Category: Economic Empowerment

PROGRAM SHOWS BLACK ENTREPRENEURS HOW TO “BUY THE BLOCK” — MAKING REAL INVESTING EASIER THAN EVER

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Visit buytheblock.org for more information.

Having successfully launched Buy Black Economics (the World’s Largest Digital Info Product Store dedicated to Black Businesses) as well as numerous other ventures, Lynn Da is excited to announce the creation of Buy The Block, an initiative that will allow individuals and groups to pool funds, share knowledge, and vote on properties in which to invest!

As the name suggests, Buy The Block is a web-based platform that is geared towards making investing in real estate easier. It presents an opportunity to invest with other connected investors and provides the added benefit of giving each investor individual ownership in the block.

Buy The Block is currently crowdfunding to take its operations to the next phase, through the development and deployment of a website, mobile app and buying the first block. To join the movement, click here: https://buytheblock.com/

With a good number of black Americans lacking access to viable real estate investment opportunities, Lynn views Buy The Block as the most logical step towards becoming better real estate investors/owners. Once adequately capitalized, the website and mobile app will empower users to start investing, having fun, and building wealth; as a vibrant and interconnected community.

“Buy The Block has been created to help my people invest. Our vision is to change investing from confusing and frustrating, to an accessible and enjoyable social experience,” said Lynn, concept developer for Buy The Block. “We want to create a new generation of connected investors who feel informed, empowered, and confident. The launch of our website and mobile app will certainly take group investing to a whole new level,” Lynn added.

Since 2010, Lynn has created an array of notable projects such as BBNomics.com (a black business crowdfunding site), 2MillionJobs.com (a black business jobs initiative), and Buy Black Economics Investment Group.

Buy The Block is the most recent social marketing concept from of the Cincinnati-based female entrepreneur. With less than a month left to raise $60,000 to $100,000 for the website and mobile app development–Lynn is confident that the community will unite to fully support this effort!

“Ultimately, by making a contribution to this campaign, you are helping Buy The Block reach the goal of creating a platform for our community to acquire and develop real estate” Lynn Da concluded.

For more information or to make a pledge go to https://buytheblock.com/ .

Find Buy The Block on Facebook (facebook.com/buytheblock/), Website ( http://www.buytheblock.com/), Twitter (twitter.com/buytheblocknow) and YouTube (youtube.com/channel/UCCyowx8NEZsiXAZA6u7HeUg), watch the video (https://youtu.be/K6zLbx0pu94)

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PROGRAM SHOWS BLACK ENTREPRENEURS HOW TO “BUY THE BLOCK” — MAKING REAL INVESTING EASIER THAN EVER

The Value of the Pre-Launch

What you need before launching your rewards campaign:

As you raise crowdfunding capital, it’s your job to answer your audience’s questions and build their confidence, persuading them to support and share your campaign. It’s up to you to identify some of the specific needs and questions that your customers will have, but there are several universal components of any successful campaign. The good news is that nobody knows your business better than you do, so these are pieces you can start gathering today as you plan your upcoming campaign.

Compelling Pitch – You already know your business inside and out, so now you just have to wrap it in a meaningful package for your potential backers. Your pitch should be a lean, well-rehearsed narrative about:

  1. Where you came from
  2. What you do
  3. What you need

Your goal is to change the world with your product or service. While the goal is to tell a story that resonates with your specific audience, every successful pitch does 3 things:

  • State the problem – The first and most important part of a great pitch is to identify a painful problem.  The more severe the problem or need that you address is, the more valuable your business’s solution will be.
  • Introduce the solution – Once your audience understands the problem on an intellectual and emotional level, you can present your product or service as its best solution. Remember, be clear and concise—focus on your solution’s big picture, not every last feature.
  • Define the market size – Once your audience understands the problem and how you’re uniquely equipped to solve it, you need to put the opportunity in perspective. The bigger the market, the greater the potential value of your company is, and the more enticing the opportunity becomes for backers and investors.

Elevator Pitch – Adapt your pitch into a ready and rehearsed elevator pitch, a condensed version that can be delivered in the span of 30 seconds to a minute.  In the same way that you never know who you’ll run into and have a chance to pitch to in the real world, you can’t predict how distracted a potential backer might be when they happen upon your page, and you definitely shouldn’t assume you have their full attention. For these situations, it’s best to have a short, 3-4-sentence elevator pitch at the top of your page and keep it focused on the problem, solution, and market size.

Email Pitch – Email marketing is just one of the approaches you should be thinking about for promoting your campaign. Similar to your elevator pitch, craft a brief version of your pitch that the recipient can skim in under 2 minutes.

Social Media –  is crucial to the success of crowdfunding campaigns for individuals, brands, and nonprofits. Focus on creating shareable content and cultivating a community on social media so you can reach new audiences and build an email list.

Campaign Video – Campaigns that include an overview video have been shown to perform better, and the reason why is understandable: the average user would rather watch a short, well-produced video than take the time to read the same content. Invest the time (and production cost) to produce a professional video that features your company’s founder or core team, explains the unmet need that sparked your idea, details your product and how it’s different than anything else out there, shows where your business is at right now, and hints at its long-term potential. This is the sort of content you can build into your campaign that’s not only more likely to get seen, but also get shared online.  

Product Overview – Write a detailed description of your product or service, how it works, and why people would want to see it brought to market. Since you’re likely to be offering a pre-order of this product as a crowdfunding reward, you should be “selling” the product as much as you’re explaining it.

Rewards – At the heart of any rewards-based raise are, of course, the rewards. Although a small number of backers will support your business solely out of personal affinity or the desire to see you succeed, the vast majority will decide to pledge based on what they get out it. What you offer your backers is entirely up to you, so it’s worth thinking long and hard about what would incentivize your customers. Rewards generally fall into 3 main categories:

  • Pre-orders – By far the most popular type of reward, this approach simply involves selling pre-orders of the product you’re raising money to produce. This is a great mid-level reward and is an exciting way for backers to experience the impact of their contribution.
  • Services – If pre-orders aren’t available or don’t fit your business model, you can offer special services in exchange for support. We’ve seen everything from Founders preparing a home-cooked meal for backers, to developers offering to write code for fans and supporters.
  • Recognition/Swag – A perfect entry-level reward for donations under $20, this category offers backers some sort of personal recognition for their support.  This can include a company t-shirt commemorating the campaign or the backer’s name on the company website.

Whatever rewards you choose, it’s best to have at least 7 rewards tiers—a small price point that offers some sort of simple recognition, a mid-sized price point that offers a pre-order, and a large price point that offers special recognition for generous backers.

The Ask – You’re here to raise money, so it all comes down to the ask. Always remember this rule: be crystal-clear about exactly how much money you’re raising, and know exactly how you plan to spend it. Detail is the key here—the more information you can provide, the better. In as much detail as possible, be able to explain how you plan on spending the crowdfunding capital you raise, and explain specifically what milestones it’ll help you reach.

This is a great chance to build backer confidence by showing that you’ve spent the time to chart your business’s course forward. Some common categories we see in rewards campaigns are product development, sales and marketing, recruitment of key personnel, legal and accounting, and operating expenses. You can use these broad categories as a starting point, but be sure to expand upon them where you can. For example, explain which product features this funding will help you develop, or which key team members you’ll be able to hire, and what they’ll do for your business.

The Benefits of Crowdfunding

Introduction

Both rewards and crowd investing offer a wide range of advantages over traditional business financing. With benefits ranging from a wider pool of potential investors to more nimble fundraising options, crowdfunding is going to continue to evolve into more popular, and more powerful funding method for startups, local businesses, and inner-city real estate development.  Though funding is almost always the main goal of a crowdfunding campaign, it can also be a fantastic way to gain visibility, validate your business, grow your customer base, and more.

It’s more efficient than traditional fundraising

When you’re an early-stage company, local retail business, or real estate development focused on building your business and attracting seed capital, you might not be able to afford all the time and attention that pursuing traditional financing demands. Compared to applying for a loan or seeking out accredited investors yourself, setting up a successful crowdfunding campaign on Buy The Block or another platform is far more efficient and effective in getting your message out to the right people. With the right platform, you can tell your business’s story, produce a quick video, set up some enticing rewards, and benefit from having everything in one centralized location where potential backers can find you.

