Tag archives: crowdfunding

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

Why You Should Forget About Old School Real Estate Investing

If you want to be one step in front of your competition, you need to know what the next big thing will be or at least figure out how you can use it to turn the tides to your advantage. That’s where Real Estate Crowdinvesting comes into play.

Real estate professionals know that investing in an excellent property can give a resounding return on investment in time. The only problem comes when you don’t have enough money to make such investments. Unfortunately, if such a thing happens, you will have to wait until you accumulate the finances needed for such an acquisition.

So, you either have to wait for a long time, or you just need to go to the bank and deal with loans, something that’s not exactly a good idea. Beginning investors had to do this all the time and, as you can imagine, things like this don’t go well all the time. But it’s still clear that you can gain some amazing results with the right approach. That’s why the next big thing in the Real Estate world is Crowdinvesting! The reason is rather simple, with help from other people that also want to invest money in large properties, you get to make a name for yourself, and the value can be incredibly rewarding.

Not only will you get to make a name for yourself in the longer term, but the value on its own is second to none, and you never have to worry about any potential investment problems. While regulations are in place, Real Estate Crowdinvesting can step away from the infancy stage, but the reality is that the future is bright for this particular industry. Not only does it allow more and more people to invest in real estate, but it significantly lowers the entry point, and that’s critical, to say the least. It is clearly showing value for people that entered this area in its early stages.
And it will get even better in the longer term.

Buy The Block is leveling this playing field. It’s safe to say that this industry is here to stay. As long as more and more people enter the Real Estate Crowdinvesting world, we will be able to see more and more residential and commercial projects acquired this way. Buy The Block will put the power back into your hands and it will pay off in the end, it can bring plenty of success to the people that need it. You should totally consider joining right now, because this is the future of real estate investments, and you certainly want to be a part of it!

Join The Movement!

Posted on March 15, 2017 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
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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

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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

30 Ways You Can Practice Group Economics

 

African American family together inside their home

African American family together inside their home

  1. Produce a product
  2. Produce a service
  3. Outsource tasks to a member of the community
  4. Open an online store
  5. Open a physical store
  6. Host community events
  7. Use Black Business Directories
  8. Create community gardens
  9. Start making and selling your own clothes and accessories
  10. Source Black produced products
  11. Start or Join a Black Investment Group
  12. Find and join a Black Bank
  13. Crowdfund to raise capital
  14. Do A Weekly Sou-Sou
  15. If you don’t have money, barter
  16. Change your buying habits
  17. Vote with your dollars
  18. Create Trust Funds for your children OR an Endowment for an organization
  19. Fight for reparations
  20. Use “gentrification” to our benefit
  21. Build a co-op
  22. Hire Blacks
  23. Study Economics
  24. Join or Create a buying club
  25. Refer a Black business to someone else
  26. Share-A-Ride Ghetto taxi
  27. Buy Black but sell to anyone
  28. Improve your Financial IQ
  29. Hustle and Persistence
  30. Share this article Just one of these tips has the power to change lives and communities.

Produce a product

A product is any physical item that you create to sell. Look around you: everything you see is a product that someone else has created. You can do the same. The best products are those that solve a pressing need. Think toilet paper, books that teach readers to solve a problem or understand an important subject, or items that help customers express themselves.

You can also improve on an existing product. Create a better faucet. Create a better toilet. Create a better way to change your oil. Will it be hard? Sure. Will it be worth it? Hell yea.

Case study: I knew a Sistah that worked at a well-known coffee shop. She hated her job, but would make special custom drinks for customers that weren’t on the menu. When the job didn’t work out, she remembered her recipes, bottled them, and now sells them in the city she lives in to the same customers. Instead of the company getting the lions share of the product profit, it goes straight to her. That’s how you create a product.

Produce a Service

A service is any skill that you possess that the market needs and is willing to pay for. Plumbers, mechanics, HVAC, barbers, tattoo artists, computer programmers, and painters all have skills the market is willing to pay lots of money for.When considering a service that you may be able to provide, you will know if it is a good idea or not by answering the following question:

Is this something people could do by themselves?

If the answer is yes, come up with a better idea.

  • I can mow my own lawn
  • I can do my own grocery shopping*
  • I can wash my own car
  • I can clean up my own house

I am not paying you to do those things for me. But can I give myself a haircut? Can I fix my own car? Maybe you can, but I cannot. Can I program my computer (hell naw). These are services that people are willing to pay for. If you have skills that the average person doesn’t, there is your opportunity.

Think about all of the services you use on a weekly basis. Find a Black service provider to perform all of those same services for you.

* With so many Baby Boomers entering retirement, the need for personal services will skyrocket. Many elders can no longer do their own shopping, so there may be a market there.

Outsource tasks to a member of the community-Top

Buy Black

In business, outsourcing is the contracting out of a business process to another party. If you are in business, you cant do everything yourself. Outsourcing is like hiring a mercenary to take care of one-time tasks. Outsourcing is not as expensive as it may sound.  If you have $5, you can outsource web design, computer programming, accounting,

Want help with your natural hair? Try Marsha Willis. At only $5, she is cheaper than buying a book.

Need a Black male to do a voice over for your commercial? My man, cardi937  has done work for us (including our podcast) for $5.

Even if you cant find a Black service provider, use someone from outside of the community to get you into business. Here are a few:

Web and Graphic Design for $5

Business Planning for $5

Marketing and Branding Services for $5

Get your website on the front page of Google for $5

Facebook, Twitter, Other Social Page designs for $5

Open an online store –Top

Once you have created products to sell, or you have found someone who is willing to wholesale the product to you, open an online store. This Queen can help you do it for $5…yes….$5!

By opening an online store, you will have access to the entire world of customers. You will need to package and ship the products in a timely manner when orders roll in, but if other people have done it and make a living at it, you can too!

In order to open an online store, you will need to buy a domain name (for example, www.yournamehere.com) and hosting (the place where all of your words, pictures, and videos are stored online). We are one of the very few Black Web Hostingcompanies in the world. You can buy very cheap and reliable web hosting from us by clicking here.

You may also want to purchase a domain name from Godaddy. Domain names can cost anywhere from $1 to $13 per year. Buying your domain name ensures no one steals your idea, and is an important first step in getting started. Click here to register your Godaddy domain name.

30 Ways You Can Practice Group Economics

Open a physical store

While it may be more expensive to open a physical store versus an online store, there are many benefits. First, when discussing group economics, physical stores provide “anchors” in the community. Many people consider the businesses around them as a benefit of living in a particular area.Think popular barber shops or convenience stores.

If the businesses are Black owned and providing quality goods or services, that can have a positive impact on the entire community. There is also less competition, since anyone can open an online business, but everyone is not willing to physically open doors!

Host community events

Host community pot lucks, local group economic seminars, community yard sales, and other events that teach the rest of the community to put these tips into practice. Find a community center, boys and girls club, or a school with an auditorium or gym and get to work. The more people see their community coming together, the more they will be willing to participate.

Schools are particularly receptive to farmers markets setting up on school grounds on the weekend, so turn it into an event and an opportunity to make things happen.

Use Black Business Directories

There are seriously thousands of Black Business directories in existence. These directories range from the local to the global, and feature literally hundreds of thousands of businesses. Why aren’t you using them? Many of these directories have mobile device apps, or are mobile friendly, and let you search using your zip code to find the closest Black business to you.

If you are a business owner, add your listing to ALL OF THESE directories. If you are a consumer, use these directories to keep Black dollars in Black hands.

  1. Black Owned Biz – featured on BET, the directory has a growing list of 10,000 Black Businesses from all over the United States
  2. Black Trade lines – A convenient, easy to use Android and Apple app that lets you find nearby businesses using your cell
  3. Buy Black Economics – Cooperative Directory with reward incentives.

 

Create community gardens

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Start planning and gathering everything you will need for planting in the springtime during the fall and winter months. If you are getting started in the spring, there are fall and winter crops that you can grow and either eat, sell, or turn into a product to other members of the community.

My grandmother had a fig tree, a pecan tree, and a small garden in her back yard. She could make dozens of products from these few resources, including fig preserves and jams, deserts, pecans for sale by the pound (and pecan trees produce a shit ton of nuts), pies, etc. What we couldn’t eat, she would sell. What she couldn’t sell, she would give to the church or the homeless.

Community gardens also create opportunities to get the kids and the elderly in your community engaged. The mothers in nursing homes would appreciate being able to get back outside, or the opportunity to create products with fresh ingredients. Cleveland is an example of for-profit community gardens that we should be following. Check out what they are doing.

Start making and selling your own clothes and accessories-Top

Start by selling T-Shirts and hoodies online using a site called Teespring. Get a graphic designer create our T-Shirt designs on a site called Fiverr. For $5, you’re able to produce more than 12 profitable T-Shirt campaigns, earning us about $9,000 in profit. You have no excuse. Again, here are the resources: Fiverr – Use a graphic designer to create your T-Shirt designs. Most use Photoshop, and will have your order ready in 24 hours. Just be specific about what you want.

Teespring – Launch a campaign here. Start out with a low number as your goal until you get a feel for it

Repeat step 1 and 2.

Need proof we actually did this?

Source Black produced products-Top

Find low priced products from Black vendors and sell them for market value. If you can find a vendor in Liberia selling wood carvings for $10 and the store around the corner is selling them for $50, you have found an opportunity. Buy low and sell high. Use sites like Alibaba.com, Aliexpress and use Google searches to find suppliers.

Start or Join a Black Investment Group

An investment group or investment club is a group of family members, friends, co-workers, or like-minded individuals who pool a regularly invested dollar amount into a common banking account for the purpose of purchasing stocks, bonds, mutual funds, businesses, property, or other assets. There is no limit to the number of members your group can have, but as the African saying goes; “many hands make light work”. The more capital that is pooled, the bigger the ventures that your group is able to involve itself in.

