Footwear (named after the designer’s mom) officially came to light in 2004. Candra Palmer (Designer, Owner) brought her dream to life by creating a comfortable and stunning custom footwear collection catering to brides and those attending special events.

#90 – Samantha Shoes – Every woman needs at least one great pair of shoes. Women that wear larger shoe sizes, desire current fashion trends and are frustrated by the lack of availability. Samanta Shoes is dedicated to solving this global problem.

#91 – Amina Abdul Jillil – Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska Aminah began as a professional dancer in Los Angeles, performing with some of the biggest names in music including Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. She’s appeared in commercials for Pepsi, Mazda and New Balance and recently performed as lead character “Crimson” in Cirque du Soleil’s BELIEVE.

#92 – Jhung Yuro  – Launched in 2005 Jhung Yuro recognized a void in the men’s luxury lifestyle footwear market and filled it with a brand that offers detail, hand craftsmanship and limited availability for its products.

#93 – Fever Shoes and Swimwear – Natischa Harvey’s first foray into the shoe business came via Bakers.  While studying political science at Clark Atlanta University she moonlighted at the store, earning $6 an hour.  She treated it as a “paid internship” and by 2004 knew enough about the industry to open her own boutique

BLACK-OWNED FIRMS THAT HELP OTHER BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

#94 – The Front Page Firm  – This firm, launched by PR executive Tosha Whitten Griggs (best known for her work with BET), is a full-service publicity boutique specializing in executive and talent visibility; television and film campaigns; red carpet premieres; and special events. They are known for being the go-to publicists for mainstream/urban media cross-over campaigns. Their clients include Bounce TV, the Queen Latifah Show, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and Spelman College.

#95 – Foote Communications – This firm, launched by marketing and PR veteran Neil Foote (best known for his work with the Tom Joyner Morning Show), combines traditional public relations and content management and social media for entertainers, entrepreneurs, corporations and educational institutions. His services include public relations, graphics & design, social media strategies, web site management, and more. Their clients include the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the African American Museum of Dallas, Rickey Smiley, and J. Anthony Brown.

#96 – BlackPR.com – This company, launched by marketing guru Dante Lee, offers an extensive press release distribution service to all the African American newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations. For just $150, they can help you get your story in some of the country’s top Black publications, and they can even help you get radio and TV interviews. Their clients include the NAACP, the Tom Joyner Foundation, Tavis Smiley, Iyanla Vanzant, TV One, and BET.

#97 – HBCU Connect – Looking to hire African American college students and graduate? This company, launched by social media pioneer Will Moss, can help you do that for as little as $249. Their online career center offers various options including posting simple job listings to options for banner ad packages and employer showcase listings. Their clients include Microsoft, FedEx, United Negro College Fund, Merck, and many Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCUs).

#98 – PR, Etcetera – This company, launched by African American PR veteran Toni Beckham, offers several professional marketing communication services including branding, crisis communications, public relations, media training, and even technical writing/proofing. Their clients include the Bay Area Black Expo, Rainbow/PUSH Silicon Valley Project, the City of Oakland, and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

#99 – TaylorMade Media – This company, launched by PR expert, media coach, and best-selling author Karen Taylor Bass, creates strategic public relations, branding, and marketing campaigns for corporations, luxury brands, celebrities, athletes, and entrepreneurs. Karen has been featured on Dr. Oz, CNN, BET, NBC Today, Fox-TV, and in Essence Magazine.

#100 – BBNomics Crowdfunding Site –  Building a Platform to aid Black people in pooling their resource and gain financial independence. BBNomics 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 a platform for everyone to actively engage in fundamental principles of group economics, group-love, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. It’s for our people who are serious about taking their lives — and their POWER — to the next level!

By Lynn (@lynnbbnomics) 

100 BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT 365 DAYS A YEAR

To be added to this list and others,  click here [ ].

 

Posted on March 9, 2016 By Staff

Most Black-Owned Businesses Fall Into One of These 9 Categories

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Between 2002 and 2015, black-owned businesses in the U.S. increased 60.5 percent, totaling 2.5 million firms, according to BlackDemographics.com. Almost half of them, or 4 out 10, operate in healthcare and social assistance, and in other services.