It’s a place to build traction, social, proof, and validation

A strong, highly visible crowdfunding campaign can provide validation and social proof that’s vital in charting your path forward. When potential customers show interest in your startup’s product or service, you’ve generated social proof—demonstrating that other people believe in what you’re doing. Once early adopters vet and buy into your idea, others are more likely to follow suit. Social proof is translated into traction—whether it’s a large number of backers, pre-orders, or media attention—that’s invaluable as you pitch to other investors.

It’s an opportunity for crowdsourced brainstorming to refine your idea

Hear your would-be backers poking holes in your business plan or asking some tough questions? Take it in stride and accept it as free, crowdsourced brainstorming. The basis of a startup is finding some important, unmet need that your customers have, and deciding to be the one to do something about it. Thus, it’s important to seize any opportunity for customer feedback and consider it in planning your startup. One of the greatest things about crowdfunding is how close it gets you to your customers, giving you a chance to engage them and field questions, complaints, feedback, and ideas. You never know—your company’s next great idea could come from somebody who is a staunch member of your crowd.

It gains you early adopters and loyal brand advocates

The people that power your idea’s social proof are your early adopters and potential brand advocates. They’re the people who believe in your story, product, or service, enough to stake their money on its longevity and long-term success. These early adopters are key to the success of your crowdfunding campaign and the momentum you keep after closing, being the ones most likely to share your vision with friends and family and promote it through their social networks.

It doubles as marketing and media exposure

Press coverage will create more eyes on your campaign and create lasting brand awareness for your startup. This can come in the form of a feature story on a popular news station, blog, or print publication, and is a great way to bring in backers outside of your personal network. A good feature story or Twitter mention can create a powerful snowball effect, putting you in touch with major investors you might not have otherwise reached. Whether they read about your new product or development on a popular blog or hear about your innovative campaign from a friend, a successful crowdfunding is a great way to capture new investor interest.

Crowdsourcing has grown into an excellent way for entrepreneurs, local business owners, real estate developers, and early-stage companies to validate their business, find capital and early adopters, and get the exposure they need to grow. To recap, some of the most powerful ways a crowdfunding campaign can help build more startup momentum than other financing methods are:

  • It’s more efficient than traditional fundraising.
  • It generates traction, social proof, and validation.
  • It’s an opportunity for crowdsourced brainstorming to refine your idea.
  • It gains you, early adopters and loyal advocates.
  • It doubles as marketing and media exposure.

Crowdfunding for the Black Community

Crowdfunding for the Black Community

Crowdfunding is essentially the opposite of the mainstream approach to business finance. Traditionally, if you want to raise capital to start a business, launch a new product, or develop real estate you would need to pack up your business plan, market research, and prototypes, and then shop your idea around to a limited pool or wealthy individuals or institutions.

These funding sources included banks, angel investors, and venture capital firms, really limiting your options to a few key players. In the Black community, the number of Black founders obtaining funding from these sources is dismal at best.  Black Americans’ entrepreneurial experiences contrast dramatically with these groups. Modern disadvantages experienced by blacks include racial segregation, low levels of earnings, lack of wealth, poor education, lack of experience in a family business, employer discrimination and difficulty in getting a loan.

In April 2000, a congressional study found that “Most banks largely ignored African-American neighborhoods, even those with above-average incomes,” forcing many blacks to depend on expensive and abusive lenders. In addition, while the average white family’s wealth in 2009 was $113,000, the average black family’s wealth was a fraction of that, $5,700. These liabilities make it harder for blacks than other groups to obtain loans, lines of credits and other financial services which are crucial to starting and running a business.

You can think of this fundraising approach as a funnel, with you and your pitch at the wide end and your audience of investors at the closed end. Fail to point that funnel at the right investor or firm at the right time, and that’s your time and money lost.   

Crowdfunding platforms, on the other hand, turns that funnel upside down. By giving, the entrepreneur, a single platform to build, showcase, and share your pitch resources, this approach dramatically streamlines the traditional model. With crowdfunding, it’s much easier for you to get your opportunity in front of more 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 other rewards.

The 5 Benefits of Crowdfunding

 

  • ReachBy using a crowdfunding platform like Buy The Block, you have access to thousands of non-accredited and accredited investors who can see, interact with, and share your fundraising campaign.
  • PresentationBy creating a crowdfunding campaign, you go through the invaluable process of looking at your business from the top level—its history, traction, offerings, addressable market, value proposition, and more—and boiling it down into a polished, easily digestible package.
  • PR & Marketing – From launch to close, you can share and promote your campaign through social media, email newsletters, and other online marketing tactics. As other media outlets cover the progress of your fundraising, you can double down by steering traffic to your website and other company resources.
  • Proof of Concept – Presenting your concept or business to the masses affords an excellent opportunity to validate and refine your offering. As potential investors begin to express interest and ask questions, you’ll quickly see if there’s something missing that would make them more likely to buy in.
  • Efficiency – One of the best things about online crowdfunding is its ability to centralize and streamline your fundraising efforts. By building a single, comprehensive profile to which you can funnel all your prospects and potential investors, you eliminate the need to pursue each of them individually. So instead of duplicating efforts by printing documents, compiling binders, and manually updating each one when there’s an update, you can present everything online in a much more accessible format, leaving you with more time to run your business instead of fundraising.

Understanding Crowdfunding for The Black Community

What Is Crowdfunding

The passing of President Obama’s JOBS Act in April 2012 ushered in crowdfunding as the word of the day. While this concept has arguably been around for centuries, it is still formally recognized as a new industry to many consumers, particularly those outside the United States. Crowdfunding is, by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”  

Why Crowdfunding Developed

There is a seemingly nonstop global recession, and small businesses are struggling more than ever to stay afloat, and entrepreneurs are facing terrible odds.  Small businesses finding capital for expansion from the banking industry has been unfeasible for the last seven years, and startups finding the needed funding in the more traditional venues of Angel Investors or VCs seems to be impossible. But, in this financial environment Crowdfunding offers these individuals an increased probability of success by showcasing their businesses and projects to the entire world via the Internet and social media.

How Crowdfunding Works

There are numerous crowdfunding platforms where consumers can safely ask for or donate money. While each site offers their unique culture, the general concept is the same across the board. Project creators can create a profile typically containing a short video, an introduction to their project, a list of rewards per donation, and some text and images to elaborate. The idea is to create a compelling message that will resonate with the readers.

Why Crowdfunding Works

The idea of “it’s not what you do, but why you do it,” is the message that drives crowdfunding. By focusing on a bigger purpose, the impact of a brand or project will be able to create a unique community of like-minded individuals. Each campaign is set for a goal (a publicly stated amount of money) and a fixed number of days. Once the project is launched, each day will be counted down and the money raised will be tallied up for visitors to follow its success.

How It Works in Practice

 

Instead of traditional investors, crowdfunding campaigns are funded by the general public. Typically, most successful projects receive about 25-40% of their revenue from their first, second and third degree of connections. This could include friends, family, work acquaintances, or anyone that the owner is connected to, including their second and third-degree connections. Once a project has seen some traction, unrelated consumers start coming out of the woodwork to support campaigns they believe in. There is a huge misconception that creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is as simple as hitting submit and waiting for it to go viral. While this has happened to many brands, the vast majority of projects require an immense amount of marketing and management skill and phenomenal effort on the part of the project creator. Utilizing social media, creating email distribution lists before the project launches, contacting local media, are all necessary steps to take if you are serious about your goal. Remember, this is not a platform to ask for a handout. If you expect people to join your cause, you had better be prepared to prove your salt.

Why Investment Clubs and Crowdinvesting Will Build Black Wealth

Introduction

The 2012 JOBS Act and digital communication tools have ushered in the age of the crowd economy where platforms like Buy the Block allow African-Americans to invest with their peers to provide the needed capital to support Black entrepreneurs and real estate developers by investing with our peers. 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.

What is an Investment Club

Investment clubs are a great idea for Black professional organizations and Black churches. Why do I say this? A lot of people that are new to investing don’t want to go it alone so joining or creating an investment club provides the structure to build confidence and investment knowledge for people that don’t have a lot of investment experience.  An investment club consists of members who study stocks, bonds, real estate, and private placement investments. The goal is to have each member take an industry and report to the group why they think it is a great investment. Many times they will pool their money together in order to make joint investment decisions.


Crowdinvesting Has Opened the World of Private Placement

Crowdinvesting will allow tens of millions of ordinary people will be able to buy shares in startups and early-stage companies online. This is a dramatic departure from the restrictive rules that U.S. investors and entrepreneurs had lived under since 1933. The deals that make equity offerings will be the same kinds of deals that have been making equity offerings to angel investors for decades, through more traditional financing channels. Many of the deals that have raised all the money they can from founders, family, and friends (the three Fs) and still need capital to grow, but are still too small to attract the interest of commercial banks and venture capital firms. Will now be available crowd investors at a much earlier stage which increases the risk, but also increases the potential reward.