Find and join a Black Bank

We have created a list of 21 Black banks still in business. These Black banks control a combined 4.7 Billion in assets. Banking with Black businesses is the very foundation of group economics! Check out the list here.

Crowdfund to raise capital

Many of us have mistaken soliciting online donations for crowd-funding. Crowd-funding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people. In exchange for contributing to a cause, you must be willing to give the donors something. Again, you don’t get away with just collecting up donations.

Case in point: When Tariq Nasheed wanted to fund his documentary, Hidden Colors, he offered donors anything from a complete DVD to your name listed as an Associate Producer on the film credits. The result? He raised more than $25,000 and is now on his third installment of the nationwide theater release.

Do A Weekly Sou-Sou

The concept of Sou-Sou is new to Black Americans, but sou-sou have served as a community savings plan for Blacks in the diaspora for generations. Read up on Sou-Sou in the article we published on the subject: Sou-Sou and the Path to Economic Empowerment

If you don’t have money, barter

Money isn’t always necessary to make an economy work. In fact, the definition of an economy is the wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services. If you have a product or a service to trade for other things you need, don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Trade hair-styling for babysitting. Trade web programming for car repair. Trade a free apartment in your building for 24 hour maintenance.

Change your buying habits

It can be inconvenient to track down Black businesses that provide the goods and services that you are looking for. Practicing group economics means changing some of your buying habits to benefit your community. For instance, rather than using Google to find a business that has what you want nearby, use a Black business directory. Rather than shopping in physical stores, use the internet to find Black producers and shop for items before you need them.This reduces the need to run out and buy toilet paper at the last minute. You may have to drive a little further, or spend a little more, but the return on our community investment can outweigh the inconvenience.

Vote with your dollars

In his book, Powernomics, Dr. Claude Anderson discusses the link between group economics and politics. Politicians have the power to write economic zones into policy, giving the protection of law to Black operations and economic zones.

Put politicians and councilmen on notice: either take care of Black dollars, or we will take away your dollars. It worked in Ferguson, it can work anywhere.

Create Trust Funds for your children OR an Endowment for an organization

A trust fund is assets belonging to a trust (an arrangement that allows a third party, or trustee, to hold assets on behalf of a beneficiary or beneficiaries) held in a Black Bank (!) that can be distributed to your children. If you don’t have any children, or you wish to give your wealth to an organization after you ascend, use an endowment.

Endowments represent money or other financial assets that are donated to universities or colleges. The sole intention of the endowment is to invest it, so that the total asset value will yield an inflation-adjusted principal amount, along with additional income for further investments and supplementary expenditures. Typically, endowment funds follow a fairly strict policy allocation, which is a set of long-term guidelines that dictates the asset allocation that will yield the targeted return requirement without taking on too much risk. – Source

This is how we perpetuate group economics beyond our lifespans.

Fight for reparations

Some may not see reparations as practicing group economics, but if the TRILLIONS of dollars that have been given to other races, or that remains locked in the bank accounts of white nations (Belgium is still earning interest on the money made in the Congo under King Leopold III), were released back into our possession, that money could be used to regain control over the sources of production, land, and manufacturing. That alone could change our economic position for decades.

This article, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the best written cases for reparations. You owe it to him and to yourself to read it. His article will clarify your perspective on reparations once and for all. Click here to read the article.

Use “Gentrification” to our benefit-Top

One of my close associates was featured in this documentary that specifically addresses how we can use “gentrification” to our benefit. Watch and learn:

30 Ways You Can Practice Group Economics

Build a Cooperative –Top

A Cooperative is the professional title for a group of people working together for mutual benefit.  A cooperative business belongs to the people who use it – people who have organized to provide themselves with the goods and services they need, while making money at the same time. Member-owners meet regularly, present and hear reports on their business and investment activities, and hire General Managers to handle day-to-day affairs in their companies. Members invest in the businesses to provide capital for a strong and efficient operation,  and once the businesses start making money, the profits are returned to co-op members.

There are over 100 million people involved in 47,000 U.S. cooperatives that are in every sector of our economy. If they can do it, we can as well.  Read our article on the subject: Building a Black Cooperative Empire and then watch this video that breaks down how Cooperatives work:

Join @ www.buyblackeconomics.com 

30 Ways You Can Practice Group Economics

Hire Blacks

In her book, The New Jim Crow (If you haven’t read it yet, leave this post and go buy it.) Michelle Alexander teaches us that one of the aims of this new era of mass incarceration is to prevent Blacks from entering the job market. By hiring your own people, you can give an opportunity to a member of the community that may not have had the chance to prove their talents in the job market.

While its not easy to train and retain employees, if you are willing to put forth the effort it will pay off in an expanding business and an overall improvement in the conditions of our people.

Study Economics-Top

This should go without saying, but if you don’t understand economics, you are less able to “come up” and make economics work for you. The fastest way to get up to speed is by reading the following two books. If you haven’t read these, now is the time to pick them up:

  • Powernomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America
  • Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice

Join or Create a Buying club

We have talked a lot about building a Black Consumer Cooperative, aka a buying club, The following FAQ was taken from How To Start A Buying Club.

Why should I start a buying club?

There are many different reasons why one would decide to start a buying club. The motives range from controlling food sources to saving money by buying in bulk. Others include wanting to help local farmers, minimizing a product’s carbon foot print or simply yearning to get closer to the food system. This is just a small list, and the reasons vary for each buying club. We’ll see how the answer to this question impacts decisions below.

What are the different models of organization?

While the concepts behind most buying clubs are similar, their structure can vary greatly. Some models include:

  • Owner Run – In this instance, a single owner would operate the buying club as a business. Any price markup or member fees would be profit for the owner. While there could be a few part time employees, more often than not this model is a one person show.
  • Member Only Club – This type of club is generally more exclusive, sometimes even imposing a member limit. The members would be the owner, and may choose to hire employees to run the group. Member fees and markup help cover the business overhead, but the goal is maximize savings for the members.
  • Worker Co-op – Like most worker co-ops, this buying club would be comprised of a group of members, each required to volunteer a set number of hours per month. Since no one is paid, the price markups and membership fees can be kept very low and while the group enjoys bulk discounts.
  • Farm Owned – Occasionally a farm will decide to sponsor a buying club. Some sell only their products while others will also place orders with other distributors. This type of club is great if you’re looking to establish a relationship with your local producers.

There are infinite variations on the above models, but these are the basic type of buying clubs currently operating. That is one of the best things about starting your own buying club, you can feel free to pick and choose elements from each model and create something that works best for your group.

Who else, besides me, wants to be in the buying club?

Depending on where you live, this could either be an easy or difficult task. In some communities, uttering the words ‘raw milk’ could set off a three hour discussion about micro-flora and the FDA. Conversely, some towns might require an equally long discussion to explain why we would want to buy directly from farmers versus supermarkets.

Either way, below are a few ways to gauge interest in your local area:

  • Farmer’s Market – At a local farmer’s market you’re bound to be surrounded by people who take food pretty seriously. From the farmers to the patrons, strike up a conversation with a few people and see how they react. Also, depending on the rules at your local market, you might even be able to set up a stand. Bring a sign, some quarter-sheet handouts and a have a notebook ready to collect e-mail addresses.
  • Local Produce Markets – People who frequent or work at a smaller produce market might have some interesting insight into the local food scene. At the very least, you might be able to get some information on potential distributors.
  • Internet – The ‘Community’ section of Craigslist.com could prove to be useful. Publish a post explaining your plans and ask people to send along emails if they’re interested. Another site that could be useful is Meetup.com. Start a meetup group surrounding food and see if anyone’s interesting. Even if you don’t have an actual meetup, the site’s discussion tools are pretty useful.
  • Cooperative Extension – No matter how successful the prior avenues are, a phone call or meeting with your local cooperative extension would most likely prove fruitful. These people deal in the agriculture and community on a daily basis, and are always a wealth of knowledge.

What type of product (food, seeds, vitamins) do we want to buy?

Most people assume a buying club would be associated with products normally found at a supermarket, but that’s not always the case. At the very least, it can be just the beginning of a buying club’s scope. For instance, in one buying club members got together and ordered a palate of glass gallon jars. These jars were great for storing the bulk items ordered through the club. In another instance, the same group bought several dozen fermentation crocks at wholesale price. Nothing prompts the purchase of ten pounds of cabbage like a three gallon crock.

The point being, you can start with local produce from a farmer in your area. You can buy seeds in bulk for your respective gardens in the winter. Or, you can even purchase an entire animal in the spring to be split among the club’s members. What ever product you decide to buy as a group, it will inform future choices, such as…

Who can we buy these types of products from?

There are several types of distribution to consider when forming a buying club. This decision will require the group to really focus on what it’s trying to accomplish. Cheaper food for members? Getting food closer to its source? Generating more profit for the producer? These points and many others all have pros and cons.

Once the goals of the group are determined, there are three tiers of producers:

  • National Distributor – There are several national distributors that work with buying clubs. The benefits include lower prices, greater range of products, order credit plans and organization. Some of the drawbacks are non-local product sources and greater transportation distances. Also, some companies require commercial loading zones for delivery, which is something we’ll talk about more later.
  • Local Distributor – The existence of a local distributor in your area isn’t guaranteed, but there is normally at least one handling fresh produce. The pros in this case are locally sourced product, generally smaller delivery vehicles and the possibility of forming a close relationship with the company. Downsides can include less formal delivery schedules, cash on delivery (COD) requirements and large inventory fluctuations.
  • Direct from Producer – Buying the product directly from the producer is an excellent choice if possible. Not every farmer/producer is willing to deal in small quantities typical for buying clubs, but if an agreement can be reached this can lead to excellent business relationships. The plus to this arrangement is freshness of product, intimate knowledge of its source and the potential to even have a say in the product types available. Potential pitfalls range from a lack of delivery options, payment prior to delivery and inventory instability.

