Tag archives: crowdsourcing

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

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

10 steps to Crowdfunding Success

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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

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.

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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

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

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

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