 

Real Estate Investing Through Crowd Investing

Entrepreneur Lynn P. Smith is the founder and CEO at Buy The Block one of the only Black-owned platforms in the country that is dedicated to making investments in real estate as a group more accessible. The movement is presently on its way to recording massive success in funding for diverse development projects across Black communities in the US. This enviable initiative offers every Black American an opportunity to invest as little as $100, and connect with other investors – with an added advantage of helping every member buy a piece of their first block. With the platform, acquiring property or block of choice in one’s local area is achievable. Getting the funds to make such a big difference can also be without hassles.

 

Leading the Way Through Policy and Technology

The ability to share wealth depending on each person’s investment makes it a win-win situation for all block investors. With the focus on the Black communities in America, Buy The Block is on track to raise millions of dollars in funding for development projects in these communities. Having the capacity to take on more significant projects and contracts, Buy the Block believes that hey will soon change the face of crowdfunding real estate investing in the country and the wealth building process for Black America. The first African American-owned crowdfunding portal, its symbolic power, and economic potential are undeniable, especially in the commercial real estate. Buy the Block creates a revolution in early-stage finance that is changing the way inner-city African-American communities relate to capital formation, real estate development, entrepreneurship, and job creation.

Black Professionals Organizations

There are many Black Professional organizations that have hundreds of thousands of members if not a million members. These organizations are not only helpful for African-Americans to learn to navigate in their professions, but they could be the very foundation of creating investment clubs. The associations already exist all they have to do is form the clubs and begin investing via crowd investing. For example, the Association of Black Accounts has over 200,000 members. If we are to make a move toward economic and political empowerment as a group then the path is being blazed by crowd economy entrepreneurs.

The Black Church

Annually Black Churches rack in over $14 billion tax-free, yet this demographic data has grown worse as time moves forward into the future. In many Black neighborhoods, there is a church on many corners (sometimes 3-4 per block), a liquor store, and businesses that aren’t owned by Blacks. These businesses that are not Black-owned plague our communities in many ways. The majority of people that live in the Black community don’t own the place where they reside.

With a goal to build wealth and community equity using Regulation Crowdfunding and impact investing. The Black Church has a significant role in making this goal a reality. One way forward is to form investment clubs inside of Black churches that use crowdfunding and crowd investing to empower the community both politically and economically. There must be accountability of the money to improve the situation of the people through the crowd economy.

Takeaway

The United States has been and continues to be very hostile to Black people and in response to this high level of state-sponsored hostility, many African-American professionals have formed their own associations. These associations provide a path forward for young professionals and the opportunity to find mentors, but in the age of the crowd economy, there is an opportunity for these same associations to create investment clubs that will allow group investment in Black-owned businesses and real estate development through crowd investment. The Black Church has a long history of providing guidance for the Black community. The Black Church was one of the primary institutions that taught the former slaves how to take full advantage of their new freedom and US citizenship. During the Civil Rights era the Church led the way in the fight for full citizenship, and today the Black Church must take its place as the leader in the fight for economic empowerment through crowd investing for business and real estate development.  

BBNomics and Black Crowdfunding

Introduction

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

The Crowd Economy

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

Black People’s role in Pop Culture

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

Building Wealth From Our Creativity

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

Takeaway

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

Why Opportunity Zones May Be Good For Urban Real Estate Development

Introduction

Opportunity Funds were created in the 2017 tax law to promote investment in the development of low-income communities across the US. They offer investors federal tax advantages that are only available through the new Opportunity Zone program. When investors put their money to work in qualified Opportunity Zones through a qualified Opportunity Fund, they can defer and reduce their capital gains tax burden. investors can defer and reduce realized capital gains on the principal invested, and even eliminate their capital gains tax burden on returns earned through the sale of investments in qualified Opportunity Zones.

What Are Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones are census tracts of low-income areas designated by state governors and certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. These areas are being targeted for economic development through the newly created Opportunity Zone program. Investors can invest in the development of qualified Opportunity Zones through Opportunity Funds, which can provide significant federal capital gains tax advantages, both immediately and over the long term.

Why Opportunity Zones are Perfect for Buy The Block

Buy The Block is positioned to take full advantage of the Opportunity Zone laws and it has a very similar mission to provide capital for the redevelopment of  inner-city real estate. The Opportunity Zone program was created to revitalize economically distressed communities using private investments rather than taxpayer dollars. To stimulate private participation in the Opportunity Zone program, taxpayers who invest in Qualified Opportunity Zones are eligible to benefit from capital gains tax incentives available exclusively through the program.

Why Affordable Housing  Is a Must

According to an article by UrbanLand By 2025, affordability will have lost over 25 million  units based on the expiration of government subsidies and another 3 million unities of organic affordable housing units those are unites not subsidized but develop naturally occurring affordable price points. But what will not change—and in fact only stands to increase—is the demand for affordable housing for people on fixed incomes and those earning 40 to 120 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Takeaway

At the same time, members of a new generation of “social-impact investors” are eager to place their equity in housing as a platform to address a variety of issues they care about, including economic mobility and disparities in health outcomes and educational attainment. Opportunity Zones working in collaboration with with real estate crowdinvesting platforms have the potential  to create expanding pools of equity investors with the potential to shore up the supply of affordable housing while creating a rapidly expanding housing workforce.

Delivering the Gold in Commercial Real Estate

Introduction

Black women are the fastest growing demographic of business owners and here are three Black women that are moving into the domain of commercial real estate what is considered by many to be the especially in commercial real estate, which has been called ‘the least diverse industry on the planet.’ Real estate ownership is also key to building inter-generational wealth. So many of our inner-city neighborhoods have suffered from divestment and benign neglect for decades after the erosion of the urban industrial manufacturing base. But Midwestern cities are making a comeback led by ambitious and visionary Black women that are taking real estate development to a new level.

Capitalizing on Inner-City Redevelopment

Gary much like Detroit is experiencing an influx of redevelopment capital for major players and these Black women are taking advantage of this urban renaissance by purchasing buildings on the periphery of the major development that will allow them to take advantage of the rising tide of urban development. There are using a new tool called crowdinvesting which became legal in May of 2016 and allows anyone rich or poor to take advantage of real estate development as an investor with as little a $100 investment.

The Project

The commercial project includes 6,250 square feet of retail space that includes office spaces in the basement.  It is expected to be renovated, operational, and leased by 2019. Francine Anderson and Lakichay Nadirah Co-Founder of More Gold Investors And their goal is to serve their community by providing resources and trainings that result in community revitalization and development which will ultimately lead to a more sustainable and enriched community.

Takeaway

Buy The Block    is the only Black female owner real estate platforms in the United States and it provide the infrastructure for the African-American community to shift some of the $1.3 trillion we have in purchasing power to small Black-owned businesses, inner-city real estate development and tech businesses that lack access to capital to grow and prosper. Buy The Block is open to any sort of project as long as there is a real estate component, whether residential, business or industrial projects. 

The Reality of Life in An Urban Food Desert

Introduction 

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

The High Cost of Being Poor

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

The Consequence of Cheap Food

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

Shining a Light on Food Deserts

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

Food Deserts are Real in Chicago

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

The Roots & Vine Solution

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

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

Takeaway

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

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!

Crowd Investing Through The Black Church

The Black Church as a Wealth Building Catalyst

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

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

These businesses that are not Black-owned plague our communities in many ways. The majority of people that live in the Black community don’t own the place where they reside. This data in comparison to the amount of money that flows into the Black church annually has brought me to this reality as a Black crowd investment consultant that was raised in the Black church. My goal is to help the people in my community build wealth and community equity using Regulation Crowdfunding and impact investing. The Black Church must play a significant role in making this goal a reality.

The Black Church as an Economic Center

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

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

Black Churches and Black Investment

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

Takeaways

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

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.    

Influencer Marketing on Twitter

Introduction

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

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

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

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

Develop influencer marketing goals

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

Identify influencers

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

Build Relationships with Influencers

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

 

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

 

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

Devise a marketing strategy

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

Keep these things in mind before creating an influencer marketing campaign:

  • Prepare a list of leading influencers/bloggers you are in touch with
  • Define your target audience and goals for the campaign
  • Create a call-to-action and several achievable deliverable
  • Come up with a hashtag for the campaign and keywords
  • Research what your competitors are doing and what they have done previously

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

Start running your influencer/blogger campaigns on Twitter

After developing a clear strategy in relation to the influencers you are going to work with, start implementing your campaign. Have the content for your campaign ready and prepare the tools your influencer/bloggers needs to succeed prior to the campaign launch.