How do we collect member orders?

There are many ways in which clubs gather and organize member orders and they vastly range in technical requirement. Some groups get together in one place and compile the order together. Others telephone and/or email orders to one point person who then creates the order.

In more recent years, clubs have began embracing the use of Internet for this job. There are several software based options for on-line ordering and some groups even use the collaborative power of shared Google Spreadsheets.

How often do we place an order?

This can depend on needs of the buying club and the inventory of distributors. Some clubs order as often as once a week, while others order monthly or even quarterly. One scheduling detail that can be very important is being consistent on what day the order is final. It could be every Wednesday, or the first Tuesday of every month. Whatever it may be, members often find it helpful if a system is established and followed.

Where do we receive deliveries and split bulk items?

This ultimately depends on several factors, including how many people there are in your buying club, how large your orders are and who you’re ordering from. If your club is small and the distributor can deliver it to a members house, a residential living room or garage can suffice. If the club is a bit larger and/or a national distributor required a commercial loading zone you may have to consider a larger venue. Such spaces include churches, grange halls, community centers and even unused commercial spaces for lease.

Collecting and Compiling Member Orders

Depending on the size of your club, this will vary. If you’re five to ten people, simply emailing or calling in orders to a single order compiler would suffice. However, if your group is larger, you might want to consider an Internet based tool. On the simpler side of things, you could use a Google Spreadsheet and share it with all of the members. It can be useful to have a dedicated member watching this spreadsheet, in case product names, prices or orders are entered incorrectly.

If your group continues to grow, and the spreadsheet begins to hit its limits, there are several on-line software options to help manage member ordering and order compilation. Click here to see these tools under our Tools & Resources page.

Submitting the Order

This task depends on which distributor(s) you’ve decided to deal with. In some instances, faxing or calling in your order is an option, mainly with small vendors. However, a bulk of distributors will either prefer or require the order to be submitted electronically. In this realm, it’s usually either via email or an on-line form.

For example, Frontier accepts orders through an on-line ordering tool. This tool is extremely handy in that as your enter products, it will indicate if said product is in stock, back-ordered, or sold out entirely.

If you’re submitting your order by email, vendors usually prefer a spreadsheet format of some sort. Some will provide the format, others are just happy to be getting it electronically. Both the aforementioned spreadsheets and software option help take a lot of the busywork out of preparing the order for submission.

Receiving the Goods

Again, this section is dependent on the distributor. That said, you’ll almost always have to have someone meet the delivery. Be it the vendors own truck or UPS, it’s helpful to have a member available during the drop-off time window. Beyond ensuring the safety of your club’s food, you might also need to pay the delivery driver.

If possible, having multiple members at drop-off will be best. These people can help cross check the delivered items with the invoice and quickly discover any damaged or sub par items. After the delivery is complete, this small team can help organize the order and move any perishables into refrigerators or freezers.

In some clubs, these members can also begin splitting or weighing some of the items. Over time, you’ll be able to determine which products are best to do right after delivery, such as meats and/or cheeses. This may drastically help the next step of the process.

Splitting the Goods

An important part of splitting the order is giving yourself the right amount of time. This will take a couple of tries to figure out the optimal time, and is also dependent on how large the order is. For the sake of this explanation, let’s say it will take two hours to split the order.

Before you do a split, its also important to have the proper tools for the job. If there are items like flour or vegetables, you’ll need glove, scoops, bags and scales. You’ll also need a good amount of pens and markers.

Beyond the tools, you’ll also have to prepare several copies of the ‘split sheets’. These sheets list out, by product, which members purchased said product and in what quantity. Again, the on-line software tools are extremely helpful in this task. Also, if you’re using a Google spreadsheet to order, there may be scripts available for you to create split sheets.

With tools and split sheets in hand, have your splitting team meet two hours and fifteen minutes before the club pickup time. Initially, set up one or two areas with scales for weighing items, if needed. Another task is to set up a box or bag for each member’s order. Often times these can be place on chairs to avoid constant bending over. Each of these boxes should also have either the member’s name on it or their receipt, or both. This will help avoid confusion once the distribution of items begins.

In most orders there are items that need to be weighed and bagged, while others can simply be placed in the member’s box (dry beans vs. dozen of eggs). Split the group into several teams, with some weighing and bagging and the others distributing the rest of the product. As the items are placed in their proper box, it can help to check that item off of the member’s receipt. Once all of the product has been split and distributed, it is a good idea to double check everyone’s box, making sure that all items on the receipt (that were delivered) are in the box. Now you’re ready for pickup.

Managing Pickup and Checkout

Member pickup can be an extremely social, fun time. That said, it’s also important that the process is organized as multiple business transactions will occur. The longevity of your buying club may depend on financial accuracy, especially in the beginning.

If you’ve opted to place each member’s order in a box, clearly marked with their name, the member shouldn’t have any issue finding their order. It can also help to put said boxes in alphabetical order. It is important to remind everyone that they should double check their order box with their receipt. This will help prevent any issue after they leave.

For checking out, you can have one or many people taking money. Sometimes it can help to have someone walking the line, reminding people the payment options, who to make checks out to and fielding questions. This way, once a member reaches a checkout station, they are as prepared as possible.

As mentioned before, it depends on the size of your club and your preference, but generally its a good idea to have an organized means of tracking who’s paid what? This will be invaluable in the reconciliation step, instead of trying to remember who paid with cash or a check hours or days after the fact.

Some things to keep track of are member name, amount paid, if that amount is paying for other items such as past orders or another members order. Keeping track of cash, check or credit is also helpful. If you are collecting checks, be sure to note the check number.

Once all orders have been picked up and each member checked out one final and important part is left, cleanup. Regardless of if you’re renting, borrowing or own your space, its imperative that there be people tasked with cleaning the space after pickup and checkout. If possible, its good to have these cleaners be someone other than splitters or checkout people, as those people are normally fairly tired by this point.

From there, the money must get to the person who will deposit it into the bank, and the final numbers must be shared with people in the club who’ll need them.

Reconciling the Order

This less communal step is very important to the fiscal health of your buying club. Here, you want to make sure that the amount of money that came in from your members roughly equals the amount you have paid, or will be paying the distributor. Some things to consider are products that weren’t delivered, broken or spoiled products and any price changes in products after the order was placed. There are a whole slew of other possible hang ups in the reconciliation process, but if the checkout process was organized and well recorded, it shouldn’t be anything insurmountable.

If there are any discrepancies, you’ll possibly have to contact the distributor and determine a solution and/or alter credits or debits on a member’s account. Like any business, you’ll have to determine your own threshold when dealing with losses.

Case study: The Ujamaa Food Coop Food Buying Club is a program of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network. Through this program, members of the club are able to purchase a wide variety of healthy foods, supplements, and household items at very discounted prices.

Every four weeks, members submit orders through our vendor, United Natural Foods (UNFI), which is the largest natural foods distributor in the United States. Each member receives a user name and password, with which they can log into the UNFI web site, browse products and choose items to order. Their orders are submitted electronically, and are delivered to the Detroit address of the food buying club.
UNFI has an extensive selection of items to choose from, including bulk beans, nuts, and grains, frozen and refrigerated items, cereals, vitamins and supplements, soaps and detergents, etc; anything available through popular local health food stores is available through UNFI, except for fresh produce which is supplied to the group by a farm.

 

Refer a Black business to someone else

Marketing a business is expensive and time consuming. Word of mouth has proven to be the most effective way of giving some shine to a Black business,  so actively and consciously make an effort to recommend and exceptional barber shop, restaurant, retailer, or service provider!

Use social media to re-share their content, and engage with others who use the products and services of a company that you like. If you own a business, let us know and we will give you some shine.

Share-A-Ride Ghetto taxi

Unless you live in a city like New York (with excellent public transit infrastructure), if you don’t have a car it can be hell getting around. Public transportation is filthy, crowded, and unreliable. Why not team up with someone in the community who may be unemployed but has a car?

If you are the driver, determine how much the trip would cost in gas using this site, and use that as a basis for charging your customer. Of course, you could do Uber or Lyft, but we are trying to practice group economics by providing a service to the community, earning, and spending our money among ourselves!

This is not a hard idea to put into practice, and judging from the success of both Uber (which made $213 Million in 2014) and Lyft (which made around the same) we could use a service like this. Use our Black Business Directory, or any other for that matter, to advertise your service!

Buy Black but sell to anyone

A self-explanatory statement, but create businesses that cater to everyone. Everyone eats Chinese food. You can find a German BMW in every inhabited country on Earth. Tommy Hilfiger hates Blacks, but will happily sell his clothing to them.

Improve your Financial IQ-Top

Financial IQ

Once you have started making money, the next step is to learn to properly manage it and use it to make more of it. This is not step one, nor should learning about money take the place of action. There are 5 key areas that you should become familiar with:

  • Real Estate
  • Securities
  • Personal Finance
  • Business Systems
  • and Banking

Understanding these areas will help you maximize the money that you are able to make and keep. Subscribe to this site for articles and resources on these subjects written by members of the community that work in these sectors.

Hustle and Persistence

Being Black and “in business” doesn’t mean you will succeed. Nobody owes you anything. Money is hard to come by, particularly in the Black community. To get customers to part with their hard earned dollars, you will need a heavy dose of hustle, business savvy, and a willingness to over-deliver.

Entrepreneurship is hard work. If you’re not struggling then you’re not operating at a high enough level.  From the moment you get up to the moment you go to bed, you want to be over-scheduled and HUSTLING.

