Category Archives: Group economics

Black and Franchising

Often, along with gentrification there can be regeneration which was discussed in another blog I wrote. With this comes the ability to get finances and support to open businesses and to become economically, socially and politically visible.

Franchises are a way in which you can create a business income, which can lead to a growth in employment in the local area. In the UK there are a number of businesses which are franchises which black people go to such as Chicken cottage, Subway and Costa coffee. The latter is one which is sometimes visited by black people.

In the US I am sure there are many different types of franchises which you could open in the local area as a way to get your first business. Other groups of people are able to open these franchises with the assistance of their fellow nationals (by grouping their resources together).

This is a way in which you can take advantage of local regeneration as new buildings are being built and possibly office and residential blocks, with some shops and services needed in the local area. If you know the type of business’s franchises you would like to buy into then why not.

The way you can get finance is possible through grants, loans and different schemes and often, finance can be more easier to secure for a franchise than for a independent business but you would need to have start up capital and collateral, which is where the group comes in (group economics).

If you are interested in a franchise then there are many things to consider such as:

  • Long term contract
  • Run the business in a uniform way set by the brand not you
  • Devoting all your time to it
  • Having some capital as collateral and start up cash and more

 

Further Resources

10 Franchise Considerations (www.entrepreneur.com) 

Costs of a Franchise (www.franchising.com)

Introduction to Franchising (www.startup.co.uk)

11 Steps to Franchising (www.franchisedirect.com)

Starting a Franchise (www.fitsmallbusiness.com)

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Ratings Economy

As a technical person, who works on electronic devices and provides advise on technology, which a person should purchase based on their usage. I have utilised device ratings and customer reviews when looking for appropriate devices.

As a people we should look to purchase products and provide reviews, rather than just liking or to favourite a product or a service. The effect of just liking or to favourite, based on reading about or just seeing a post which looks good has no benefits for the business owner in the long term.

There are ways in which providing a rating and review can help with the prosperity and improving your experience with that business, which can include

  • More people will be aware of other people who have the a product.
  • A community of users can be built who can have a say in how the product is developed to meet your specific needs.
  • There may be giveaways or rewards for more loyal custom and genuine product feedback.

In this increasing internet purchasing age we are now using more and more customer reviews to purchase, this should be the same with black businesses if you have used the service then you should comment or leave a favourite, rather than if you have not.

As a consumer you will know the importance of a customer review. If people just like or favourite a product it does not say much. A comment about a past experience will help otherwise it is pointless as a company cannot provide the same great service/product to more customers due to your actions.

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.

Social Economics

You may have heard much talk about creating your own economy. In Africa, even today, we have an economy based on the exchange of goods in rural and some town areas. Rather than the exchange of goods for money.

The most popular version of this is the exchange of a wife for a douri, i.e. where a man would give 10 or more cows or livestock in exchange for a mans daughter. This is designed to show respect and demonstrate your intentions for their daughter.

After being in South Africa, I learnt this was for the man to show the father of the bride to see how the man has nurtured and maintained the live stock as these qualities are required to take care of his daughter.

In regards to markets and trading traditionally, we (as Africans) have not always used coins in exchange for goods. It has been items in exchange for items and if we do not have a item which is the exact price of the item then we negotiate i.e barter to get a price which both parties will settle for.

There has been talk of black people, especially in America taking up this type of economy for items as some whites are beginning to do this. Looking from a UK example there has been attempts to do this but there is a downside.

This being mainly middle class and affluent people who have the security of money to do this can do it, whilst bills and utilities cannot be p0aid for with batering or through a social economy – reciprication.

There is also the possibility of developing a underground market where people can be exploited so someone will exchange labour or favours for goods and there will be no definate time or point where this will be repaid.

Despite these reservations a social economy could work but it would be more beneficial in Africa where we belong rather than in the west as, we do not have the infrastructure to fully take advantage of such a economy in the US or where ever black people are outside of Africa.

(Image Source:

https://jaunehibiscus.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/african-print-and-pagne-cheap-or-cheap/)

Un-Healthy Food Utopia

Based on the fact that we have 40 + million of us in one country. By all accounts we should be eating a great deal better. It seems as though we have busy lives and not enough time to cook fresh food, though it should be a priority. As young and old are not receiving the required nutrition according to their lifestyles and they are eating convenient foods, which are high in fat and salt and are plain manufactured.

The approach to take would be to cook fresh which is easier said than done, though. people should look at the benefits of cooking meals from fresh which should include simple meals then more complex meals. Many of the people in America (especially in cities) are eating fast food three times a day rather than having it occasionally or very rarely.

The one thing which can cause this in a neighbourhood is the occurrence of food deserts where there is a lack of affordable supermarkets and markets in African American neighbourhoods. This leads to a less likely chance of there being homes and households which are cooking fresh foods, rather they will be cooking processed foods and take out food, which will mean there is an increased level of health problems, and mentally it will tire the community out.

In some cities and towns there can be supermarkets in the more affluent areas rather than the poor black ones, which just have liquor shops and 7 -11’s. More black owned business (where possible should consider opening a fresh vegetable shop or teaming up with migrant black people from the caribbean or Africa to get produce which can be imported to the US from those countries, which will at least place some fresh fruits and vegetables in black neighbourhoods.

The other side of the equation is when there are supermarkets there can be GM foods too, especially in the US. There is a need for non GM foods but this is available at a price as farmers markets offer organic foods but at an expensive price.

The black network, will on the whole in cities look for convenient ways in which to cook foods, and there is the other equation of there being people who work two or three jobs which means there is not enough time to cook a meal.

One other tip which black people should consider is eating less meat and eating more beans and grains such as lentils, beans and other pulses. Wholemeal versions of products are healthier though they will tale more time to get used to. Cutting out or reducing dairy and eggs where possible is important as products with this in has a higher percentage of fat compared to products without dairy or eggs.

Below are some tips on purchasing and cooking fresh foods:

  • Cook for two days rather than one.
  • If working many days and hours cook for four/five days and freeze the foods for when you want to eat it.
  • Eat out less
  • Buy Generic or shop brands
  • Find Farmers and Ethnic Markets
  • Purchase in Bulk
  • Try eating Grains and less meat
  • Eat less canned meats and fish
  • Grow foods

If we can have a fresh food stall or store or even a small market, we can start to go back to our holistic roots eating fresh and having less health problems in our communities. The challenges we face include providing the information, getting the information noticed and then action being taken on this information provided.

Resources:

Healthy eating on a budget (www.choosemyplate.gov)

Eating well on a budget (www.helpguide.org)

Further Information:

Racial food deserts (www.hub.jhu.edu)

Food Deserts (www.foodispower.org)

Few healthy food choices in urban food deserts (www.foodsafetynews.com)

10 tips for healthy and affordable food (www.liveto110.com)

African and Caribbean food stores directory (www.eatjamaican.com)

List of Supermarkets (www.supermarketpage.com)

Film:

Soul Food Junkies (Youtube.com)