Takeaway

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

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

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

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

A Twitter Strategy For You Campaign

Introduction

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

Using Twitter To Tell Your Story

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

Use Twitter to Engage

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

Use Twitter to Build Relationships

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

Engage Followers

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

Using Hashtags on Twitter

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

Twitter Research Using Hashtags

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

Twitter and Transparency

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

The Power of the Retweet

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

Takeaway

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

Marketing A Crowd Investing Campaign

Introduction

I remember my first introduction to crowdfunding when someone told me that if you shot a really cool video on this platform called Kickstarter that people would send money to fund your business. This statement has some level of truth, but not nearly enough to raise any funds. Crowd investing seems to follow the one simple rule of crowdfunding that I learned many years ago. “If you don’t build and excited and engaged crowd of investors, you won’t get the funding.”

Building an excited and engaged crowd will require unique messaging that will engage investors at the emotional level and then resonate with them enough to elicit an emotional response. Remember in today’s online world that moves at the speed of internet grabbing information is like taking a drink out of a fire hydrant, your campaign must quickly establish a unique brand voice that can cut through all of the fast paced noise and connect at an emotional level. Once this unique messaging voice is found your campaign will achieve its two major objectives increasing brand awareness and raising the capital for the campaign. If the emotional connection is not made the campaign may be dead on arrival.

Understand Your Target Audience

Like any other marketing endeavor you must do your research to garner an in-depth understanding of these two vital questions: Who is your audience? What are their needs or reasons to support you? A deep researched back answer to these two questions are the initial steps to creating the emotional connection spoken of earlier. The in-depth understanding of your potential supporters and catering to their needs, both with a quality product and impact storytelling will begin the journey to a successful capital raise.

Building this mystic emotional connection happens when you understand your audience, many time entrepreneurs, are not skilled at this, but must get it done to move their audience. You must have messaging that will have weight and depth. The message must provide something your audience can believe in, and build the level of emotional connection that inspires them to action.  

It’s in the Message

Your branded message must be unique, it must stand out from every other piece of content that is streaming out of the fire hydrant of the internet spewing tons of noise that mostly means nothing and is going nowhere fast. So what does this messaging look like and how do we get to this unique messaging that will resonate at the emotional level of our target audience? I always ask the question when trying to generate a unique message the will resonate:

  • Why is my product different than the competition?
  • How does it answer a need or desire for their lifestyle?
  • Is it user friendly?
  • What value does it provide to the end user to improve their life?

Providing high-quality images and videos that allow your target audience to visualize themselves as a satisfied customer. Providing them as deep of an understanding the product brings customer of always of value and provides  a visual emotional connection. A picture paints a thousand words.

A Simple Concise Message

Keep your message simple. Never overwhelming audiences with too much information! Remember the goal is to create a unique and emotionally engaging message. The more concise that message the better. If that concise messaging is in the from a cool hook even better your audience will repeat a catchy hook until it become a part of them. Try to create a simple, distilled description of your product always remember there are lots of other competing products, so you need to keep it very, very simple.

Remember as your target audience move further down the investment funnel you will add more in-depth information. Next, you must align your unique brand messaging with where your target audience is located You want to be careful and deliberate about picking your alignment, from the platform you choose, to the way you approach it, to the methods you use always building your email list. The email address invites you into their life like nothing else.  

Build a Powerful Online Brand

When building your online brand remember to begin this process long before you get to your platform of choice or you have failed before you have started the process. You will need to build a clear brand and associated message for your campaign early. A strong brand clearly and succinctly expresses what your company is all about. Strong brands cut through the noise to grab the audience and immediately shed light on the character of the product. Once hooked, the audience will naturally gravitate toward learning more. It’s not enough to have an idea in a huge market. The key to what gets funded is how you connect this market to the idea that satisfies it.

Takeaway

The equity crowdfunding industry is changing fast, so being able to pivot and adapt as the marketplace shifts is imperative. Remember Equity crowdfunding was meant to spur innovation and growth, while providing Main Street investors with a means to access high growth companies. It is certainly not an untapped source where everyday web users are patiently waiting to visit an online investment opportunity. Be prepared, be proactive, and remain top of mind, and maybe the idea hatched in your own home will one day be listed on a major U.S. stock exchange.

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  

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    

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

Don’t Launch Your Crowdfunding Campaign Until You Build A Crowd!

Introduction

I usually don’t write from the personal perspective, but today, I am going to do something different. I was reading a blog post from CrowdfundBetter.com entitled The Real Reason Your Crowdfunding Campaign Is Failing and it jarred a memory in me that I normally bring a smile to my face as I tell the story of the events that led to my career in the crowdfunding industry. Today I laugh when reminded of the 2011 events that led me to crowdfunding.  My son and were venturing into the digital marketing and online video marketing space and we were working with a program operated by Louisville Metro called CAP.

The Importance of the Crowd

The director of CAP approached us with a novel concept called Kickstarter, and said, “ that if we shot some really cool videos people would send us money.” Well, I was game, so we reserved the basement conference room in the Downtown branch Louisville Free Library and we shot 8 “really cool videos” and no one sent any money to fund these businesses. I was perplexed because I trusted the judgment of the CAP director. I decided to research this new funding concept for myself. I became consumed with crowdfunding and its possibilities to transform economies by solving the age-old startup and business expansion question of access to capital. But as I continued to research and participate in this nascent industry one of the things I discovered early was the importance of the crowd.

The Power of the Crowd

I discovered that crowdfunding is a unique and innovative marketing tool that provides research, promotion, and engagement, which are essential for any business. Crowdfunding, through digital marketing platforms, provides access for creators to promote and engage with community members in an unreserved relationship. Crowdfunding, as a marketing tool, is invaluable to any brand as a way to create social media-driven communities that link their current customers, new customers, new product launches, product development, product testing, customer service, while increasing brand reach, and brand awareness. Crowdfunding has one fundamental rule and that is if you don’t build an engaged and excited crowd you will not receive the desired funding.

Building the Crowd is Vital

This newly found information sent me on a quest to educate the crowdfunding industry of this simple fact. The stated mission of my company is to build a crowd for the purpose of crowdfunding. 2017 finds crowdfunding to be a global industry that has raised billions of dollars and Kickstarter has produced multi-million dollar campaigns, Facebook and Twitter ads have changed the way creators are able to promote their campaigns, but there is still one fundamental in crowdfunding. Building the crowd before you launch is vital for a success. I had to be reminded of this by the blog post referenced earlier what my true mission is in the crowdfunding industry is.

I once consulted with a woman that paid me to provide my insights and information based on my experience in the crowdfunding industry. We spoke for hours over a few days and I insisted on her taking the time build an excited and engaged crowd. According to Kickstarter, 14% of projects finish not having received a single pledge. This figure always given me pause considering, Facebook has surpassed the 2 Billion daily user milestone.

Takeaway

As a crowdfunding consultant that has been around the industry for a while and has managed, consulted, and assisted on more than a few successful crowdfunding campaigns I feel that it is my mission to educate people on the importance of building a crowd and educating them on how I go about that process. As an industry, crowdfunding must expand the pool of backers and retail crowd investors to grow the industry into the marketing and funding juggernaut it should be.

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.

Crowdfunding Acts as Fertilizer to the Economy

Introduction

Crowdfunding is a method of raising capital through the collective effort of friends, family, customers, and individual investors. This approach taps into the collective efforts of a large pool of individuals—primarily online via social media and crowdfunding platforms—and leverages their networks for greater reach and exposure.

Crowdfunding is a Change Agent

Crowdfunding has helped more than a million startups raise over $3.2 Billion, and is revolutionizing the way small businesses find the capital they need to grow. Crowdfunding provides a tool kit for fundraising success for entrepreneurs that has the ability to level the playing field in the world of capital formation.

Crowdfunding is Growing Rapidly

By 2016 the crowdfunding industry accounted for more funding than venture capital, according to a recent report by Massolution. Just five years ago there was a relatively small market of early adopters crowdfunding online to the tune of a reported $880 million in 2010. Fast forward to today and we saw $16 billion crowdfunded in 2014, with 2015 estimated to grow to over $34 billion. In comparison, the VC industry invests an average of $30 billion each year.