There will be setbacks. Blood will be drawn. Friends and family will set you up for failure. Maybe even steal or destroy your ideas. Things will break down. That’s the fog of war. If you cant persist through challenges (and there WILL be challenges) you don’t deserve survival. In this world, only the strong survive. This is a harsh truth, but truth nonetheless.

Source 

Posted on November 9, 2015 By Staff With 2 comments

10 steps to Crowdfunding Success

10-steps-crowdfunding-696x485

There Is More to Crowdfunding Than People Realize

Many people who are new to the concept of crowdfunding are unaware of all the preparation that goes into a successful crowdfunding campaign and usually make the same mistakes that fall under one or more of the steps explained below. They also tend to rush their idea onto a popular site without having a proper understanding of how it works and what motivates people to contribute to a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign. The goal of this article is to present a realistic view of rewards-based crowdfunding and the steps that need to be addressed in order to achieve success.

The Needle In The Haystack Syndrome

The first thing to understand is that the popular crowdfunding sites have hundreds of pages and host thousands of campaigns on any given day. It’s very easy to get lost on those sites and become a needle in a haystack, resulting in little visibility and support for your idea. Preparing a crowdfunding campaign takes time, effort and strategy, and it should not be done with limited knowledge or in haste.

The Numbers Are Not In Your Favor

The combined success rate of the two largest crowdfunding sites is slightly over 30%. This means that around 70% of the projects they host fail to fund. This is why you need to have every advantage on your side if you’re serious about using crowdfunding to launch your vision.

There are many more nuances involved in rewards-based crowdfunding but for the sake of brevity, I will not attempt to address them all right here. Also, all campaigns are unique and come with their own set of circumstances, so it’s not always one size fits all. Here are ten steps that just about all campaigns can benefit from.


1) Learn About Crowdfunding & Choose the Right Platform

There is voluminous amounts information on the web that can educate you on the subject of crowdfunding. Take some time to learn about it and all that’s involved in running a campaign to see if crowdfunding is right for you.

There’s really no way to write about crowdfunding platforms without mentioning Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They are by far the giants of the industry, but there are pros and cons to using those sites. There many other effective platforms to choose from that may be a better fit for you. Do your research and compare the different models, then you can make an informed decision when committing to the platform that will best suit your needs.

2) Define Your Idea & Goals

Define your idea and goal in clear, concise terms. Create a business plan or a well-thought-out strategy to penetrate the market you intend to enter. Having a good idea is one thing but it’s another proposition to implement a plan of action and see it through to its ultimate realization.  A thorough business plan can be the best way to achieve a clear vision with an actionable strategy that will allow you move forward with unshakable confidence. You can use portions of your business plan in your presentation too, so it serves several purposes.

3) Scrutinize Your Idea

Start to expose your idea to people you know, which can be done in many ways. Social media is an easy way to reach a lot of people but you should also present your plan in person, to trusted acquaintances and start to gauge interest for your idea. Ask them to be brutally honest with you and try to find inconsistencies with your plan. During this step you can receive valuable feedback that can help you refine your concept and address any miscalculations made, before you go live. Your business plan can be updated as you go, so stay nimble in your thinking.

You should carefully consider feedback, but be sure to stay true to your vision. Don’t let negative feedback discourage you from following your dream if you truly believe in it. It should be noted that many crowdfunding campaigns (and business ideas for that matter) that seemed unconventional and deemed not viable in their early stages, went on to overfund by large multiples, so no-one ever knows how a campaign will do until it goes live.

4) Create Pre-Campaign Awareness and Support

Often overlooked, and one of the most important steps required to be put in motion before you start your campaign is to raise awareness and gather support for your idea. This can take anywhere from 1- 6 months, depending on the size and scope of your project, your networking skills and marketing abilities. If this step is missed or taken lightly, your campaign will have a far lower chance for success.

Studies have shown that almost all successful crowdfunding campaigns were initially funded between 20-35% through the project creators pre-campaign awareness efforts within the first two weeks of launch. Again, without this early support, your chance of success can drop drastically. Keep in mind, you will need this early support no-matter how popular the crowdfunding platform you choose. The first two weeks can make or break a campaign and usually sets the tone for the remainder. That’s why this step is so important.

An effective way to gain momentum is to find groups that may have a common interest in your projects completion and try to leverage their support. It’s important to promote your campaign outside of your network to organizations or bloggers and reach out to people who are also passionate about your project.

Rewards based crowdfunding, in most cases, is an exchange of goods and services; it’s not a charity, so don’t be shy, and be creative when seeking support. Get out of your comfort zone, be proud and loud and evangelize your message.

5) Use a Proven Strategy When Designing Your Campaign

During this step you should take some time to study other campaigns, successful and unsuccessful. Learn why some campaigns were successful and why some weren’t. What was it about these campaigns that made the crowd want to support them? There are thousands of campaigns at your fingertips and so much can be learned from this process alone.

Many campaigns touch the crowd at an emotional level, while others offer cool products and rewards, but the most successful ones do both. Another reason people contribute to campaigns is to be part of the creative experience, so include your supporters wherever you can. It’s important to determine what your project offers and then structure it accordingly.

Remember, don’t make your campaign about yourself. When telling your story, make sure you focus on what your project will do for others. Most people care more about their own needs or a cause rather than what your needs are, so don’t get hung up on you.

6) Make an Awesome Presentation

Your presentation to the crowd can make a huge difference in your results. Be sure to include as much visual imagery and information to illustrate what your project is about and how you will achieve your goal. By making the best presentation possible, you will demonstrate that you are professional and serious about your vision. If you have any manufacturing abilities to create your new product, show it, if you have prior projects or experience, show that too. People will need to trust and believe that you can do what you say you will. You will also want to get the crowd excited to be a part of your project and a strong presentation is a great way to do that.

7) Setting Your Funding Goal & Campaign Time-frame

It’s important to set a realistic funding goal that fits the size and scope of your project. When setting your goal, be sure to ask for only what you will need, but don’t shortchange your project either. Be sure to show your contributors what the money will be spent on in a budget overview. Transparency is an important element of crowdfunding.

Choosing a time-frame is a matter of preference, but most of the interest in successful campaigns happen within the first 30 days. Although it’s not always advertised, many crowdfunding platforms allow time extensions, especially if your campaign is popular, so depending on the site you choose, a minimum of 30 days and maximum of 60 days is a pretty safe range. After 60 days, interest is limited and 45 days is probably ideal for most campaigns.

8) Offer Desirable, Exciting Rewards and be Sure You Deliver

Rewards or perks are an essential part of rewards-based crowdfunding. You will be required to deliver these items to your contributors. The expenses for these items should be accounted for in your budget as well. This is how you thank your contributors for having faith in you and supporting your project. It’s important that you offer creative, exciting rewards in return for contributions. In many cases, involvement in your project in one form or another can be a very popular reward or perk. Remember, you will have to follow through on your commitments to your contributors, because if you don’t, it will hurt your reputation.

Many people confuse crowdfunding with charity, and while that may be true in some instances, it’s generally not the motivation by which people contribute to creative campaigns. In most cases, the success of your campaign will have a direct correlation with the rewards that are offered in exchange for contributions, so it’s very important to make them desirable with realistic price points.

9) Your Video

Make a short video that will best represent you, your team, and your idea. Your video allows the crowd to connect with you on a more personal level. Studies have shown that campaigns without videos have a lower chance of success. Your video does not have to be of the highest production value, it just has to effectively convey your idea to the crowd. With that being said, your video will be an important representation of your project, so it should be of decent quality. Be creative and have fun when making it, and be sure to keep it under five minutes (even less is better). Keep in mind, your video may be the only piece of your presentation that many people will take the time to engage in, so make it count.

10) Time to Launch

Prepare for launch: this is your chance to share your unique vision with the world! Once you launch you must dedicate time and energy every day your campaign is live. The crowd should be viewed as your partner in your new endeavor and be involved in every step of the process. Update them as often as you can, read their comments and interact with them during this phase.

Ultimately, the crowd will decide whether you are trustworthy and if your idea is one they wish to support. So put your best foot forward, be honest, transparent, and gain the crowds trust. Create a buzz and get the crowd excited to be involved in your campaign and support your vision.

Final Note
As in life, there is no guarantee of success in crowdfunding, and not every idea is going to resonate with the crowd, even if all the steps mentioned above are followed. However, by following these steps you will afford your idea the best opportunity for success. If these steps are ignored, or done half-heartedly, you will most likely fall into the 70% of campaigns that fail to get funded.

10 steps to Crowdfunding Success

Posted on October 23, 2015 By Staff

CROWDFUNDING STATISTICS

Crowd Funding campaign finances your project with investment from people on the internet who want to support your company or cause

Crowd Funding campaign finances your project with investment from people on the internet who want to support your company or cause.

Campaigns that can gain 30% of their goal within the first week are more likely to succeed.

Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing industry. Below, we explore key statistics including the average raise sizes, the impact marketing has on average raise, and the underlying demographics driving crowdfunding.

Key Crowdfunding Statistics

Smaller Goals are More Attainable

  • Average successful crowdfunding campaign is around $7,000
  • Average campaign lasts around 9 weeks
  • Campaigns that can gain 30% of their goal within the first week are more likely to succeed
  • Marketing Drives Raises

There is a direct correlation between the number of outside links to a crowdfund and the success of the fundraise.
Social Media is a critical factor in crowdfunding success: for every order of size increase in Facebook friends (10, 100, 1000), the probability of success increases drastically (from 9%-, 20%, to 40%).

Demographics of the Crowd

In mid-2012, the American Dream Composite Index surveyed a sample of the U.S. population to show demographics for general crowdfunding participants.