Top industries for black-owned businesses

Out of all the 2.5 million businesses owned by blacks in 2015, here is the breakout by industry:

  1. Health care and social assistance – 365,140/ 20 percent
  2. Other services, including repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services sectors – 358,443/ 20 percent
  3. Administrative Support, waste management, and remediation services – totaled 216,763/ 11 percent
  4. Transportation and warehousing – totaled 168,386/ 9 percent
  5. Professional, scientific, technical – totaled 163,761/ 9 percent
  6. Retail – totaled 148,181/ 7.8 percent
  7. Construction – a total of 125,818/ 6.6 percent
  8. Real estate, rental, leasing – totaled 92,655/ 4.8 percent
  9. Arts, entertainment, recreation – a total of 86,357/ 4.5 percent

The remaining 10 percent are in education services, finance, insurance, food service, information, wholesale trade, manufacturing, agriculture, utilities, other industries, and management of other companies.

To read more, visit www.blackdemographics.com/economics/black-owned-businesses/

Posted on March 8, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

In 20 Years, Black-Owned Women Businesses Have Skyrocketed More Than 300%

black_women_fastest_growing_business_segment

It’s official; the growth in the number of businesses owned by black women is off the charts! The growth has reached 322 percent since 1997. In fact, businesses owned by African-American women represent the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in America, according to a new study.

African-American women the fastest-growing entrepreneurs

The latest report, the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, showed that black, women-owned businesses grew 1.5 times more than the national average for business growth between 1997 and 2015. Their skyrocketing success has resulted in:

  • Generating $52.6 billion in revenue
  • Employment for 300,000 people


Black women own almost half of all black-owned businesses

Black women own about 14 percent of all businesses in the U.S., or approximately 1.3 million businesses. They are also the owners of 49 percent of all the black-owned businesses in the nation. And as their businesses grow, so does their clout. In states such as Georgia (35 percent), Maryland (33 percent), and Illinois (22 percent), these entrepreneurs represent greater percentages of women-owned firms than the national average, which is 14 percent.

Given the steady growth of black-owned women businesses, it’s likely that we will continue to see these numbers grow, along with increased economic power and influence for these amazing entrepreneurs.

 

AFRICAN PRINTS & DESIGNS FOR YOUR HOME AS WELL AS EVERY DAY LIFE.

Sponsor: AFRICAN PRINTS & DESIGNS FOR YOUR HOME AS WELL AS EVERY DAY LIFE.

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Posted on March 8, 2016 By Staff With 1 comment

8 Black-Owned Cosmetic/ Make-Up Brands You Should Know About

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In America, the cosmetics industry alone rakes in about $55 billion per year, according to Statistica, an online research and data source. Forbes also reports that globally, the beauty business is at $382 billion. Most people immediately think of Estee Lauder, Revlon, and MAC, but here are 8 black-owned brands of cosmetic/ makeup products you should know about:

#1 – IMAN Cosmetics: this popular brand is owned by supermodel Iman who started her beauty products company in 1994. Designed for African American, Asian, Latina and multi-cultural women, the company markets its products in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. They can be purchased at Target, Walmart, Walgreens and other national retailers.

#2 – Fashion Fair: owned by Eunice W. Johnson, who created the Ebony Fashion Fair, and her husband John H. Johnson, who is the publisher of Ebony and JET magazines. The company began in 1973 and was one of the first to make cosmetics for women of color. It is considered the largest black-owned cosmetics companies in the world and sells it products at fine department stores across the U.S., Canada, and internationally.

#3 – Black Opal Beauty: specializes in foundation sticks for women of color. The company was founded in 1994 and makes products for skin care, hair care, makeup, and other beauty products for women, and men, of color. Products can be purchased online or at national retail chains such as Walmart, CVS, and Rite Aid.

#4 – Shea Moisture: has been selling natural beauty products since 1912. The company was founded by Sofi Tucker in Sierra Leone and was founded on natural ingredients like Shea butter. They make products for the face, hair, body, and bath for both women and men.

#5 – KA’OIR Cosmetics: owned by CEO Keyshia Ka’oir and features fun color lipsticks, eye shadows, nail products, and blush. Products are affordable and are shipped all across the world. Lipsticks are gluten free.