Crowdfunding Acts as Fertilizer to the Economy

Startups and small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and innovation across the globe. They create jobs, new products, dreams, and disruption. They are led by entrepreneurs who work hard to bring their ideas to life. Often overshadowed by failure, they persist and can change the world. We feel that entrepreneurs are heroes that need to be celebrated, and more importantly, supported by a community of fellow founders. It would be great if the process were easy, but it’s not. We’d like to help change that.

Takeaway

So whether you are crowdfunding for equity or rewards, there are a plethora of advantages in using the crowd. Even for campaigns that do not achieve their goals, you will still walk away with something of value, whether that is experience, market data, or a renewed ambition. The main point of this post is it’s important not to lose sight of what supporters have to offer and the power of the crowd. These are some of the marketing benefits of crowdfunding and if you work your campaign effectively, you will benefit in a number of other ways, all vital to help you grow your business in the future.

Alternative Finance for Underserved Communities of Color

Introduction

We are acutely aware that most small businesses and startups struggle to get access to capital and underserved communities of color receive extremely small amounts of funding from traditional funding sources. So, instead of protesting and complaining maybe small businesses and small real estate developer should begin to implement different methods of finding and deploying capital. We are going talk about 6 different types of investing alternatives that are on the cutting edge of new capital formation for underserved communities of color.

Local Investment Clubs

A traditional investment club is a small group of individual investors who come together to learn, share investing experiences and help each other become more successful investors. Clubs provide education, camaraderie and buying power, plus the confidence of knowing you don’t have to go it alone. Clubs can also choose not to pool investment dollars and instead simply come together to discuss stock ideas and analysis.

Local investment clubs will have a focus on investing in local businesses and real estate development in underserved communities using crowdinvesting to allow the club members the ultimate reward derived from  local crowdinvesting to be owner, customer and brand advocate all at the same time. Again this away to build wealth in underserved communities.

Impact Investing From Corporate and Philanthropic Foundations

“Philanthropy is commendable,” said Martin Luther King, “but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice, which make philanthropy necessary.” Philanthropists and philanthropic advisors who champion equality must work to shift from a framework that grounds giving in “charity” to one that grounds giving in “justice.”                  

Dr. Dorian Burton

As mentioned in the above section making local place based investments makes a lot of sense for investors because the benefits that locavesting bring to both the investor and the community where they live. So let’s take the next logical step and examine why more philanthropic and corporate foundations don’t look to the local market to make impact investments along with the tiny percentage of their endowment that they make grants.

So many of the problems and issues that plague inner-city communities are poverty based and many of them stem from government policies such as redlining. If foundations change their relationships in these communities from charity and began the process of providing location based impact investment into these communities to fund local businesses, real estate development, and wealth building initiatives based on market principles a lot of the poverty based issues would be eliminated.  

Rewards Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a new and evolving fundraising alternative that connects social media with an accounting and finance mechanism to aggregate capital on a single platform. Crowdfunding provides a platform for entrepreneurs reach out to the “crowd”—which could include their friends, customers, neighbors, supporters and social network—for funding. The idea is that lots of smaller sums of money can take the place of one or two large investors or patrons, and that technology can help streamline the process.

Crowdinvesting

Crowdinvesting is the truly revolutionary centerpiece of the JOBS Act. It became legal on May 16th 2016. Crowdinvesting provides a platform for   small real estate developers and small companies to raise money from the general public—wealthy, not wealthy, friend or stranger—as long as the investment takes place on a web site operated by a traditional broker-dealer or an S.E.C.-sanctioned crowdfunding portal, and certain other requirements are met.

Specifically, the law allows companies to raise up to $1 million in a 12-month period from the public. Investors are capped at the greater of $2,000 or 5% of their income, if their annual income or net worth is less than $100,000. The final rules also impose a limit on how much those with an income or net worth greater than $100,000 can make: they are limited to $10,000 per year or 10% of their income or net worth.

Takeaway

There are many new and emerging forms of alternative finance that provides the democratization of capital in under capitalized communities of color. Many of the communities find themselves to be isolated in urban centers and are areas of concentrated poverty. These area of concentrated poverty tend to be places that lack hope and many residents become trapped in the despair and hopelessness of the environment. But just like policy created these communities policy and the commitment of investors that want to see their communities changed are able to use their dollars to vote!

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.

Use Facebook to Create an Email List for your Crowdfunding Campaign

Introduction

Email marketing continues to be a strong method digital marketers use to inform, educate and push information to opt-in recipients. Email subscribers convert at almost 4 times the rate of Facebook followers for crowdfunding campaigns. It is a universally used tool that everyone sits down to check at work or home. Your email marketing will generate the highest return on investment (ROI) when you take the time to build and maintain an engaged subscriber list.  We use MailChimp lists they have built-in tools to enhance the process of list building, maintenance, and reporting as you build your crowdfunding campaign.

Email Marketing

Email serves as one leg of a three-legged marketing tool along with a blog and social media to drive our crowdfunding campaigns. Within this three-pronged strategy, email is the distribution mechanism, while a blog is the content center and social media is the conversation mechanism. When new content is posted on a blog, email can be a method of distributing notice of the new article, while social media offers a conversation mechanism for users to talk about the content. Our email list is the foundational marketing piece. It’s a jewel of great value containing the names and direct contact method of customers and would-be customers that enable us to “get in front of” these people regularly. They have invited us into their lives through their inbox.

The Facebook Advantage

Keep in mind that Facebook ads should not be the entirety of your strategy to grow your email list. Instead, it should be one aspect of a larger crowdfunding marketing and promotion strategy. So maybe you use Facebook ads to get in front of new fans, but you also have an email form on your Facebook page as well as your website where you offer things like free downloadables and early access in exchange for an email address.

The Facebook ads will be targeting people who may have never heard of you before, but are inclined to like your product based on their interests. Having forms on your website will target current fans who already know about you and want to go deeper. Both are necessary for an effective email strategy to enhance and support your crowdfunding campaign.

Facebook Targeting

When targeting Facebook users for an ad campaign, you should aim to reach people who are interested in products similar to yours. To do this, you need to find out what your current fans like about your product.   One easy way to figure this out is by looking at your similar campaign pages on crowdfunding platforms. These similar campaigns should already be in your crowdfunding marketing plan. You could also post a simple message on Facebook asking your fans to comment on your product or even run a poll to increase engagement.

The Value of A/B Testing

When targeting your ads on Facebook, it’s a good idea to have at least 2 ads running at a time, each with a different audience to provide A/B Testing to drill down on a message that will resonate best with the target market.  After each of these ads run for a few days, continue with the one that’s performing best, and replace the one that’s performing worse with a different targeting set. This process is known as A/B testing and can help you make the most of your online ad budget.

Formatting Your Ad

Another thing you want to test with your ad is the format.  With Facebook Lead Ads, you can use images or videos and have a number of choices for a call to action. As mentioned above with targeting, you also want to A/B test your format and call to action. Test multiple combinations of ad formats and value propositions to see what converts best. When using digital marketing always test, measure, tweak and retest.

Takeaway

Email provides 53 percent of backers for crowdfunding campaigns while Facebook fans only provide only 12 percent of backers, so building a segmented email list is of considerably more value to any crowdfunding campaign. Facebook Lead Ads are a great way to segment and reach the target market that you desire to reach. Working these strategies in tandem will produce the results that you are looking for from your crowdfunding campaign.  

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.

The Value of Blogging for Your Crowdfunding Campaign

Introduction

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

Audience Connection

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

Demonstrating Thought Leadership

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

Reaching New Customer for your Campaign

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

Takeaway

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

BLACK 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

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

The JOBS Act of 2012

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

Crowd Investing for Everyone

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

Buy The Block

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

Why Crowd Investing

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

Funding “Black Girl Magic” Through Nail Spas

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

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

Why does CrowdInvesting matter in this market?

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

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

JOIN THE MOVEMENT!

Did you join the movement? 

www.buytheblock.com 

Posted on December 13, 2017 By Staff With 0 comments

Join The Celebration October 30 is National Dashiki Day!

14492405_1268861609843135_5208595518636788890_nNational Dashiki Day

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

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

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

October 30, 2017

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

Posted on October 4, 2017 By Staff With 2 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 0 comments

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

Andrew Colom and David Alade, founders of Century Partners

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

How they got started

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

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

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

More than revitalization

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

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

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

Source: 

Posted on February 1, 2017 By Staff With 0 comments

First Black-Owned Vodka Company in South Africa Launches

sibusiso_sibis_distinkt_vodka

A new vodka will soon be hitting the shelves in South Africa. Distinkt Vodka, created by chemist Sibusiso Sibis, will be South Africa’s first Black-owned vodka brand.