  • Age. Individuals ages 24-35 are much more likely to take part in crowdfunding campaigns; those over 45 are much less likely to back campaigns
  • Gender. Men are much more likely to take a risk on an unknown startup
    Income. Those earning over $100,000 per year are the most likely to invest in startups through crowdfunding

Source: Fundable 

Posted on September 26, 2015 By Staff

BBE INVESTMENT GROUP

BBE INVESTMENT GROUP

“Our mission at Buy Black Economic Investment Group (BBEIG) is to provide valuable educational experiences that promote and sustain interest in investment portfolios. Through the acquisition of resources, continuous education, sharing of information, and hands-on experiences, members will develop meaningful relationships with the financial community aimed at building economic stability. Managing real dollar investments, members learn about important aspects of finance and investing with a long-term perspective, while developing strong leadership skills.

The primary aspiration of BBEIG is to increase the financial knowledge and wealth of our members, building a body of interested individuals who are committed to creating economic prosperity, social integrity, and accountability for the group and facilitate rebuilding the Black community.”
BBE Investment Group, LLC, is a strategic global asset management. Our company is built around an investment approach we describe as the backbone of black communities.  Our unique investment process is focused on outcome-based results that may be aligned with your personal investment goals. BBEIG is “the Asset Manager with Black People & Community in Mind,” clearly communicating the rationale for each trading decision with you and your financial adviser.

With a minimum investment of $35 per month, you too can invest in businesses, IPO’s, stocks & much more…, but you must join us!  BBEIG is a group of fewer than 100 people who meet for investing; we meet periodically to make investment decisions as a group through a voting process, recording of minutes, or gather information and perform investment transactions as a group.

So, if we’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to get the skinny on what it takes to join/take part in an investment club/group; you’re in the right place. There is some commitment involved to join BBEIG, but if you follow these easy steps, you will be on your way to joining the largest investment group in no time!

First, register for the next webinar. We meet the 1st Monday of every month. Or visit our website to contact us http://bbeinvestmentgroup.com/. 

Posted on September 24, 2015 By Staff

THE BASICS OF CROWDFUNDING

 

What is bbnomics 2

What it is: Crowdfunding is about persuading individuals to each give you a small donation — $1, $10, $50, $100, maybe more. Once you get thousands of donors, you have some serious cash on hand.

This has all become possible in recent years thanks to a proliferation of websites that allow nonprofits, artists, musicians — and yes, businesses — to raise money. This is the social media version of fundraising.

There are more than 600 crowdfunding platforms around the world, with fundraising reaching billions of dollars annually, according to the research firm Massolution.

How it works: The most common type of crowdfunding fundraising is using sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo variety, where donations are sought in return for special rewards. That could mean free product or even a chance to be involved in designing the product or service.

It is also possible to use crowdfunding to assemble loans and royalty financing. The site LendingClub, for example, allows members to directly invest in and borrow from each other, with the claim that eliminating the banking middleman means “both sides can win” in the transactions. Royalty financing sites appear to be more rare, but the idea is to link business owners with investors who lend money for a guaranteed percentage of revenues for whatever the business is selling.

The holy grail is to sell company shares or ownership stakes in the company on crowdfunding sites, because it could be like a mini-IPO without the traditional hurdles. In the past, this has only been legal with accredited investors, people who each have more than $1 million in net worth or more than $200,000 in annual income.

The good news is that the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 allows stock to be sold to the general public over crowdfunding sites, but as of mid-2013, the SEC was still hammering out the rules.

Upside: Crowdfunding provides another strategy for startups or early stage companies ready to take it to the next level — such as rolling out a product or service. Before, a business owner was subject to the caprices of individual angel investors or bank loan officers. Now it is possible to pitch a business plan to the masses.

A successful crowdfunding round not only provides your business with needed cash, but creates a base of customers who feel as though they have a stake in the business’ success.

Downside: If you don’t have an engaging story to tell, then your crowdfunding bid could be a flop. Sites such as Kickstarter don’t collect money until a fundraising goal is reached, so that’s still a lot of wasted time that could have been spent doing other things to grow the business.

It could be even worse if you meet your goal but then realize you underestimated how much money you needed. A business risks getting sued if it promises customers products or perks in return for donations, and then fails to deliver.

There is also an argument to be made that angel investors and even bank officers provide more than just money. They provide entrepreneurs with needed advice. Business owners miss out on such mentorship when they ignore traditional investors and turn to the crowd.

Here are more factors that can better ensure a successful crowdfunding campaign:
● Have at least a small network of enthusiastic friends and family willing to help get the ball rolling by giving and urging others to give.
● If you’re giving out perks in return for money, make sure the perks are cool.
● Present a serious business plan and an explanation of why the money will take your enterprise to the next level.
● Demonstrate that you have your own skin in the game because of the personal funds you have already poured into the business.
● Include a video pitch and keep it short and concise, with a call to action.
● PBS includes different rewards for different levels of giving; so should you.
● Be prepared to essentially live online, staying active on social media sites, until the crowdfunding camp

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228125#ixzz2fMo6KUh7

Posted on September 10, 2015 By Staff

SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CROWDFUNDING

What is bbnomics 2

1.  CROWDFUNDING STARTS BEFORE THE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES.

The day you launch your crowdfunding campaign is not the day you should start considering whether or not to use Twitter or Facebook. Or Instagram. Or Tumblr.

Bottom line: You need to at least be on Twitter and/or Facebook to have a decent shot at crowdfunding, and you need to have been using them for a while. If you’re reading this and want to crowdfund but are not on these platforms, don’t fret; start social media-ing today, and postpone your plans for crowdfunding until you’ve established a solid social media presence.

Why do you need to be on social media in order to crowdfund well? Because if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it…you get the picture. You can have the best campaign in the world, meant to support the best project in the world, but if you don’t have a way to spread the word, it won’t matter. You won’t raise the money you need. (One exception to this rule is if you have a tremendously large email list of fans or potential donors, or have built up fans on another social platform.)

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2. YOU CAN’T RELY SOLELY ON YOUR FACEBOOK FRIENDS.

Facebook is a great way to get started with social media, but you have to move past your personal Facebook page for crowdfunding success. If you only post your crowdfunding campaign to your personal Facebook page, you will place the burden of the success of your campaign on the shoulders of your friends and family. Don’t do this, unless you want to get uninvited from Thanksgiving.

Of course you will promote your project on your personal Facebook page sometimes, because your real life friends want to know what you’re up to and want to support you. But you should also have a Facebook fan page for either your project or a larger entity under which your project will fall.

Filmmakers often have a page for their production company so that they can showcase all of their individual movies there, alerting fans of their previous work to their new work. Authors often opt for fan pages for themselves so that fans of previous books can find out about new ones, and so on. Chances are that the project you want to crowdfund for is not the last thing you’re going to do. Make your social media presence a significant and lasting one.

3. THE CROWD IS NOT LOOKING FOR YOU.

No matter how amazing your film or book or custom leather bracelet or designer ice cream cone idea is, no one is sitting around flipping through projects on (insert your crowdfunding platform of choice) looking for your project. Yes, all crowdfunding platforms create a hub for your campaign, but no, it’s not their job to drive traffic to your hub. That’s your job.

 

4. PICK THE PERFECT PLATFORMS.

You don’t have to be on all of the social media platforms that exist. That would be exhausting. Instead, pick the right platforms for you according to:

  • where your audience is;
  • what you can reasonably handle in your daily life.

For example, if you are a filmmaker, you’re likely posting videos and commenting on the videos of others on YouTube and/or Vimeo. If you have a fashion-themed project, make sure you’re on Instagram. If your project is attractive to foodies, find people who love pictures of food on Pinterest. There is no cookie-cutter plan for social media; you have to find what appeals most to your specific audience.

5. SOCIAL MEDIA IS FAST; GET PITHY AND QUIPPY.

Yes, your dream project is important and deserves much discussion, but the key to effective social media is hooking people quickly. Tweets need to be short, awesome punches that people cannot resist clicking on and re-tweeting. On Facebook, you can write longer messages, but don’t go into multiple paragraphs; you’ll have plenty of copy to dive into on your campaign home page. And never underestimate the power of a good picture on Facebook.

6. FORGET ABOUT GOING VIRAL; FOCUS ON BEING VIBRANT.

Anyone who gives you advice on how to make a “viral” video or “viral” crowdfunding campaign is not trying to help you; they are taking advantage of you. There is no guaranteed way to get millions of people to see your crowdfunding pitch video, so focus on what you can control: giving your crowd consistent (and consistently engaging) messages that remind them that you’re still working hard and that they are still a part of the team.

7. GIVE IT. GIVE ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF YOUR HEART.

Understand what your audience wants, then give it to them. In some cases, a crowd connects with a creator on a personal level, but how do you do this without TMI (a.k.a. too much information)?

8. “HEY, BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A RE-TWEET?”

If you’re asking for money, you’re doing it wrong. This couldn’t be more true. No one likes the guy who says, “Come on! Give $10 to my campaign.” Instead, try these:

  • “Help me spread the word: LINK HERE”
  • “Know anyone who might like this? LINK HERE”
  • Who can help me find the next backer? LINK HERE”

These are very basic, and you should put your own shine on them, but you get the drift. You get people on your side without putting your hand in their pockets and, in the course of it, they become invested in your success. A handful of re-tweets (or spreading the word about your project at their office) is way more useful than one $10 donation.

9. EAT YOUR WHEATIES; CROWDFUNDING IS A WORKOUT.

These crowdfunding campaigns are grueling, masochistic marathons (30 to 60 days, generally), so you have to pace yourself. Hydrate. Take your vitamins. Take a walk. Take a shower. Eat a vegetable or two. Take breaks from checking for backers. Shut off your computer. Turn the reins over to a trusted collaborator for a day while you take a technology sabbath. Use tools like Twuffer,Hootsuite, or TweetDeck to schedule tweets ahead of time. (Hootsuite can do Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, too.)