#6 – Ginger + Liz: started in 2010, this company makes nail products that are vegan friendly and toxin-free. The company was created by friends Ginger Johnson and Liz Pickett. Their products feature vibrant colors and ingredients that are free of harsh chemicals and carcinogens like toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, and DBP.

#7 – Black Up Cosmetics: is the first luxury makeup brand created by professional make up artists for ethnic skin tones and women of color. Their products can be purchased online.

#8 – Vera Moore Cosmetics: owned by former soap opera actress turned entrepreneur, Vera Moore. Her products have been used on various TV shows including the Cosby Show and the Wendy Williams Show, and used by various celebrities and news anchor women.

 

AFRICAN PRINTS & DESIGNS FOR YOUR HOME AS WELL AS EVERY DAY LIFE.

Sponsor: AFRICAN PRINTS & DESIGNS FOR YOUR HOME AS WELL AS EVERY DAY LIFE.

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Posted on March 8, 2016 By Staff With 4 comments

First black-owned pharmacy opens in Baconton, GA

Dr. Teresa Mitchell, owner of Total Care Pharmacy, says this is an exciting opportunity for her./ Jarvis

Dr. Teresa Mitchell, owner of Total Care Pharmacy, says this is an exciting opportunity for her./ Jarvis

 

Totalcare Pharmacy

Phone Number  229-787-5765

149 E Walton St, Baconton, GA 31716-7705

At the corner on East Walton Street in Baconton sits a small brick building.  But it’s not just any building, it’s the first black owned pharmacy and a ribbon cutting was held Monday morning to celebrate its opening.

Dr. Teresa Mitchell, owner of Total Care Pharmacy, says this is an exciting opportunity for her. “I’m very excited to be a leader and entrepreneur in the area,” said Mitchell.

No stranger to Baconton, Dr. Mitchell has been a practicing pharmacist for over 20 years and she’s also from Mitchell County. Recently she taught the pharmacy technician program at Albany Technical College. Being an entrepreneur is something Mitchell has dreamed about for a while.

“We started back in September 2014, and for me I would say that it was a God move,” Mitchell said. “As far as the area, it was a seed that my father planted before he passed. He told me that if I ever wanted to start a business, to start it in Baconton because it was the hub, it was the center, it was going to grow.”

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Posted on March 4, 2016 By Staff With 11 comments

Top 10 Amazing Black-Owned Bed and Breakfasts

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There are more than 30,000 Bed and Breakfasts (B&B’s) in the country, but sadly only about 1% are Black-owned. If you don’t already know, Bed and Breakfasts are similar to hotels, but are smaller private residences with bedrooms that are available for rent to the public on a night-by-night basis. A free home-cooked breakfast is usually included with each overnight accommodation.
If you are looking to support local Black-owned businesses and/or you want to experience the best of African American culture and hospitality during your next getaway, here are our top 10 picks:

#1 – Arbor View House (Greenport, NY): Near the wineries in upstate New York, this B&B wineries is known for their award winning gourmet breakfasts, boutique hotel accommodations, fireplaces, heavenly beds, and great concierge service.

#2 – Quintessentials (East Marion, NY): Just two hours from New York City, this B&B features a European lifestyle spa for a completely rejuvenating experience for the body, mind and spirit.

#3 – Inn of Treasured Memories (Cape Cod, MA): Designed for comfort and unwinding, this B&B offers guests many unique options. They can relax in the quiet atmosphere of the Living Room to read, think, and talk. They can gather and mingle in Hank’s room to play cards or board games, or they can stay fit and have fun in the heated water resistance pool.

#4 – TheLRoomBNB (Durham, NC): This newly renovated 1920‘s home with three bedrooms is located in Old North Durham, a flourishing area within walking distance to trendy restaurants, popular nightclubs, parks, unique shops, Duke and North Carolina Central Universities

#5 – Morehead Manor (Durham, NC): Originally built for the CEO of Liggett and Meyers, this splendidly redecorated, 8,000 square-foot, Colonial Revival Style home is located within walking distance to the Downtown area, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) and historic Brightleaf Square.