Sibis started the company with four fellow entrepreneurs, and together they own 100% of the company. Their quality vodka is made from rich grain harvested from South African fields. It is touted as being a “product of excellence by South Africans for South Africans.”

A premium product at a fair price

Although the vodka is a premium brand, it is being sold at less than a premium price. Sibis hopes this combination will contribute toward his goal of dominating the South African vodka market with his high-quality brand.

Sibis and partners are from the South African township of Kagiso in Johannesburg’s West Rand, but Sibis is the only one that’s a chemist. As a university graduate-turned-entrepreneur, he is not only proud of their new product but also proud of the fact that their company has created something that will bring money back into the community.

Inspiration for others

Sibisi comments, “My friends and I wanted to create something that would create a legacy for our families and their next generations. We are passionate about Africans doing things for themselves. He calls it “economic emancipation” and explains that if he can do it, other South Africans can do it too!

For more details about Distinkt Vodka, follow the company on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/Distinkt-Vodka-496902690493718/

Source

Posted on July 26, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

Black-Owned or Nah?: Why These Entrepreneurs Don’t Reveal Their Businesses are Black-Owned

black-owned-300x300

In growing a business, most entrepreneurs adopt key strategies that help them attract and maintain consumers. For Duane Draughon, owner and operator of VizX Design Studios, hiding the fact that his business is Black-owned is the key.

Draughon avoided putting pictures of himself and his family on the company website and introduced himself to potential clients as a project manager, NOT the owner. He even brought on a white insurance representative to carry out job interviews and put together a white sales team.

“I never said I wasn’t the owner,” he told theChicago Tribune. “If asked, I would admit it.”

Draughon is among some business owners who keep hidden the fact that their businesses are Black-owned, for fear of losing clientele. Preconceived notions that the product or service is solely geared toward Blacks — and racial intolerance on the part of potential customers — could drive business into the ground.

“As soon as you say it’s Black-owned, white people will believe it’s only for Black people, and Black people will look for something wrong with it,” said Chicago tech entrepreneur James Parker.

Parker had no intention of revealing himself as a Black business owner either, until now. He even went so far as to keep his picture out of promotions for his discount date site, BestDateNight.com. Some founders use similar tactics, lessening the number of Black images in advertisements or eliminating them altogether.

Alysia Sargent, CEO of Go Dutch Today, said she “doesn’t want her brand to be Black.” She wants African-Americans to utilize her services of course, but also wants to ensure that her marketing is “very broad and multicultural.” She and two other African-American women founded the dating website and app.

“It’s kind of unfortunate, but if we want to go further and appeal to venture capitalists and angel investors, we can’t just be Black,” she added.

But aside from the factor of race, what would draw consumers to invest in Black-owned businesses over white-owned businesses?

Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of Diversity, Inc. Magazine and attempted to answer this question in his column titled “Ask the White Guy.” In the column, readers pose questions and Visconti answers from the perspective of a white business owner.

“With all things being equal, and with the above circumstances, there are several reasons for a white businessperson to decide to do business with a black-owned business over a white-owned business,” he wrote. “It’s called ‘supplier diversity.’ Supplier diversity is not charity. It is a process by which companies improve their business. Properly implemented, supplier diversity lowers costs and increases margin and/or revenue.”

So, telling the world your business is Black-owned might not be so bad after all.

Source:

Black-Owned or Nah?: Why These Entrepreneurs Don’t Reveal Their Businesses are Black-Owned

Posted on May 2, 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

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

african_american_social_work_business

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

Black Financial Expert Releases the World’s First Investment Book For Children

wesley_learns_to_invest_prince_dykes2-500x184

Wesley Learns to Invest by Prince Dykes is the world’s first investment book that targets children readers. The fictional book is about an 11-year old boy (Wesley, named after his 4-year son) who wants a gaming system, but instead learns about the importance of hard work, investing, and choosing stocks wisely. In the story, the boy’s father teaches him about the stock market, setting goals, and making smart decisions related to finances.

Wesley Learns to Invest by Prince Dykes is the world’s first investment book that targets children readers. The fictional book is about an 11-year old boy (Wesley, named after his 4-year son) who wants a gaming system, but instead learns about the importance of hard work, investing, and choosing stocks wisely. In the story, the boy’s father teaches him about the stock market, setting goals, and making smart decisions related to finances.

 

kidsinvest

Black Financial Expert Releases the World’s First Investment Book For Children

Wesley Learns to Invest uses real world experiences to teach children valuable financial principles and practices while they are still at a young age. The book emphasizes that nobody can always have what they want. Children wanting material things have an opportunity to learn about managing finances, and even investing, from this innovative narrative.

The book was released in June 2015, and is already very popular – especially in the state of Hawaii where the author is based. It has been added to several local school libraries and public libraries throughout the state. Its currently available for purchase at Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com, Books-a-Million, Kindle, and iBook. Order yours today!

About the Author

Prince Dykes is a 31-year old active duty service member stationed at Pearl Harbor, but he has a lot of business and finance experience and knowledge that inspired him to author an investment book for children. He works as a logistics specialist in the military with 12 1/2 years of responsibilities related to finances, he has an associate’s degree in general studies, bachelor’s degree in management, and Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), and he has a Series 65 license (Federal Investment Advisor), a Series 63 license (Securities Agent), a life insurance license, and a health/accident license.

In 2012, he started Royal Financial Investment Group, which  invests in Black-owned businesses like Dewalt Brewing Company (winner of several beer festival awards) and The Global Art Gallery, which was listed on the Game Changers List for 2016 as selected by the National Association of Experts, Writers, and Speakers.

Royal Financial Investment Group has also created and published the world’s first captain venture app for the general public Investors and Business Owners Hub (IABOH). Available at the Apple app store and Google Play, it enables entrepreneurs to find investors while opening the general public up to the world of capital venture.

The firm has been featured on various Internet radio shows, and in the True Citizen newspaper, iHeart Radio’s “The Rick Hamada Show”, Fortune Magazine, The Huffington Post and Apple/Andriod apps.  They were also featured in the January 2016 edition of Fortune Magazine.

Dykes is also married with a 4-year old son Wesley.

For more details about Royal Financials, visit www.royalfinancials.com

CONTACT:
Royal Financial Investment Group

Twitter: https://twitter.com/royalfinancials

Email: prince@royalfinancials.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Royalfinancialgroup

Phone: 706-691-6386

Black Financial Expert Releases the World’s First Investment Book For Children

 

Posted on February 26, 2016 By Staff With 2 comments

South Africa’s Only Black Billionaire — 5 Things To Know About Him

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Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe has the golden touch, which has made him not only one of South Africa’s wealthiest men but also the country’s only black billionaire. How did he do it? Gold.

Motsepe started to invest in gold in 1997 which led to his creating African Rainbow Minerals, the first South African black-owned mining company. We could stop here and say the rest is history, but here are 5 things you should know about this billionaire entrepreneur.

#1 – His culture motivates him to help others: Following the spirit and tradition of Ubuntu, which means “I am because you are,” Motsepe is committed to helping care for those who are less fortunate.

#2 – He distributes much of his wealth: Motsepe donated half of his wealth in 2013, through the Motsepe Foundation, to help improve life for the poor, the disabled, unemployed, women, youth, workers and other needy South Africans.

#3 – He is named after the former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo: His name, Patrice, comes from Patrice Lumumba, the first elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo who helped the country gain their freedom from Belgium.

#4 – He owns a football team: Motsepe owns Mamelodi Sundowns, nicknamed The Brazilians. The football team wears yellow and blue uniforms reflective of Brazil’s national team.

#5 – He’s very rich: Not only is Motsepe South Africa’s only black billionaire, he is the 847th richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $2.2 billion. He is one of seven South Africans in the list, and the only black man.

Read more by visiting www.forbes.com/profile/patrice-motsepe/

Posted on February 24, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

These young Africans are about to disrupt the way you ship from overseas to Africa

shypmate-team

Introducing Shypmate

Shypmate is a peer-to-peer delivery service that allows individuals buy products online and get it delivered through home-bound travelers, especially in Nigeria and Ghana. Shypmate’s end goal is affordable and fast international delivery.