Overall, give yourself breaks from the grind so that you can return to your tasks with vigor.

10. AFTER THE CAMPAIGN: DON’T LOVE ‘EM AND LEAVE ‘EM.

Once you’ve met your crowdfunding goal (and even if you didn’t), show respect to those who tried to help your dreams come true. These people are now a part of your project, so keep them up-to-date. Invite them to share milestones with you. Let them know when you send out perks. Let them know when your project gets reviewed. Send them an update when you win your Oscar or Pulitzer.

The other side of this is also letting your backers know when things don’t go as planned. If you’re late sending your perks out, notify them. If your book is going to take longer to complete than you anticipated, be honest about it. They’re not going to be mad when you hit a snag; they’ll appreciate that you respected them enough to keep them in the loop. The crowd might, however, start to worry that they’ve been fooled if you fall off the face of the Earth.

*****

Posted on September 4, 2015 By Staff

SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS: BUSINESS CAN LIFT OUR PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY

www.bbnomics.com

Business can be a huge driver of change around the world, but it has to be the right kind of business, run the right way.

How do you profitably sell to a customer who earns less than $2 per day?

It is probably the most daunting business question in the world. As well as the most important, because that’s the earning power of nearly one third of humanity, the 2 billion people at the so-called “base of the pyramid.”

Business can be the great engine that lifts billions out of poverty, but it needs to be a new kind of values-driven business.
The challenge is immense. The typical base-of-pyramid customer lives in a remote rural village, in a cramped hut with no clean running water, electricity, or indoor toilet. The household is typically illiterate, unreachable by traditional marketing channels, has no savings or access to affordable credit, and is dangerously vulnerable at any moment to disease, injury, or natural disaster.

1: RECRUIT AND EMPOWER LOCAL CHANGEMAKERS

Hire individuals with the entrepreneurialism and drive to create change on the ground. You can’t solve the problems of the “last mile” from a headquarters in Washington. It takes local entrepreneurs, empowered to adapt swiftly to the nuances of local markets, to succeed.

2: BUILD A MOVEMENT, NOT JUST MARKET SHARE

Social entrepreneurs don’t just want to make more sales, they want to change a whole system. That means thinking about how to turn your product or idea into a movement, so that the impact can go far beyond what one organization is doing.

Jordan Kassalow understands this. Kassalow is the founder of VisionSpring, a social enterprise which has sold more than 1.6 million affordable eye-glasses to low-income visually impaired people in India, and is en route to doubling that within two years.

You have to be dedicated to a cause. It’s mission, not money, which is the great motivator of people.
Kassalow stepped down as CEO of VisionSpring last year to focus on building a global movement for affordable eye care.

“We realized after we had sold our first million eyeglasses that VisionSpring alone wasn’t going to make a dent on the problem,” says Kassalow. “There are 700 million visually impaired people in the developing world whose lives are blighted by lack of something as simple as a pair of eyeglasses. We’ve proven that access to affordable eye care is one of the best ways to impact lives. If we can make vision part of the global development agenda, we have a real chance of reaching those 700 million people.”

3: EMBRACE COMPETITION

Social entrepreneurs actively welcome competition. It means there are more people trying to solve the problem.

In the hands of the right entrepreneur, price itself can become a weapon in the battle to scale impact. No one does this better than David Green, founder of multiple medical programs and device companies that provide radically lower cost products and services for low-income people. In the early ’90s, when Aurolab, a company that Green founded, first began selling intraocular lenses for cataract surgery, the market price for such lenses was $300. Green’s company began selling them at $10, profitably.

“Our competitors were making huge margins on their products, and locking out the low-income markets that couldn’t afford them,” says Green. “After we began showing that you could sell at $10 and that there was a profitable market serving the great unmet need, other new entrants got into the act, making lenses that were competitive on both price and quality.”

Price competition eventually drove down Aurolab pricing from $10 to $2. As a result of this price competitive industry in eye care, cataract surgeries in India increased more than five-fold over the ensuing decade. Today, Aurolab sells over 2 million lenses annually with approximately 9% of the global market share.

4: MOTIVATE WITH MISSION, NOT MONEY

If you really want to succeed in the toughest market on Earth, you need more than a sales plan and a profit motive–you need a mission.

People who are in this just for the money “simply won’t last the course,” says Greg Van Kirk, founder of Community Enterprise Solutions, which creates sales networks employing hundreds of women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean in order to facilitate access to vital technologies in isolated communities.

“You have to be dedicated to a cause. It’s mission, not money, which is the great motivator of people.”

5: MAXIMIZE DISTRIBUTION, NOT PROFITS

David Green calls this Empathetic Capitalism. “Business can be the great engine that lifts billions out of poverty, but it needs to be a new kind of values-driven business, where profit is the enabler, but not the sole motive. We’re demonstrating that companies can succeed which seek to serve as many customers as possible, while covering their costs, rather than maximizing profit for its own sake.”

These entrepreneurs are showing that mission-driven business can improve the lives of the world’s bottom billion. As one participant put it, “wouldn’t it be great if ‘billionaire’ was re-defined to mean someone who had improved 1 billion lives?”

 

Posted on March 5, 2015 By Staff

TAKE THE 30-DAY ECONOMIC CHALLENGE

Economic Challenge

Take the 30-Day Economic Challenge

In the next 30 Days, do something that you’ve never done before

  1. Take the 30-Day Economic Challenge

    1. Get a US Passport  —  Get a US Passport (DON’T DELAY)

    2. Open an investment account

    3. Learn to code

    4. Review your finances and make some adjustments.

    5. Travel to a different country, next stop Haiti?

    6. Raise money on a crowdfunding site, preferably BBNomics

    7. Travel to Silicon Valley and ask for venture capital to start your business

    8. Take a trip to Wall Street and kick down some doors

    9. Reach out to some Black Investment groups, kick down some doors.

    10. Mentor someone

    11. Invest in gold or platinum

    12. Start a Roth IRA

    13. Write your will

“Next year at this time, you will wish you would have”… PG

 

 

Posted on November 15, 2014 By Staff

BLACK JOBS AND ACTION PLAN

BLACK JOBS & ACTION PLAN

How many Black Owned Businesses?

How many Black Owned Businesses?

Attention community leaders and organizers. Tired of protesting, marching, and organizing with little or no results? The root of most of the problems your community faces stems from racism and the lack of economic opportunities. While you can’t make a racist get some sense overnight, you can do something about economic opportunities in your community right now. Use your organizing skills to build economic independence without begging for money or help from the government or white-owned corporations.

Here’s how…

Pick a community that is predominately Black.  Take an inventory of all the businesses that exist in that community. Make note of any businesses that are missing (grocery stores with quality produce sourced from Black farmers, gas stations, construction companies, department stores, solar panel installers, banks and ethical financial services companies, private security companies, etc.). Take note of which of the existing businesses are Black-owned. Go down the list of non-Black-owned existing businesses, prioritizing businesses that sell basic necessities first (food, energy/gas, water, clothing, shelter), and start boycotting them one by one.

 

all black everything

All Black Everything

For example, if the local grocery store is not Black-owned, find a Black grocery store executive with experience running a store. Get her to help you write a business plan on how to finance, staff, and run a store. Raise money from people in the community (churches might be able to help with this if you can find a pastor that hasn’t lost his mind and sold out…very rare these days, but worth a shot). Get everyone in the community to stop shopping at that store. Provide transportation to another store temporarily if people have no alternatives. With no customers, the targeted store will quickly go out of business. If they don’t, resort to more aggressive measures to “encourage” them out of business.

Once they are ready to close the business, come in and buy it for pennies on the dollar. Re-open as a Black-owned business that is socially and environmentally responsible. Train and hire people from the community to help run the business. Use the profits from the business and community funds to help acquire the next business on the list described above and start new businesses that need to be started. Source products and raw materials from other Black-owned companies or African companies whenever possible. Repeat this process until most of the businesses in the community are Black-owned and community-owned. Use profits from those businesses to fund institutions that empower the community (free clinics, independent Afrikan-centered schools and training centers, etc), security, and infrastructure.

This plan has worked for other communities. This plan has worked for Black communities in the past. This plan will for Black people today with some updates to the current environment and learning from past mistakes. We have the knowledge and skills available in our communities. Whether Black people have the will and intestinal fortitude to go through with it is the only question. Your current so-called leaders will probably not support this. They are token leaders, put in place by people that do not care about you. Pick new leaders that have relevant experience…so no lawyers, academics, pastors, or politicians.

Now Hiring!

Now Hiring!

Finally, some people will call this strategy reverse racism. Some will call it divisive. It probably is, get over it. News Flash: Black people did not create these artificial divides…but we do have to live with them until the rest of humanity evolves to understand and practice what Black people have always understood…that we are all human and we are all connected. Every other community engages in this self-interested behavior…it just comes natural to them, so they don’t have to make it so blatant, but the result is the same. Frankly, it is sad that this has to be spelled out like this, but being politically correct apparently hasn’t worked so far.

Name calling is for children. Let the children call you whatever they want as long as they stay out of your way while you direct your own destiny. If people want to slap a label on you, then so be it. So what! If they stand in your way, remove them from your path. Grow up, stand up, and make your own way or be content working for those children for the rest of your life.

Our resources:

If you are forming a local group, please contact us Buy Black Economics.

Black Business Coaching: BLK Business

Funding Sources: BBNomics 

Crowdfunding is an effort to create a self-help approach to the funding issues BOB’s face in this current market.

BLACK JOBS AND ACTION PLAN

 

 

Posted on September 9, 2014 By Staff

5 Manufacturing Trends Shaping The Future Of Small Businesses

5 Manufacturing Trends Shaping The Future Of Small Businesses
So you want to start a small product-design business? Here’s the good news. The playing field is more level than it’s ever been, and sophisticated social media and digital marketing tools allow for a more intimate connection to your consumer.