#6 – Akwaaba Inns (Various Locations): This upscale lodging collection is owned by husband and wife team Glenn Pogue and Monique Greenwood. The couple fell in love with inns when they stayed at their first bed and breakfast back in the early ’90s. THey now have locations in Washington, DC, Brooklyn, NY, Cape May, NJ, and more.

#7 – Hubbard Mansion (New Orleans, LA): Located on the historic St. Charles Street, this B&B offers five exquisitely furnished suites in the Main House, and two executive apartments perfect for long-term stays. The beautiful rooms recall the grandeur of 19th century New Orleans.

#8 – Welcome Inn Manor (Chicago, IL): This B&B is just minutes away from many other historic and significant places and landmarks throughout Chicago. Their services include a free full hot breakfast, and morning drop-offs to anywhere in the city.

#9 – Ye Old Manor House (Elkhorn, WI): This B&B is the perfect place for a night’s santuary, a multi-day, weekend, week, or longer retreat, an idyllic location for intimate weddings, and a great venue for meetings, retreats, and other gatherings.

#10 – Magnolia House Inn (Hampton, VA): Located in the waterfront downtown area, this historic Queen Anne Victorian offers 3 spacious guestrooms with the most sought after lodging experience for business and leisure travelers.

BONUS The Dupont Collection (Washington, DC): Their apartment style suites offer much needed privacy especially when travelling with children and sharing the same space. They serve a complimentary hot breakfast every morning with fresh fruit, and freshly baked bread.

OUR FAVORITE Six Acres Bed & Breakfast (Cincinnati, OH):  With ties to the Underground Railroad, this B&B offers landscaped gardens & cozy rooms. This 19th-century B&B with connections to the Underground Railroad is set within Laboiteaux Woods off Highway 127, 7.9 miles from the Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati.  Homey, individually decorated guestrooms feature Amish-style quilts, and some include private bathrooms. A suite is also available with 2 bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. The grounds feature landscaped gardens, and the B&B offers occasional educational programming.

If you are looking for hotels, you can visit NABHOOD, click here:

 

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Posted on March 1, 2016 By Staff With 4 comments

Love Shoes? Here are the Top 5 Black-Owned Shoe Brands

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For most women, shoes and handbags are where it’s at when it comes to fashion. The fact is, some of the most stylish and well-made shoes on the market today are made by black women and men. Here are the top 5 black-owned shoe designers:

#1 – Artyce Designs: Designer Candra Palmer launched her footwear company in 2004, with locations now in Los Angeles and Houston. The beautiful custom designs are sought after by those wanting a shoe that is both stylish and comfortable, and caters to events such as weddings and special social events. Her shoes have been featured in many publications!

#2 – Samantha Shoes: Owner Samantha Joseph wants every women to have at least one pair of great shoes. Her customers include Tyra Banks, Debra Messing, Sanaa Lathan, Wendy Williams, Geena Davis, Sophia Bush, Queen Latifah, Rachel Bilson, and Rihanna. Her shoes sell in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Russia.

#3 – Amina Abdul Jillil: Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, this former professional dancer turned shoe entrepreneur launched her women’s shoe collection in 2012. Her dancing career, performing with top stars like Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, led to another creative field, selling designer shoes in Los Angeles boutiques and also online.

#4 – Jhung Yuro: Owner Kris Wright created his line of luxury men’s footwear because he felt there was a lack of quality shoes for men. Kris incorporates styles that reflect global influence and offers a luxurious, exclusive line of footwear for men. His UK-based store launched in 2005.

#5 – Fever Shoes: Owner Natischa Harvey studied political science at Clark Atlanta University, but it was while working at Bakers that she developed her love for shoes. By 2004, she had enough knowledge and experience to open her own shoe stores. Her shoes are sold in stores throughout the U.S., Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic.

Note: If you are wondering why Pastry Shoes by Angela and Vanessa Simmons isn’t on the list, it’s because they sold the company back in 2011 for a reported profit of $15 million dollars. The company still exists at www.lovepastry.com, but is no longer Black-owned.

Posted on February 25, 2016 By Staff With 1 comment

Top 6 Black-Owned Wine Companies (and Wineries)

african_american_wine_companies_wineries

There are thousands of wineries in America, but only about .001 percent, or less than a couple dozen, are owned by African-Americans. The global wine industry generates more than $290 billion in sales every year. Whether you are a wine lover, a connoisseur, or you’re just looking to get your buzz on, you will love these six Black-owned wine brands:

#1 – Esterlina Vineyards – this California winery is owned by the Sterling family who have been making wine for generations. For thirty years they have been growing grapes, making wine and bottling it by hand.