In an exclusive interview with two members of the team (Chisom Ebinama and Perry Ogwuche) , Co-founder, Perry remarked:

shypmate-co-founder-perry-ogwuche

“We traveled to the US for college and have been there ever since. We saw the problem of trying to send stuff back home, because it was expensive to ship these items”.

The founders, — Chisom Ebinama, Kwadwo Nyarko, Perry Ogwuche and Tochukwu Okoro — who have a uniquely mix-and-match Nationality (3 from Nigeria and 1 from Ghana) and area of expertise (3 with background in Engineering and 1 in the field of Business) are based in San Mateo, California USA where they all met. In Shypmate, the founders found a struggle they all could relate with and decided to use technology to solve it.

shypmate-team

Prior to the emerging company’s official launch today 21st January, 2016, Shypmate has validated its effort with a over 100 successful transactions in Nigeria and Ghana within just 2 months of its user acceptance test.

See How Shypmate Works:

There are basically 3 steps to getting started with Shypmate and also 3 people smiling at the end of the transactions.

Website: http://www.shypmate.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shypmate/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Shypmate

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shypmate/?ref=bookmarks

Source: https://techpoint.ng/2016/01/21/shypmate-feature/

Posted on January 22, 2016 By Staff With 2 comments

BLACK MAN, TURNS A PASSION FOR SOCKS INTO A BOLD BUSINESS IDEA

KimichSocks

Yes,  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. Website: http://kimchisocks.com/

Kimchi Socks is here to take care of your gift giving needs when flowers and candy is not enough. Kimchi Socks is working to become the leader in helping family members, long distance friends, professionals, and digital nomads send gifts remotely. Relationships are important personally and business wise. When you are busy and not at near to build those relationships. You need Kimchi Socks’ help. You need something that you can send as a good gesture from you care. You don’t want to send flowers because they die. You don’t want to send candy because the moment they eat it, you are no longer on their mind. You want to send socks as a gift. This is something they can wear often year round. Also, when people ask them about the cool Kimchi Socks you sent them, they will think and mention you. I am a 28 years old black man from New Orleans. I am currently in the Air Force stationed in S. Korea and I run this business part time but in 2017 I will leave the Air Force. I am hoping for this business to support my family while I go back to University of New Orleans for Computer Engineering.

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Kimchi Socks not only sells socks but we also sponsor social projects with a portion of our profits. Below are the projects we sponsor because we believe in the positive mission they are set out to achieve. Therefore, you are not only buying socks but also helping us make the world a better place.  http://kimchisocks.com/index.php/about/who-kimchi-socks-sponsor/

BLACK MAN, TURNS A PASSION FOR SOCKS INTO A BOLD BUSINESS IDEA 

Make sure to join Kimchi Socks on all social media:

Website: http://kimchisocks.com/

Twitter: @KimchiSocks 

IG: @kimchisocks

Facebook: Kimichi Socks

And since it’s Friday, make sure you gift a pair today!

Kimchi Socks is one of the many small business taking on the challenge to create #2MillionJobs in America. This is how we create our own solutions to our own problems.

Posted on January 22, 2016 By Staff With 1 comment

Oldest Black Owned Travel Agency in the United States

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The honor of being the oldest, continuously operating, African American owned travel agency goes to Rodgers Travel Bureau, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rodgers Travel Bureau opened their doors in 1949. The company was started by Harold Rodgers, an African American medical student who was working as a porter for TWA at Philadelphia International Airport to help pay for medical school. He knew the business well, and when he opened his agency, he was the only black-owned travel agency in the U.S.

Business booming

Business was booming, largely due to Rodgers’ loyal black customer base. Rodgers provided a valuable service for black customers at a time when the “whites only” segregation rules made it difficult to impossible for blacks to travel. Even after desegregation, his customers remained loyal. By the late 1960’s, the company was able to open a Rodgers Travel location in Washington, D.C. that targeted affluent African Americans and was a great location to black organizations who had headquarters in D.C.

Changes — all good

In 1954, William Griffin purchased the business from Harold Rodgers and soon added partner Fred Russell to manage the business. By the 1970’s, Russell’s daughters Norma Pratt and Joanne Ussery joined the management team. When their father passed away in 1980, his two daughters took over. It was now company president Norma Pratt who took the lead to secure the company for further growth. She took advantage of SBA’s 8(a) business development program to enter into the federal government marketplace. In 1991, she bid on and received Rodgers’ first federal government contract – a $10 million per year contract servicing Scott AFB.

The company is pleased that they have not only secured a place in history but also secured the future of the company.

For more details about Rodgers Travel Bureau, visit www.rodgerstravel.com

Oldest Black Owned Travel Agency in the United States

 

Source: Blog.BlackBusiness.org

Posted on January 19, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

BBNOMICS A CROWDFUNDING SITE

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BBNOMICS A CROWDFUNDING SITE

We love the idea of crowd funding. So we decided to create one specifically for African/Black Owned business with BBNomics to create a self-help approach to the funding issues BOB’s face in this current market.  Crowd Funding is a perfect mixture of social media, wisdom of the crowds and good old-fashioned business. For those of you who don’t know what crowd funding is, it’s a way of collecting funds for a project, product or initiative. We are specifically targeted projects in predominantly black neighborhoods.

The concept is simple; people commit to funding your project but are only charged if you reach some pre-defined target. We specifically use PayPal’s for this idea and we used for a few reasons – mainly because it works internationally, unlike the alternatives which are USA only.

Through BBNomics you create an entire project; post it and we promote it for you our site and users can commit to funding your project directly from here. This has some massive benefits. All the time we spend marketing your project will benefit your own concept.

In order to qualify your concept must be 100% Black or African Owned, you have to do your homework; business plan, financial worksheet, research, a legit business model and much more. In addition, we will need 100% accountability once you meet your funding goals.

After you pay a few minimal processing fees, you keep 92% (partial proceeds to Paypal and the other portion to BBNomics) of your funders’ contributions. That’s more money for you to get your project started.

Another huge benefit is that you can create any type of project you want. As long as you aren’t breaking any of Crowdfunding or PayPal’s rules (which would only really prohibit illegal projects), you’re free to fund whatever you want.

What to do once you decide you want to crowdfund a business or project on BBNomics? 

  1. Tell your story. 

    As the old adage goes: facts tell, stories sell. When it comes to eliciting customer engagement, a campaign with a good story is an unparalleled strategy. Did you experience some kind of obstacle on your path to entrepreneurship? Did a major life event influence your career choice or business decisions? Tell your story in your crowdfunding pitch to make a connection with backers and encourage engagement.If you don’t have a personal story to share with your audience, share facts and highlights about your start-up, product or vision instead. Describe the problem (and severity of the problem) your product will solve, or discuss the vision for your start-up. Keep your tone and messaging personal to make backers feel closely connected to you and your project.

  2. Provide value for value. 

    Crowdfunding campaigns hinge on reciprocity. If your start-up offers fantastic products, rewards or opportunities, you’ve created a huge incentive for backers to pledge to your campaign. When choosing your reward tiers, reflect on whether the incentives would appeal to you if you were the consumer; ask friends, family members and business acquaintances for their honest opinions as well.

  3. Introduce scarcity. 

    A basic law of economics dictates that scarce supply inherently creates greater demand. Create greater demand for your start-up by limiting one or more of the higher level rewards to just a few — this will inflate demand for those rewards and result in higher pledge amounts for your crowdfunding campaign!

  4. Create a marketing event. 

    People love to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Try to build a feeling of excitement and rally others around your crowdfunding campaign by tying the launch to a large, well known event. You can connect your product to a holiday, sporting event, or season to increase the momentum surrounding your launch. You can leverage the emotional connection surrounding these events to get people excited about your product and engage them in discussions.This is especially useful for connecting with backers through social channels, capitalizing on trending topics and popular hash tags to get more eyes on your fundraise!

  5. Highlight examples of social proof. 

    Going back to the human desire to feel like a part of something bigger than themselves, most people don’t want to be the first or only supporter of a crowdfunding campaign — they want to see other influential advocates joining in. Do you have someone notable as an adviser, backer or endorser of your start-up? Share your list of partners and patrons to give confidence to new backers and let them know that they won’t be the only one at your party.

  6. Build credibility and legitimacy. 

    Many backers will believe it when they see it. In other words, they require some kind of evidence  that your start-up is legitimate and picking up steam before deciding to back your crowdfunding campaign. Show your backers what they’ll be supporting in detail — how it works, how you came up with the idea, and even pictures or videos if you have a prototype. Remember that you will likely never meet your backers, so the more proof you can provide that your start-up is legitimate the better.