If you’re one of the few with that million-dollar idea, here are five key manufacturing trends you should know about to help bring your product to market faster, cheaper, and more efficiently.

1. Crowdfunding. Why borrow money from a friend when you can borrow from a thousand friends? More and more entrepreneurs are looking to harness the power of the crowd to acquire capital, and there’s lots of money to be had. Globally, the crowdfunding industry is projected to raise a staggering $5 billion in 2013.

“It’s a new currency of remuneration,” says Jordan Brandt, Technology Futurist at Autodesk. “Finding ways to incentivize people, give them exposure, and make them feel like they helped in bringing a product to market carries a lot of weight.”

Whichever crowdfunding site you choose, your page is the first place to introduce your product to the masses. Don’t underestimate the quality of a compelling and well-edited video and coherent messaging. But remember, a Crowdfunding page is not a business plan. The road to a successful crowdfunding campaign is littered with stalled or broken-down initiatives that began with a great idea, but fizzled due to a lack of long-term planning.

2. Reshoring. Call it what you want: reshoring, onshoring, distributive manufacturing. With the increased cost and environmental impact of shipping goods overseas, a decreasing wage disparity, and cheaper domestic energy, many businesses are bringing their manufacturing closer to the consumer. All those aforementioned financial factors—coupled with an increased desire for product personalization and a decreased tolerance for waiting around—has resulted in a trend toward local manufacturing.

In the past, small businesses had to latch onto a larger supply chain or team up with other small businesses to get their order numbers high enough for overseas manufacturing. Now that it’s proving more cost-effective to bring everything back home, another phenomenon is occurring: a resurgence of the “Industrial Commons.”

“As easy example would be Detroit in its heyday,” Brandt explains. “Not only did you have the auto designers and the large car companies, but you had the supply chains making the parts for them. Then you had all the logistics organizations making sure everybody got the right part at the right time.”

With big business reshoring, smaller businesses can take advantage of those newly created local ecosystems and thrive domestically. They also get PR points for putting those manufacturing dollars back into U.S. pockets.

3. Additive Manufacturing. As opposed to subtractive manufacturing, which involves cutting or drilling, additive manufacturing is the creation of a three- dimensional object by adding layers. Though the technology has been around since the mid-’80s, it’s affordability as of late has been one of the biggest factors in helping small businesses control more of their manufacturing. Brandt references the origami-inspired Oru Kayak, a double-layered polyethylene vessel, as a perfect marriage of advanced automation, crowdfunding, and collaborative design software such as Autodesk’s Fusion 360.

Attendance numbers for RAPID 2013, the country’s premiere additive manufacturing conference, doubled from its 2012 totals, and the growth isn’t relegated to more traditional manufacturing sectors. Everyone from opticians to aerospace engineers has used additive manufacturing for parts and products, but the biotech and medical communities are parlaying the technology into exciting new ventures.

“[Autodesk’s] bio-nano team is building an open hardware bio research kit that heavily leverages 3D printing to enable garage biologists and inventors around the world to do cellular and molecular scale research at a fraction of the cost traditionally required,” Brandt says.

4. Open-Source Hardware. The universal access and redistribution of information is nothing new to software developers, but with a new community of DIY makers flooding the Internet with unique products, sharing valuable knowledge has become much more commonplace. But as with any close-knit group built around a specific activity or interest, there’s an underlying code of conduct that should be followed.

Taking without giving back is generally frowned upon, as are people who come in looking for catchall solutions to their problems. The use of open-source hardware isn’t meant to be a replacement for domain knowledge; it should merely improve your ability to function in your given field. Further, the community will be much more supportive of your endeavors if they see you as an expert in your field.

Adafruit Industries, founded by MIT engineer and Wiredmagazine cover girl Limor Fried, is an open-source epicenter for small businesses, selling hundreds of electronic kits designed to serve as well as inspire the community. Arizona-based Local Motors promote themselves as a company rooted in “open-source principles,” employing crowdsourced design and technology to produce one-of-a-kind vehicles.

“I think that the risk in crowdsourcing is burning out the contributors,” Brandt says. “They’ve contributed on 25 different campaigns and designs, and at the end of the day, they just don’t get any return for it. Local Motors is dealing with crowdsourcing aspects of the design of their vehicles and rewarding the people who contribute those designs so that they continue to do so.”

5. Advanced Automation. Sensor networks, vision systems, artificial intelligence: These are just a few ways of turning serially programmed, basic automation into advanced automation, and they aren’t as costly as you’d think. Smartphones with built-in features like GPS, compass, and accelerometers can even be an input device for advanced automation.

“Small businesses that say ‘Robots are for the big companies, automation is for high-capital expenditure, I’m not gonna know how to use it.’ Now is the time to rethink that,” reasons Brandt.

Advanced, after all, is a relative term, and doesn’t necessarily translate to expensive. An ammunition reloader, for example, could hook up a sensor that measures the humidity in the room and adjusts how hard the reloader tamps the gunpowder into the shell. The result? A more accurate load. A thermometer installed inside the steamer of an espresso machine that measures the temperature of the milk can mean the difference between a good cappuccino and a great cappuccino. With so much tech available at a reasonable (or even negligible) cost and so many open forums ready to point you in the right direction, it’s no surprise that the small business community is experiencing a renaissance.

Source

Posted on November 5, 2013 By Staff

Economic Empowerment: Well done beats well said every time!

buyblackmove_n

 

You know, we talk a real good game when it comes to economic empowerment. We talk about what we need to do, what we should do, what we can do, and even what we will do. We get together, usually in someone else’s hotel or meeting place, and discuss our economic plight and how we are finally going to take control of our economic destiny. We are tired of the White man running things and keeping us out of the game. We are really upset, this time, and we are going to leave this meeting, go home, and do the things we discussed – this time. And yet, when it’s all said and done; a lot more is said than done.Picture-word_of_mouth

Haven’t you seen it all before? Haven’t you heard it all before? Aren’t you tired of emotionalism, feel-good speakers, rap and clap sessions, and the sheer madness of pursuing rhetorical symbolic solutions rather than implementing practical substantive strategies that will achieve true economic self-reliance? Aren’t you finally ready to do good rather than merely feel good? I know I am and have been for a long time.

Economic empowerment is not simply about making us feel good; more importantly, it is about making us do good, because well done beats well said every time. We can spend the rest of our lives getting ready to, fixin’ to, and being about to. Just look at our past and see how much time we have wasted gettin’ ready to overcome rather than overcoming. We are still singing, “We Shall Overcome.” When?

As quiet as it’s kept, we will overcome when WE decide to overcome. As our dear Brother, Amos Wilson, wrote in his book, Afrikan-Centered Consciousness Versus the New World Order, “Recognize that power ultimately has to do with a relationship between people and that the White man’s so called power is to a large degree based on the nature of the relationship he has with the Black man. We empower him by the nature of our own behavior and attitudes as a people. He cannot be what he is unless we are what we are.”

Brother Wilson continues, “We waste a lot of time trying to transform them (Whites) when through transforming ourselves they will be transformed automatically. The power is in our hands.” Don’t you agree with Amos Wilson, especially when you consider how much time we have wasted gettin’ ready?

When it comes to economic empowerment we have wasted at least 50 years, if not more. The night before Dr. King was assassinated, he was instructing us on what to do economically in order to change the relationship we had with those oppressive people in Memphis, and I am sure he was speaking to the rest of as well, no matter where we lived. Since that fateful night on April 4, 1968, instead of continuing on the path he discussed, we decided to take that other road – that road called political empowerment.

Five decades later, we have thousands of Black folks in public office, and we get so excited and hyped about that next election. But we have spent and continue to spend little time doing anything about our collective economic empowerment. Politically, we are living large, or some would have us believe. Economically, we are no further up the ladder than we were in 1968. As a matter of fact, according to the latest reports, Black households were better off in 1968 than they are now. If we could muster the same energy and enthusiasm for economics as we do for politics, we would be in so much better shape and a much stronger position to exact reciprocity in exchange for our $1.2 trillion annual “spending weakness.”

We have had 50 years of leadership that has talked about doing something about the collective economic plight of Black folks, 50 years of leaders getting their own individual economic “thang” together, 50 years of speeches, threats, protests, scandals, and rip-offs, but virtually no progress on building an economic legacy for our children, virtually no ownership and control of income producing assets, and virtually no means even to provide the very basics of life for our children without depending on the very people about whom we complain. This does not negate in any way the progress made by individual Black business owners; many of them have done well, and I really appreciate and respect them, but collectively we have much work to do.

Our collective charge must be the business of working together to capture niches in various industries, like the Vietnamese have done in the nail salon business, and supporting our businesses a lot more than we do now. We had better start teaching our children about entrepreneurship. We had better move from the demand side to the supply side of economics. We had better start pooling our money and going into businesses that supply our sustenance. We had better take a breather from the partying, the conspicuous consumption, and the emotion-laden get-together s, and we had better start DOING things that will strengthen our economic future.
mouths
Don’t just talk about economic empowerment; be about economic empowerment. Because, well done beats well said every time!

Economic Empowerment: Well done beats well said every time!

Written By James E. Clingman

Official website; http://www.blackonomics.com/

Posted on October 29, 2013 By Staff With 0 comments

HOW DOES BBNOMICS CROWDFUNDING WORKS FOR ALL OF US?

CrowdFunding

1. The idea is presented on the BBNomics site. If the idea is approved, then the person presenting the idea will be prompted to set up a project page and get the ball rolling.