#2 – Bee D’ Vine – Bee d’Vine is a product made by The Honey Wine Company, based in San Francisco, California. Founder Ayele Solomon, an environmentalist, got the inspiration for his honey wine as a way to make trees more valuable. Flowering trees provide nectar and pollen for bees. His honey wine supports bee farming in California and in Ethiopia’s Kafa rainforest.

#3 – Mouton Noir – this Oregon-based wine company is owned by André Hueston Mack who left his job at Citicorp Investment Services to pursue his dream of becoming a winemaker. He works with world-renowned restaurants to create his wines and has been featured in major publications, such as Food and Wine, Wine & Spirits Magazine, and The New York Times.

#4 – Heritage Link Brands – based in Los Angeles, California, this company has its roots in South Africa and is now the largest marketer of black-produced wine from Africa in the U.S. Their award‐winning wines are available online, and in stores and restaurants across the nation.

#5 – Running Tigers Wine – based in Sacramento, California, the company was named after the owner’s favorite wild animal. The company was started by Daniel Bryant in 2004. What began as a hobby has turned into a successful business. Bryant’s wines appear on menus of restaurants across Northern California.

#6 – Rival Wine – this Napa Valley winery was started by entrepreneur Daniel Darden and his brother James in Napa, California. They introduced their first vintage in 2007.

 

Source: http://blog.blackbusiness.org/2015/08/top-black-owned-wine-companies-wineries.html#.Vsp9cn0rK2w

Posted on February 23, 2016 By Staff With 6 comments

Top 7 Black-Owned Swimwear/ Bikini Brands

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Not all swimsuits are the same, just as not all bodies are alike. Buying a swimsuit is like buying a pair of jeans. There are so many brands and styles on the market, and no two fit alike. These top 7 swimsuit and bikini companies are black-owned, and they have designs to fit any woman from a small, athletic body to a full-figure women with lots of curves.

#1 – Zubaida Zang: This company is owned by young entrepreneur Zubaida Simi Zang, who was born in Nigeria and received her fashion design training in Toronto. She uses bold colors like forest green and gold yellows in both her swimwear and fashion line. Her swimwear runs from $80 – $150.

#2 – Andrea Iyamah: Based in Ontario, Canada, this company was launched in 2011 and is owned by Nigerian fashion designer, Andrea Iyamah. Her line features bright colors and Aztec prints with styles that are sporty and sexy and for the daring. Her swimsuit line is priced from $95 – $150.

#3 – Nakimuli: Designed for curvy plus-size women, this swimsuit company carefully designs suits that will make any curvy woman look good. The company is owned by designer Tennille McMillan who launched her company in 2009. The company is located in Brooklyn, New York, which is also the designer’s home town. Nakimuli swimwear is priced from $52 – $130.

#4 – Rue107: This New York swimsuit company is owned by Haiti-born Marie Jean-Baptiste. Her roots are what inspire her style, which includes vibrant colors reflecting her creole heritage. Her swimsuit line is colorful, playful yet sexy and is priced at a very affordable $40 – $65.

#5 – Monif C.: This company was founded by Monif Clarke and her mother in 2005 and is located in New York. She wanted to create luxurious and feminine clothes for plus-size women and is considered one of the best plus-size fashion designers. Her swimsuit line is contemporary with bold colors and well-designed features that will make any plus-size woman feel beautiful and sexy. Her swimwear is priced from $40 – $110.

#6 – KAMOKINI: Swimwear designer Kambili Ofili-Okonkwo founded her swimwear line in 2013. Their designs are inspired by art, music, and African culture. The company makes swimwear that is fashionable yet affordable.

#7 – Bantu Wax: Bantu swimwear is made in Africa and styled to reflect the rich history of African art. The company is owned by fashion entrepreneur Yodit Eklund. Her products are sold to both men and women and serves the African surf culture.

