Category Archives: financial support

Local Community Sponsorship and Business Growth

Recently, I have been working with a black local community organisation and they are sponsored by a black themed business which is not owned by black people.

Initially I thought this was a bad idea but it made me realise that there are very few businesses in the UK, which have established themselves to a point where they can provide a great amount of funding to such a prevalent cause which affects black people in the UK.

It is a case of black people in the UK looking at themselves especially those who have run or are running businesses. I myself will look to be accountable to this also. If we build a business we should be able to generate income over a number of years to be able to expand into a chain which this business is and make it applicable to different audiences.

Even in the case of black companies making a great amount, very few will likely put their tax breaks or donate some finances to causes such as this one as they are worried of being too black or too affiliated with a cause that affects their own people. Some black businesses may not be interested in funding a community cause unless it is a international or universal cause.

In the UK black people have been here anything between 70 and 40 years and we should be looking at having chains of shops and services, rather than having small businesses which cannot support community needs.

If we are to develop stronger businesses amongst our smaller communities in the UK, we can look at different creating networks of businesses and liaise with community groups and organisations on how they can work together in a partnership where both parties get something out of the agreement.

This will mean organisations like the one I am currently working with will be self-sufficient and will be able to remain exclusively black rather than relying totally on public funding and can do what they set out to do with businesses having a similar ideology supporting and providing resources to make this happen.

Economically fuelled black political participation

There are presidential elections coming and as Dr Claude Anderson speaks about there is the potential for black people to have a say in politics, within America, I am not saying we will get much but we must at least show some of the following:

  • Unification
  • Seriousness
  • Intent

Considering each of the above, we as a race are not currently unified, either in the US, Caribbean, South and Central America or in Africa. We need to put asside our differentces, in a discussion which I was having I listed at least 5 different cateogaries of black people which did not agree and were not able to see race as a way in which we could work together. These groups were:

  • Religious

  • Middle class

  • Working class

  • Concious

  • Entrepreneur

The religious persons, only unite with each others denomination, e.g. Christians unite with other Christians despite colour, Muslims unite with other Muslims despite the colour (on the surface) and other religions unite and support the other members. The middle class blacks largely leave the black areas which they grow up in and do not tend to invest back into the community as there is a individualistic point of view that I have to get mines, which is what the working class black people become indoctrinated and aspire to being afraid of working together as they fear other black people will leave the community and forget about everyone, which is largely true.

Then, there’s the concious people who can be exclusive and only want to work with conscious people and the entrepreneur, which is only in some cases considering the monetary value that a person can bring to them and their company, rather than the long term knock on effect of the social ramifications of looking at people as a meal ticket or a dollar sign.

The aim should be to get a representative of all these people in a room and consider that the common ground everyone has is they are black and that they are all treated the same when they walk out on the street and that if they blindly go out to vote then they will not get anything delivered to them. These past 6 years has seen the current presidency deliver anything to black people as a whole since we did not sit down and demand action in favour of our communities.

The set out could be as follows all the groups of black people meeting at the following levels:

  • Local
  • Regional
  • State
  • National

At the local level it could be a group meeting with a representative elected by interested members of the community, with an agenda to present to the different groups. The local groups of persons meet up and discuss what they want from the electoral candidate on a local level.

On a regional level the representatives meet with the candidate on a regional/state level discuss what they want in return for their vote. This would be after dialogue has been made with the candidates representatives on a local and regional/state level.

On a national level the representatives then meet with the candidate on a state level and discuss what they want. This would provide a seriousness and intent on the candidate getting the black vote rather than just providing promises, which will be difficult to fulfil when they think, ‘yes you voted, but these people financially contributed to my campaign’, since money talks.

There are many factions within the black community who can provide different resources to ensuring a presidential in the short and medium term can deliver what we need rather than a free black vote:

Religious – Numbers and access to some finance to fund a candidates campaign in return for action, which serves our purpose.

Middle class – Finances which can support the candidates campaign and ensuring that our communities are economically, socially and politically developed to serve our purpose.

Working class – Provide the ability to put finances together and undertake groundwork to ensure our communities can be developed to ensure our futures and welfare to a certain degree is considered.

Concious – Can provide information on how the representative can put policies in place to ensure black people can prosper as a whole (where possible from the candidates policies)

Entrepreneur – Provide economic empowerment to the local communities and how the candidate can implement policies to ensure this is possible.

Despite these ideas there is a 16 month window in which black people, can have a say through unification, seriousness and intent, by talking to the candidates and paying for policies to be in our favour even on a just below the surface as we need something in the short term to allow us to regroup as a people then make strides, to the next action we must take to improve our situation in the west.

Here are some sources:

Dr Claude Anderson (video) How to play the game of politics and win

New York Times – Who wants to buy a politician

Consumerist.com – Supreme Court Ruling on political donations

African Caribbean Society – President

As a black person who studied at university, I was interested in becoming involved in extra curricular activities. This was where I became president of the African Caribbean Society in the 2nd year of my studies. The position was suppose to be an opportunity to provide a cultural education of African and Caribbean history, to these students.