2. The category is chosen; project must fit into the following category, specifically located in predominantly black neighborhoods (Globally) & (100% Black/African Owned); in manufacturing, logistics, retail industry. This will make it easier for potential funders to find you based on interests.

3. Money is raised; project owner must set a goal for the amount of money he/she would like to raise and deadline for reaching the goal. If the goal is not met by the set date, then none of the crowdfunders will be charged and the project owner will not receive the money.

4. Rewards are set; project holder sets rewards for various pledge levels in order to entice funders. For example, many new tech devices set a price to “pre-order” their idea. This means that the funder will pay that amount, and in return, they will receive the product once it is developed and produced (if it meets the goal).

5. The concept is showcased; a video that showcases the idea is created by the project owner in order to show off the idea and prove that it is really something they are working on and that they are how they say they are.

6. The project launches; project is now ready to enter the crowdsourcing community and will hopefully intrigue investors and become a reality.

7. Investors are updated; investors must be updated on the progress of the project so they can see how things are going. It wouldn’t be right to keep them in the dark – they paid for it!

8. Funds are received; if the project meets or exceeds its crowdfunding goal, then the money will be given to the project holder (minus fees for posting on the site).

So, there you have it. Would you be interested in becoming a project owner or investor on this site? Leave a comment below or tweet us, @bbnomics

BBNomics Crowd funding is an effort to create a self-help approach to the funding issues BOB’s face in this current market.

www.bbnomics.com

https://www.facebook.com/bbnomics

 

 

Posted on October 21, 2013 By Staff With 0 comments

WHY CORPORATIONS WON’T HIRE AN ENTREPRENEUR

EntrepreneurOne morning last week while reading articles on LinkedIn Today one article in particular jumped out at me. The article titled “Entrepreneurs need not apply: Companies shun the self employed” and I thought to myself “you’ve got to be kidding“.  So I opened the article and was amazed at what I read or maybe I shouldn’t have been.

The article states “Entrepreneurs and freelancers attract fewer interview invitations than comparable candidates who have spent the last few years working for someone else, according to research which will be presented to the Academy of Management annual conference in August. In the UK, the self-employed received almost two-thirds fewer interview requests than people with similar professional experience who worked only at employers.“The stigma against the self-employed may indicate that hiring managers just don’t see them as a good fit in their corporate culture. Traits that work for start-ups—risk-taking, taking charge and adopting “unusual points of view”—don’t necessarily work well in corporate careers, the paper noted.”

That’s ironic because company executives and human resources say they are looking for self starters, innovative hires, a certain entrepreneurial spirited people equipped with a 21st century mindset.  Just maybe corporations need entrepreneurs more than entrepreneurs need corporations.

The Opposing Forces of Two Mental Models

Corporations have become factories of mental models created over decades of controlling how and what people think through the influence of power and money. The attitudes have created cultures of “we are in control and we pay you to follow the rules we make“.

These mental models were designed to build organizations where compliance and productivity of human labor determined profitability.  Subsequently organizations were built around a hierarchy of control similar to the military where the strategy was to beat the enemy.  This mental model is dependent on compliance.  Compliance through control of resources via influence of power and money has proven to be limiting and costly.

The mental model of an entrepreneur is opposite of the old models followed by many corporations. The best definition of the entrepreneurs mental model was conceived 37 years ago by HBS professor Howard Stevenson in his  book Breakthrough Entrepreneurship which states Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”

While corporations say they want to recruit people who have similar attributes as entrepreneurs the fact is those very people will typically disrupt the old school corporate cultures. A disruption will either create support for the necessary change or quietly be dismissed and labeled as a trouble maker.  The reason the two will never get along is because of the opposing mental models.

The real issue is which mental model works best in the 21st Century? The markets will decide and so far the entrepreneurs seem to be winning.

Corps.-vs

Why Corporations Won’t Hire An Entrepreneur

Source: Click Here

 

Posted on October 10, 2013 By Staff With 0 comments

DOING GOOD IS GOOD FOR YOU AND GOOD FOR OUR COMMUNITIES

www.bbnomics.com

www.bbnomics.com

In order for our communities to move from the “traditional” mostly for-profit model, we must adopt new language as well as new ways of seeing doing things. Our concern must be both community then profit.
Doing good is good for you and good for our communities.

Social entrepreneurship is the process of pursuing suitable solutions to social problems we face. More specifically, our social entrepreneurs should adopt a mission to create and sustain social value. They will pursue opportunities to serve this mission, while continuously adapting and learning. They will draw upon appropriate thinking in both the business and nonprofit worlds and operate in all kinds of organizations: large and small; new and old; religious and secular; nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid.

Business entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, but our new social entrepreneurs will also take into account a positive return to society.

Also review terms:
Corporate Social Entrepreneurship
Collaboration
Collaborative method
List of social entrepreneurs
Social business
Social enterprise
Social innovation
Social Venture Capital
Geotourism
Appropriate technology
Triple Bottom Line business theory
Microfinance
Microfranchising
Open-source appropriate technology

www.bbnomics.com BBNomics

 

Posted on October 9, 2013 By Staff With 0 comments

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR A BUSINESS

What is a business idea? It’s practically any idea that you have that fills a need in the marketplace, in your community, in your life, in other people’s life.  To be able to formulate a business around a single idea, follow these 6 easy-to-understand, but hard-to-do steps:

Got an idea? Now what?

Got an idea? Now what?

What is a business idea? It’s practically any idea that you have that fills a need in the marketplace, in your community, in your life, in other people’s life.  To be able to formulate a business around a single idea, follow these 6 easy-to-understand, but hard-to-do steps:

  1. Identifying your idea–What are you passionate about? Why did this idea come up in the first place? Does it follow your passion? Is it based on an event in your life worth fixing? Is it based on a need you see in your community?
  2. Dressing up your idea– Where does your idea come in contact with the potential in the marketplace?
  3. Getting personalities around your idea– Who will ultimately buy your product/service? What does she/he look like? Where do they shop? Why will they buy your product/service?
  4. Financing your idea– How much will your idea cost? Don’t be shy, look to see what look-a-likes cost and dream away at how many widgets you would sell to who and for how much? When can you go from negative to positive (the break even point)? If you have any start-up costs, what are they, for what, and who would help you fund them.
  5. Get some feedback– Now that you have a foundation of your idea, pitch it to others, anyone. Ask family and friends, other moms and dads, other enthusiasts of what you are passionate about, and your end users/customers.
  6. Iterate– Your game plan is to get enough feedback for you to iterate to one version, and turn this cycle a couple of times. The goal is to not turn your wheels and get stuck, but turn your wheels towards launching that first product/prototype/service. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just perfect enough for meeting the needs of your customers.

We are here to assist, we need more black business, you require support.

Posted on October 7, 2013 By Staff

CROWDFUNDING CREATES MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENTREPRENEURS

          crowd funding

As discussed in last month’s column, one of the ongoing concerns for many new and existing businesses is financing. As the availability of bank loans and other traditional sources has become more scarce in recent years, entrepreneurs have been searching for new ways to finance their ventures.

One of the newer sources is called crowdfunding, also known as crowd financing. Crowdfunding is a group of people who were recruited to pool their money, usually by social media, to finance a new business, new product or other efforts initiated by a business or other organization. Crowdfunding is not limited to businesses. Crowdfunding spreads the risk across a larger number of investors and creates a group of supporters for the endeavor being funded.

It is different from angel investing or venture capital financing because of the large number of backers. The business is not obligated to one or to a small number of investors who may want some control of the project or business being supported. Some of the larger crowdfunding sites in operation are Wefunder, RockthePost and Kickstarter.

Organizations using crowdfunding to finance their ventures are not allowed to offer equity positions to investors.

At a recent Small Business Administration conference, an inventor of a new smartphone application discussed how offering a prototype of the product he we was developing helped attract more funding than he needed in just a few hours.

A restaurant owner at the same conference discussed how he gave a free meal at the restaurant to anyone investing $100 or more. The key is to find an incentive related to the product or business that also is attractive to potential investors.

The problems associated with not being able to offer equity to investors may be going away soon. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act as it is commonly known, was passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in April 2012. Its purpose is to relax security laws to make it easier for smaller businesses to secure funding.

Many believe the law will open the door for crowdfunding investors to acquire shares in the ventures they fund. The Securities and Exchange Commission has not yet determined the details of the law or exactly how it would apply to crowdfunding, though.

If implemented in its current form, the JOBS Act will enable organizations to raise up to $1 million without having to go through the more complex process of a public stock offering. It appears the act will only apply to C corporations wanting to use crowdfunding. S corporations, a popular form of ownership for small businesses, are limited to 100 shareholders. This could severely limit the number of investors in any one crowdfunding project and limit the amount that could be raised.

Most of the organizations successfully using crowdfunding have created short video presentations of their proposition to post on the crowdfunding site. The site needs be to monitored and may need to be changed based on the feedback received by those who visit the site.

Organizations using crowdfunding to raise money also need to be prepared to answer questions posed by potential investors. They may want to know the details about where, when, why and how the funds being asked for will be used.

Potential investors are attracted to an organization’s crowdfunding proposition in several ways.

First, there is a group of investors who visit these crowdfunding sites on a regular basis. Second, other social media are used to drive potential backers to the site. For example, if an organization has fans on Facebook, these fans are a good pool of potential investors and need to be directed to the crowdfunding site through the Facebook account or the organization’s web site.

As social media develops and government continues to change the rules concerning how it can be used, crowdfunding appears to be a very attractive source of funding for many entrepreneurs and other organizations.

Perry Haan is professor of marketing and former dean of the business school at Tiffin University. He can be reached at (419) 618-2867 or haanpc@tiffin.edu

Crowdfunding creates more opportunities for entrepreneurs

The Advertiser-Tribune

Source – The Advertisers – Tribune

Posted on September 4, 2013 By Staff