 

Source: http://blog.blackbusiness.org/2015/06/top-black-owned-swimwear-bikini-brands.html

Posted on February 22, 2016 By Staff

FIRST EVER BLACK-OWNED BANK — THE FOUNDER WAS ONCE A SLAVE!

Rev. William Washington Browne, founder of first black-owned bank

Rev. William Washington Browne, founder of first black-owned bank

FIRST EVER BLACK-OWNED BANK — THE FOUNDER WAS ONCE A SLAVE!

From slave to bank owner

Reverend William Washington Browne established the bank to serve the financial interests of black depositors. He wanted a bank that would serve to protect the finances of black clients to ensure their finances could not be monitored by whites.

The name of the bank came from the Grand Fountain United Order of True Reformers, a black fraternal organization established by Browne in 1849. Racial tension remained high after the Civil War, so Browne established the first black-owned bank in Richmond, Virginia, which initially operated out of his home. Two years later, the bank moved to its location several blocks away at 604-608 North Second Street.

Thrived despite the economic depression

The bank did very well. When the U.S. economic depression of 1893 hit and people were panicking and rushing to the banks to withdraw their money, Browne’s bank was one of the few that survived. In fact, it was the only bank in Richmond that was able to pay out the full value of it’s customers’ accounts and remain in full operation.

After Browne’s death in 1897, the bank continued in operation. It also expanded into other areas, such as newspaper, real estate, a retirement home and a building and loan association. It’s growth included operations in 24 states.

The downfall

However, under the new president, Reverend William Lee Taylor, the bank was mismanaged, often making unsecured loans which defaulted. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a bank embezzlement of $50,000 by the bank’s cashier. By 1910, the State Corporation Commission ordered the bank closed. But, it remains in history as the first bank owned by African Americans in the United States.

FIRST EVER BLACK-OWNED BANK — THE FOUNDER WAS ONCE A SLAVE!

Source: 
Read more by visiting www.blackpast.org/aah/true-reformers-bank-1888-1910

 

Posted on February 16, 2016 By Staff With 1 comment

TOP FIVE BLACK OWNED RESTAURANTS IN OAKLAND, CA

 

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TOP FIVE BLACK OWNED RESTAURANTS IN OAKLAND, CA

If you‘re looking to sample a little local flavor while taking a break from the your daily routine, stop by one of these great locations,  in Oakland, CA  neighborhood. You won’t regret it! Join the #eachandeveryfriday movement and help us create #2millionjobs

#1. Lena’s Soul Food Cafe
1462 High St
Oakland, CA 94601
b/t Bancroft Ave & 14th St – East Oakland
Phone number (510) 842-3510
Business website: lenassoulfoodcafe.com

Feedback: V J. Oakland, CA 5 Stars!
OMG, the food at this restaurant is so good I eat it daily to my shame. When I first found out about it I was skeptical and thought it was going to bed of those wanna be soul food places. To my surprise it was real soul food. I was eating so much I had to cut back not only on portion size but what I was consuming. Everything is good there I mean everything. I am very picky eater with taste and texture. They are so accommodating that they were all separate your side dishes to get the chicken or fish wet.

The food is fresh and hot not over salted and seasoned to my idea of perfection. I am in love with this place!

The staff is incredible and smart! They listen! I have yet to get the wrong items. They make you want to come back! Everyone is polite and ready to serve you with a Big smile. The portion size is perfect and so is the price$

A BIG Thank You to all the staff at Lens’s for tickling my taste buds am making my bellyfull.

#2. Miss Ollie’s
901 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607
b/t 10th St & 9th St – Old Oakland
Get Directions
Phone number (510) 285-6188
Business website: realmissolliesoakland.com

Feedback: Christopher B. North Hollywood, CA 5 Stars!

Listen… if you want to understand what healthy soul food taste like. Carry yo but on down to Oakland and allow your mouth to sink it to the creamiest, most delicate, mouth watering soul food around.

Sar Ah is a master chef. Her flavors are all natural and they merge together so well. Her recipes take you back to a time where your grandma took her time and cooked so long that the house smelled like the last meal she cooked-all the time.

What a savory treat this place offers.

The servers are polite and attentive. And the portions are super on point.

