Category Archives: Uncategorized

Starting you Own Group/Venture

This space has resources often to help you create or find a venture or group. Often if you are creating one then business plays a part as you want to be able to be self-sufficient from the start or near there if you are funded.

One of the difficulties organisations have is looking at a business model to begin with. The first question being who do I sell services to if people who are in need want to use it and likley cannot afford.

This can be answered by partnering with a local organisations or services and selling your service to them.  An example would be a day centre for vulnerable adults, the adults pay through their personal budgets to attend. Or a local authority pays for each person to attend sessions at a workshop your organisation provides as it finds it cheaper to use an external source rather than an internal one.

One thing to consider would be going to tender to get these services. Its where public services set out what service they need then your service shows if it ticks all the boxes and matches what the outcome of the service will be for the end user.

Organisations can also use membership or subscription to sustain itself depending on what you do in general. Like a business a organisation to be most effective must have a unique offering and benefit to the local and wider community. They can have a less unique purpose but there will be more competition for end users and funding. It may have greater challenges.

Check out the sources on building a organisation below:

Funding and Resources

Setting Up A Business

Social Enterprises information

Social Enterprise Body

Community Interest Companies

Charitable Organisational Structure

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In another 4 years

Recently, there has been a lot of debates between people in the so-called ‘conscious network’ who are arguing amongst themselves. This lead me to the belief, which I have had for a few years, that nothing will change.

There will be the same debates and arguments about the same issues and problems and issues amongst people and the childish behaviour of those who should know better will continue, whilst our people struggle economically, financially and politically across the world, and a few opportunists will fill their pockets.

I predict one of two things either all three or two of three will have cashed out of the enlightenment network and someone else will be around to take their place or new people will join and the current three will be around trying to oust the new scammers.

Going back into an area of interest in the past few months has found that religious institutions and churches are making headways, whilst some black churches which make millions per year, do not see that reinvested in such ways through community centres or services to help local residents get jobs, access local services or pay bills.

All those years ago this blog and site was created to help people access information to improve their communities using the regeneration experience and knowledge I have to access different resources within their communities. If only one person found the blogs or the tools on the site useful, I am glad but being honest its a hobby so I will only post sporadically and not very often, if I have no new information and resources to giveaway.

Regeneration and Involvement

This is a short post for During the week. I was reading in the Financial Times that there was regeneration happening in London Bridge Station with Low rents available for businesses wanting to rent space.

Though based on previous experience with regeneration it can turn into gentrification if only the more affluent groups benefit from this.

If you have an idea it could be worth looking into:

http://www.teamlondonbridge.co.uk/default.aspx?m=21&mi=270&ms=93

Heres a insight into the programme:

London Bridge

Black Based Food Quarter

In the UK it is that time of year where the sun should be out and the weather is much warmer. This means there are festivals up and down the country and this includes African and Caribbean based ones, like most cultures food is an important aspect, how its prepared and cooked which makes it distinctive from other cultures.

It is good that there are food festivals of African and Caribbean foods, but what would be a great thing would be if there was incentives for the food vendors to create more businesses in particular areas in the UK.

In the studying and working within the regeneration sector, one of the project which spring to mind which I worked on was a food quarter, which was used as a basis for developing an ethnic food quarter in South Wales. This was seen as a way you could get jobs and investement into a local area.

Like many of the blogs I have written previously, I am no expert and I am not just trying to talk about the problem, I would like to add something of value into the discussion which is actionable.

There are areas of cities and towns in the UK which have ethnicities stamps on them, just not the Caribbean and African Stamp. This is demonstrated by the South and South East Asians who have their own areas and towns, with restaurants, food shops and market stalls, like China Town and Pakistani and Indian areas, throughout the UK..

For example each area of the country where there is a sizeable South Asian population you will find a area with their businesses and restaurants.

For South Asians you have:

  • Curry Mile – Birmingham
  • Brick Lane – London
  • Golden Mile – Leicester

For China Towns they are in the following Towns and Cities:

  • Birmingham
  • London
  • Leeds
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Scotland
  • Sheffield
  • Wales

These ethnic food quarters have tourist visits as they have a uniqueness to their food and goods. In African and Caribbean areas there are no food businesses which are open to tourism and the restaurants which are open, are usually all the things which are said to be part of a bad customer experience.

Based on the needs of black people in the UK and worldwide a food quarter should be created for various reasons. The main ones are for money to stay with in the community and for investement from outside. You can see this with the China Towns and the Asian area.