  7. Interact with your supporters. 

    Don’t leave your backers in the dark for weeks after they’ve supported your project. Interact with your audience through frequent updates, thank-you emails or social media outreach, and responses to their questions and feedback.You can build anticipation and increase engagement in many ways. Post updates counting down to a big surprise regarding your project, conduct a product giveaway, or even host a contest involving your crowdfunding campaign. The opportunities here are endless and can be tailored for your specific start-up. When interacting with your backers, always encourage an open dialogue and engagement. In general, people would rather talk than listen. Treat your updates and outreach as a conversation rather than a one sided message.

 

 

Posted on January 14, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

BBNOMICS BLACK CROWDFUNDING SITE RAISED $40K SO FAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

BBNOMICS
913-4BUYBLK
www.bbnomics.com

IMPRESSIVE: BBNOMICS BLACK CROWDFUNDING SITE RAISED $40K SO FAR

BBNOMICS: CROWDFUNDING SITE – THE POWER OF THE CROWD!

#1 BLACK CROWDFUNDING SITE IN THE NATION!

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – BBNOMICS is proud to announce its Black Business generating crowd funding site, which serves as a means of creating the capital necessary to launch entrepreneurial endeavors. BBNOMICS has a built-in Marketing Program that will serve the business pursuits of black businesses entrepreneurs and organizations around the globe. Crowd funding is the perfect mixture of social media, business sense, and word of mouth crowd wisdom. Crowd funding is a way of collecting funds for a project, product, or business initiative in which both the investor and project recipient get rewarded for their submission to the project. It is also an engine of change for a new way of economics spurred by the power of cooperative investment. This crowd funding venture has at its core a goal of empowering predominantly black neighborhoods across the globe by circulating community dollars in a way that will foster the spirit and activity of business cooperation.

The concept is simple, people simply commit to funding your project and are rewarded once the project or organization reaches  the pre-defined goal. Through BBNOMICS you can create an entire project and promote it on the site for viewers to choose, at the minimum contribution of $5.00 anyone can enjoy investing. This has some massive benefits. For the duration of time your project is posted on BBNOMICS it will benefit tremendously from marketing and advertisement, giving your product or service a solid foundation to launch from. It is the purpose and desire of BBNOMICS along with its affiliates to the see the projects of its participants get funded and we are not afraid of the hard work and personal touch necessary to see your business dreams a success.

BBNOMICS in its concept and internal organization will have the awesome potential of creating a funding source for Africans globally. Cooperative Economics entails a group of people working together for the mutual benefit of their community and future. The goal is to create a minimum of 24 business owners per year; or in other words raising capital for 24 funded and fully functioning business entities, with a target funding goal of $1.8 million annually.

The plan is generate capital for small business by using unique and creative methods.  The way this organizations will do this is from good ole’ fashion investment backers contributing directly to the website and being rewarded for doing so. The other opportunity is created from BBE Investment Club.  BBNOMICS users will have the option of signing up for BBE INVESTMENT CLUB, which is a capital creating club that give individuals and our group access to thousands of dollars as an alternative to traditional funding.

Here’s the company’s message: “Get funded on BBNOMICS! We want to meet a 97% success rate; this we believe is possible through our $5.00 minimum contribution, as well as our commitment to have our backers rewarded for their contribution. Be there when our community is looking for meaningful projects to support. We now have a platform which assists the funding of Black/African Owned businesses worldwide. Connect with your backers by joining us and allow people to find you. Encourage your friends and family to visit the site and share, rate, recommend, and get rewarded for patronizing a business or organization of your choosing. BBNOMICS also provides an open forum for black business men and women to dialogue about economic topics relevant to collective success.”

BBNOMICS has a space where users can add photos, a company or personal bio, and a 180 second promotion “pitch” video. They allow users to make the most of their project by giving them an opportunity to showcase it to savvy backers who are searching for worthy projects to support. This continuous cycling of black-owned business activity will produce economic revitalization across the African Diaspora.

BBNOMICS RAISED $40K SO FAR BBNOMICS: CROWDFUNDING SITE – THE POWER OF THE CROWD! #1 BLACK CROWDFUNDING SITE IN THE NATION.

As part of the BBNOMICS program, users have access to the following benefits:

Traction.

When conducting a crowdfunding campaign, you may also generate traction for your start-up. This will be demonstrated through large amounts of backers, pre-orders of the product or service your start-up offers, or a significant amount of media interest. Generating traction is an important step to prove success and prepare for investor pitching.

Social proof.

When potential clients show interest in your start-up’s product or service, you’ve generated social proof. This is essentially showing that other people believe in what you’re doing. Another way to generate social proof is to take on advisers prominent in their respective (related) fields.

Press coverage.

Helpful media coverage could include a feature on your company in a popular news station, blog, or print publication. Press coverage will generate more eyes on your campaign and create brand awareness for your start-up. It’s also a great way to bring in backers outside of your personal network.

Marketing.

Throughout the course of your crowdfunding campaign, you’ll have the opportunity to engage supporters and grow your audience. The result? Your campaign doubled as marketing for your start-up!

Potential investor interest.

Investors are interested in ambitious entrepreneurs whose ideas have garnered traction and social proof. Whether they read about your new product on a popular blog, or hear about your innovative campaign from a friend, a successful crowdfund is a great way to capture investor interest.

The plan of BBNOMICS is to create the mindset and practice of cooperative economics. This method will encourage us to launch businesses, garner support from our community, all the while encouraging those same businesses to be responsible to the community.

For more details, visit the web site at www.bbnomics.com or contact inquiry@bbnomics.com or [913-4BUYBLK].

Twitterwww.twitter.com/buyblkeconomics
Facebookwww.facebook.com/bbnomics
-END-

 

BBNOMICS website translates into 60 different languages. Join today and give today.

 

Posted on January 13, 2016 By Staff With 0 comments

Top 7 Black-Owned Firms That Help Other Black-Owned Businesses

rotating-savings-club

 

According to federal statistics, there are more than 2 million Black-owned businesses in the country, but many are struggling to stay afloat. Many generate revenues of less than $100,000 a year, and have few employees. So what’s the plan for 2016?
Here are 7 Black-owned marketing, public relations, and diversity recruitment companies that can help:

#1 – 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.

#2 – 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.

#3 – 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.

#4 – 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).

#5 – 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.

#6 – 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.

#7 – 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!

Source: blog.blackbusiness.org

Posted on January 7, 2016 By Staff With 4 comments

Welcome to Afrikmall, the unique African Mall

afrikmall-logo

What is Afrikmall?

Afrikmall is a place that Africans living in Colorado can call home, providing a range of business services, as well as cultural, community and social opportunities and events. There are many thousands of Africans living in Colorado, from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and other African countries.

What will Afrikmall offer?

Afrikmall will provide the best of African business, entertainment, products, services and cultural experience to the general public. This may include African restaurants and cuisine, a grocery store, a coffee shop, a beauty salon, art shops, clothing retailers and business office space, along with an event center and a cultural center. It is also envisioned that Afrikmall will also house a credit union or bank.

Who is behind the project?

Cobina Adu Lartson, Ph.D., is the CEO of Afrikmall, and also a science educator with Denver Public Schools; Edward K. Mensah is chief operating officer of Afrikmall and executive director of TMG Global; Albert K. Quartey is the chief financial officer of Afrikmall and also a supervisor with Unicircuit Inc.; Emmanuel K. Eliason is Afrikmall’s chief business development officer, as well as the president and CEO of Eliason Consulting Group; Seth Assabil, Afrikmall’s chief of facilities, works in security.

Where is it located?

Afrikmall will be located at 10180 E. Colfax Ave. in Aurora, in a 56,281 square-foot building on three floors. Afrikmall, LLC, the management company overseeing Afrikmall operations, has a long-term lease on the property, which was purchased by 10180 E. Colfax, LLC, an ownership entity created by Colorado-based Northstar Commercial Partners.

Why was that area selected?

The Downtown Aurora location provides proximity to thousands of expected visitors to Afrikmall. Afrikmall is located within the Aurora Cultural Arts District on the Colfax corridor, in a radius that includes the Stapleton and Lowry developments, and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical.
Welcome to Afrikmall, the unique African Mall. We are changing the customer shopping experience, one city at a time.

When will it open?

 An official ribbon cutting ceremony took place on July 16, 2015. For current update click here.

Posted on January 3, 2016 By Staff