I really digged the oxtail and rice. Good googly moogly! I’m going to bolt bus back from LA for the chicken ;) I heard it’s the best thing going. You did that Ms. Sar Ah! My friend and I sat at the bar and we were treated to beautiful new company. The patrons were as down home and friendly as the food.

I could not help but try a few different drinks because the cute bartender was a definite mixologist! She had style in her tending.

I watched Ms Sa Rah as she directed her kitchen with the utmost grace. I was so impressed I wanted to take a selfie with her. But I didn’t want to take her out of her zone.

This place is a must stop if your in Oakland! Get on that oxtail. Forreal.

And enjoy the journey down gourmet soul food memory lane.

#3. Home of Chicken and Waffles
444 Embarcadero W
Oakland, CA 94607
b/t Broadway & Franklin St – Jack London Square
Phone number (510) 836-4446
Business website: homeofchickenandwaffles.com

Feedback: David P. Fresno, CA 5 Stars!
Came before the super bowl for a bite to eat..great chicken and waffles and garlic fries. Would definitely come back again!

#4. Picán
2295 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
b/t Grand Ave & 23rd St – Uptown
Phone number (510) 834-1000
Business website: picanrestaurant.com

Feedback: Chives S. Antioch, CA 5 Stars!
Update review. Went lastnight on a Sunday very packed house with some soft R&B music playing in the back ground to a candle lit restaurant. You must, I do mean must take your lady here major brownie points. Lol. Will be back very soon.

#5. Brown Sugar Kitchen
2534 Mandela Pkwy
Oakland, CA 94607
b/t Campbell St & 26th St – West Oakland
Phone number (510) 839-7685
Business website: brownsugarkitchen.com

Feedback: PG H. San Rafael, CA 5 Stars!
What a great charming place with great tasting food, coffee and service. Get there early unless you are one for long waits.

TOP FIVE BLACK OWNED RESTAURANTS IN OAKLAND, CA

 

Posted on February 11, 2016 By Staff With 9 comments

7 Black-Owned Magazines That Are Still Available in Print

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Magazine publishing in general is struggling, but black magazines in particular are having a tough time surviving. Publishers are constantly challenged to change in many ways that include content relevance and technology, and many black magazines have done an excellent job doing both.

Successful black magazines such as Ebony, Jet, EssenceBlack Enterprise, and Rolling Out have survived due to their resilience. But these 7 black magazines in particular have also survived and are still publishing content, not just online, but also still in print:
#1 – The Network JournalThe Network Journal, headquartered in New York City, is both an online and quarterly print magazine that publishes information for black professionals and business owners. The magazine was founded in 1993.

#2 – Heart & Soul Magazine – Headquartered in Bowie, Maryland, this magazine was founded in 1993. It publishes information that promotes physical, spiritual and mental well-being specifically for women of color and their families.

#3 – HBCU Connect Magazine – This Ohio-based magazine was founded in 1999 and is the first magazine targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) audiences. It provides a social network for HBCU graduates as well as information on professional and educational opportunities.

#4 – Atlanta TribuneAtlanta Tribune has been around since 1987 and is considered Atlanta’s No. 1 business lifestyle publication. The magazine features the latest information on technology, wealth building, careers, and other business-related information for executives, professionals and entrepreneurs.

#5 – Black Business NewsBlack Business News is published by the Black Business Association (BBA), a non-profit organization headquartered in Los Angeles, California. The magazine strongly supports black business by publishing information of interest to black business owners, corporate buyers, contractors, community organizations and elected officials across the nation.

#6 – Savoy Magazine Savoy Magazine is a culterally-focused magazine that appeals to progressive, modern and sophisticated African-American consumers. Content includes news, entertainment, business, culture, sports, arts, and education for the African-American community.

#7 – Cuisine Noir Magazine – Founded in 2007, Cuisine Noir is the first food and wine lifestyle magazine for African-Americans. The magazine features the talents of African-American culinary and wine professionals across the country.

CORRECTION #8 – Upscale Magazine – This magazine, produced by Atlanta’s very own Bronner Brothers, is the ultimate lifestyle magazine addressing the needs of stylish, informed and progressive African- Americans. It has been brought to our attention, that they too are still in print, and going strong!

Source: 7 Black-Owned Magazines That Are Still Available in Print

 

Posted on February 10, 2016 By Staff With 1 comment