Asians (South and South Eastern) will shop within the food quarters for their own foods, goods and other items, but also you will see other races coming into the areas to eat food in the restaurants. If black people do create a food quarter we would need to make our food more neutral and appealing to the greater masses like the Asians do. This will be more economically prosperous for the black based food quarter.

The prices of the food would need to be more affordable, if black food businesses were to say organically create a food quarter in a particular area, the vision would need to be shared in regards to the direction which is taken, this would then make sure that there is a high standard of food and service delivery, something which is not necessarily in place at the moment, but can be worked on outside of the public sphere.

The service and food standards would be guaranteed by the level of training the businesses incorporate. Another would be the suppliers as there would be a need to buy from suppliers who supplied foods which the businesses could sell, which is safe and of a high standard. 

There are some good quality, product and customer service being provided by, black food businesses, but they are either not owned by black people or in places where the price is not affordable. This is fine for these places but then there is a lack of employment of our own people a food quarter would ensure we can create our own businesses but also employ our own people at the same time, with a stamp that we do live in the UK or which ever country we are in around the world (outside of Africa).

Further information

Balti Triangle (Birmingham)

Curry Mile (Birmingham)

Golden Mile (Leicester)

Food Quarter (Bath)

China Towns (Europe)

Birmingham Caribbean Festival

 

Regeneration not gentrification

There has been a lot of talk, road shows on and documentaries on gentrification within black areas, the story does need to be told. Having studied regeneration and worked in a aspect of this (digital inclusion). I know that there is a fine balance between regeneration and gentrification.

The aim of most local authorities, regional, local councils and municipalities in areas, which are deprived, is to attract investment into the area. This could be from national and multinational companies. To do this a local authority will build office buildings and warehouses which these companies can move into, once they commit to moving their operations into the local area.

There is also an ambition to develop housing and social activities of the residents in that area. This can be through having new housing being built which his largely funded by a supermarket.

Regeneration can benefit all if it is designed and local residents get to access opportunities the same as everyone else. This means you will need information about financial and social capital (something I have talked about before). The problems come when you are not able to get the information or resources to set up businesses or get new housing.

Gentrification occurs when big businesses come to a town or city, which has bid for them to come and set up shop, with the local councils promise of giving tax breaks and skilled workers. If you are not a skilled worker then you might not get a decent paying role and usually big companies bring staff with them so many positions are filled.

If you want to get housing, often you begin to be priced out by the people who have the decent jobs with the new companies who have moved in and are living locally with new shops appearing which are out of your budget.

Regeneration is a fine line, I often explain to people that regeneration is getting investment and developing poor areas to make them more prosperous, though the people who live their now need to prosper with the prosperity, not be or feel left behind.

To get away from the gentrification theme and build on a regeneration theme more people need information and access to regeneration resources and information. If you are interest (if you live in the UK) you can look on the upliftment information community resources page. We have also listed some links below to help you find out more about regeneration and how you can help develop your local area.

Further Information

Upliftment Information Community Resources

Direct Black Investment

Tesco Building 4,000 Homes

Supermarkets building Homes Above Stores

Regeneration – Wembley Regeneration Project

 

Business As Usual

Recently, there have been the shootings and the deaths as a result. Black people on social media and over the internet have been talking about what to do next and how to go about stopping these things happening in the future. I remember in 2014, when my wife and I became more enlightened and started to see things from a deeper perspective. Micheal Brown was shot and we emotionally got sucked into the talk of taking action, at that time we were just finding our feet.

Over time we no realise that many people like to talk and as we are trying to set ourselves up to become more independent we are now not emotionally attached to the american situation since African Americans by and large only think about themselves and things which affect america.

I have set this site up and blogged over the last two years (even before Ferguson) to assist people with information and sources on developing their local communities through regeneration (since I have knowledge and experience of working in this area).

Many of the blogs I have posted are about community development through, physical regeneration (sweeting your walkway., doing your garden, cleaning/painting your walls), developing a regeneration strategy, creating black businesses and (a strong area of mine) bridging the digital divide, ensuring you are digitally literate so you can engage in certain conversations.

So, my position now is to be business as usual and continue with the work I am doing to become selfsufficient but also post information you might find useful on the website (at semi regular intervals).

I hope many black people are working towards, making things better for their people over a medium to long term rather than taking too much time out now to look at short term discussion points which do not deliver in the long term.