The plan was laid out that I would be seeking cultural events, such as film showings, getting speakers and organising trips to museums and cultural places. There was also an ambition for me to network with university African Caribbean societies within the region of the university (East and West Midlands).

This was the plan, but like with most elected positions, you are voted in with a committee, who must work towards this. Firstly, the committee had some people who were there for a CV and to have the status of being on a committee doing nothing, this included any ideas they had or I had, as a committee we would suggest ideas and vote on them and many ideas were agreed upon. This was the easy part, the difficult part was actually arranging the events, many of the people on the committee were either busy or lazy and needed chasing up to see if they had completed the tasks. This lead to some events being staged but not to the full capacity and some events having a relatively low turn out due to a lack of marketing.

This could have been due to faults of my own such as naievity as most of the committee and the members when asked which type of events they wanted, were looking for parties and going to different parties at the different universities and venues. The plan was to have a party as a small segment at different intervals within the year rather than on a regular basis. To offset this based on work and voluntary experience since this time period, there possibly should have been a partnership (formal or informal) with a black based music society created at the time. This would have ensured the cultural aspects of the society would have been fulfilled and the partying needs of the members would have been covered by the black based music society.

The second point about the networking, this was my original attempt at group economics or at least group sociology, where the aim was to host events and invite the other African Caribbean society to our events and then attend other societies events. As stated earlier this was successful in regards to the discussion and initial planning, though one of the biggest universities in the region at the time, was not interested as they felt they had their own network within their own city.

Had this have been undertaken at the time it would have allowed for the sharing of resources and the support of each others events and making events even more fulfilling with the potential of building and improving relations. The other universities lost contact and despite the society I was president of creating events, the interest in this fell and with a committee not fully cooperative the efforts were difficult, as my missus told me recently I may have been ahead of my time.

This experience made me not want to work in a voluntary capacity again with other black people, but I felt this was unfair, as I gained more life experience and volunteered more as I realised, there are people out there wiling to make more of an effort and to make a meaningful contribution to improve the community they are working in.

The reason I am writing this is, because I feel sometimes as a people we have some that want to work towards a cause and its the others around them that let the whole thing collapse. As adults or participants we should only participate in the best interests of the organisation and the people it is meant to serve.

Social Regeneration sneak preview

Over the last year I have been working on how black people may be able to overcome our economic, social and political problems or assist in overcoming this.

I have a regeneration and social inclusion background and I am using this to assist and develop the black community as much as possible.

Below I have included a snippet of the document which I have written and have previously provided a presentation  on this as a blog which can provide you with some information.

If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions please visit our contact us page.

Syndicates

In some discussions I have had this week the topic has revolved around the ability of black people to pool finances together to support community buildings and projects. This in my personal case hAs to involve a building which caribbean people in a town of the UK use for christenings, weddings and birthday celebrations.

I aim to put a proposal together to bid for the building rather than let another ethnicity purchase the building and rent it back to us West Indians and Africans. I am aware there are some business people who would be interested in buying the building if it could make business sense, though I am looking to raise finance for it so if the black people of the town could say put a pound or something in then the businesses get together in a consortium and cover a large proportion of the cost then this would be part of the way to purchasing the building, so it can continue to be used within the community.

The process I will take will be the following:

Enquiring with the local authority how much the building would cost to purchase.

Ask the West Indian community organisation if they have thought about using their funds or fund raising to purchase the building.

Officially enquire if there are any other black businesses interested in buying the businesses.

Put together a proposal for a syndicate and see if the black businesses would come together to purchase the building.

See how other black organisations in the town would be able to get involved in the project by raising funds so that the businesses can cover some of the price but the community covers the rest.

The plan would cover some of the following:

The history of the building
How the community has used it over the years
The activities which are currently undertaken at the centre
The proposal of a consortium leading the running and operation of the centre
The costs associated with the running of the building
How more activities could be undertaken at the building
The benefits to the community
The benefits to the stakeholders
A return on investment for stakeholders
The barriers to purchasing this building
Further use and development of the building
Finally, what would happen if this building is not purchased by black people.

The paper would then be distributed to potentially interested parties and used to create a fundraising platform.

This blog is used to demonstrate what happens in the Caribbean and black community in the UK. Division between islands means for the bigger picture we cannot put differences and create a cooperative. This approach should possibly be followed or one similar at least in the local community.

Like I’ve written in previous blogs I don’t think enterprise can solve all our social, economic and environmental problems but two of the three can be combined to make a huge difference in a community.

I just hope one of two things these plans are put to one side and someone has done exactly this or I can be of assistance where possible using this approach to gain more support to this initiative in the local area. I’m a planner by nature so, we’ll see how this works out.

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