Category Archives: Black Network

A Pilot Campaign

Blacks who are creating projects should be looking at business and project management models, since they need to create something effective, efficient and sustainable to the lives of black people

I learned from as long time ago that a pilot project should be created before you get investment. Many businesses start of small and grow or show they have a following before they ask for investment or funding. This demonstrates to the investors that your idea is viable and it is what the people want. Its and example that action is more clearer than words. Some ideas are still funded or investment is provided if the initial venture has failed but the difference it can make with the right funding is great.

Some black people who crowdfund, have a service or product already which should be the point. Others want to start from zero. The crowdfunding campaigns, which are starting a project from zero will have a higher chance of not materialising, if no work has not started before the funding campaign started. There should be more clear plans and direction of the project at least and the market should be tested, not just through research but a prototype or as said above a small scale version of the project.

The main project/business can then be created, through having a business case which in summary shows:

  • The benefits 
  • The negative impact
  • The difference it will make

The most important aspect of the persons ideals should be the difference they can make as this can determine whether it will work. If you have no project already then its not likely you can see a practical benefit (no matter how small), rather than a theoretical one.

I follow this most of the time, but like anyone else if someone has a way with psychology and I believe I have done the checks to the best of my ability then I put my hands up, but I use it as a learning experience, just like you would.

Further Information

Indiegogo Guide to Crowdfunding

Shopify Guide to Crowdfunding

Inc.com guide to crowdfunding

Pilot Project Guide

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Crowd – Gifting

There has been much emphasis on crowdfunding though there should be a view point towards people crowd gifting. I will explain further, suppose people were to donate items to persons who are seeking funds to raise for a venture.

This would occur by providing them with items which you do not want and listing through Ebay or a second hand selling site, you would then be able to take the proceeds from the sale after the item has been sold.

This would mean you could donate to a campaign if you did not have the funds by selling an item and pledging the proceeds to the campaign.

My viewpoint came from my experiences of giving to charities in the UK, where I often donate books and DVD etc to charity shops as I just cannot be bothered to sell them online and besides some of the smaller charities do some good work and I am very supportive of local charities who do good community work, I also buy many books and redonate them once I have finished.

There are online services online which can allow you to donate items and they will take the proceeds and pass them on to the charity/thrift organisation you would want the items to go to.

As stated above there are other ways in which you can ensure your funds go to another party, this could be through arranging with the individual or group recieving the funds that you will pledge the value of the item if it is sold.

There are things which can be looked at to see how and if it can work, at least it is something to think about.

Considerations:

  • Whether or not an agreement can be made to accept donations in this manner.
  • The items donated for sale may not sell.
  • To get the funds will require much effort as going to a charity/thrift shop as you will need to post and package the item to the sellar.
  • Unknown value of the item until sold.
  • Difficult to get a standard price of all items as most venutres will be for business, rather than charitable.

The Benefit:

  • More donations as many people will have items to sell.
  • Very Accessible to those with little funds but many items
  • Pledges do not have to be made until the item is sold and the value from that item gained.
  • More access to others who might have a passing interest rather than a full interest.
  • Takes dedication and interest in the campaign and the projects of the person/group asking for the donation.
  • This could be a way of asking businesses and organisations if they have any old stock which they can donate to sell for the cause/project you have.

Further information:

Selling for Charity (Ebay)

Black People and Sports

For years there has been much discussion about black people and playing sports. This has been something I am interested in, as a kid I wished I could go to university to play sport, then do a profession at the same time.

This was in line with playing football (soccer), but I went to university in the UK (twice – Undergraduate and postgraduate). Now I would not encourage black young people to go to university unless they were going to become a lawyer or a medical professional.

Recently the person who protested was brave and honourable but as many have said if it wasn’t for the football players getting involved then he probably would have been left to starve or given up as there would have been little support.

This demonstrates there is much economic weight behind the people who fund sports in the west. Black people are exploited in going to play college sport and academy sport in the UK. The question I have is whether or not they are encouraged to look at alternative careers.

I remember as a young man always thinking if I became a sports person I would get some education as I heard too many stories of people knowing only sports and when they were dropped out of the sport they went into drugs and crime.

The way I see it is people should look at playing sports like Tennis or Cricket where they can get a qualification and they have to work during the off season if they are not the best to keep an income coming on, it keeps you honest. For men you can pick up a trade – Electrician, plumber or carpentry, even set up your own business. For women it could be health and well being or just setting up a business which allows you flexibility between playing your sport.

Many of times I see sports trying to take you away from real life when you play for them yet when they have finished with you they will drop you like a hot coal.

These sports people in america (and the west) should be looking towards setting examples like with the hunger strike but setting up or working with black support groups who can provide counselling and advise in relation to what alternative/back up careers you can look at if things do not work out.

Much of the time the institutions are only interested in what you can give them at that time and any external ideas or approaches are seen as a threat to them, rather than thinking only 1 in a 100 will make it through so lets prepare them for life after this sport. We must do it ourselves with organisation, planning and preparation.

Regenerating old business for new ventures

In previous blogs, I have written about physical regeneration and the effect this can have on the community and its development. This can be applied to gentrification and the effects on the local community. In the UK in 2008 and 2009, when the recession hit and there were a load of empty shop spaces in local communities and high streets around the UK it was an opportunity to rent these spaces and provide private venture and charitable services.

In black areas, we are the last people it seems to want to have a sense of ownership in our areas, the psychology is one of a temporary nature rather than one looking at the short and medium term. This was the thought process of Caribbean persons, who used to own businesses in the 1980’s and prior to this time, who in the late 80’s and early 90’s decided to pack up and go back to the caribbean. This was a time when the next generation should have taken over the shops but it was instead a goal of that generation to ensure their children were professionals working in white organisations and businesses.

This has its problems as there were many businesses which were abandoned or sold to races outside of the community. There was also a recession at this time which left some businesses going under or being left abandoned. This should have been approached in any of the following ways:

  • The owner could have rented the space to another black person

  • The business could have been passed to the younger generation

  • Rent the building from the local authority then eventually buy it

  • Partnerships created to rent/purchase the building or the business

The local authority in the UK generally in certain areas, will look to either (preferably) sell the building so they do not need to pay to manage it anymore or rent it out at a favourable rate as they would like to generate income with there being funding cuts. If your reading this from say the US I’m not sure how it works but I’m sure in areas which are not desirable the cost of the shop or building would be cheaper.

This is a huge contributory factor as to why we (in the UK or US) have a lack of black businesses and high black unemployment as businesses are left to fester or buildings are bought by other races and either sell our products to us or others. We need to look after ourselves too, who else will.

Some further information:

Rescuing a empty property in the UK (www.bbc.co.uk)

Derelict London (www.derelictlondon.com)

Some Derelict Buildings across America (www.opacity.us)

Source to purchase a derelict building (www.robinson-jackson.com)