Tag Archives: black economic development

Procurement

The theme this time is the three pillars of procurement, Accountability, Capability and Transparency. This is a wide ranging perspective on black based crowdfunding campaigns and promotions. In the black sphere/network there are people who will ask you to donate to there projects but there is a lack of substance.

I have yet to see a person who is well known to black people who has shown accountability, showing they will accept the plaudits of success as well as the consequences of failing to deliver. There is an example with the numerous videos out there where some people are talking heads, saying this needs doing but that needs doing, when clearly they are not looking at a way to look forward and use their energy to make things happen.

Some talk a good game, but when delivering then they can be found wanting, one way this could be started would be to create a pilot project, prototype then when it is up and running, measure the failure or success the measure how capable you may be with the real thing. This will show how capable you are to deliver the final product you would like funding for.

Committing to the development of a project, campaign or promotion is one thing, showing them value for their money is another. Many of the black talking heads are not good at giving updates, and if there are updates not giving credible ones, which are very vague. If a project is to be transparent, having access to the plans (as far as possible – if confidentiality or data protection), a clear direction of where the project is going and open access to the project. Clearly, some black projects are closed off and so it can be disappointing if you have pledged financially to the cause.

Based on what is said if all three of these conditions are like this then a project is not worth investigating on, we all make mistakes even I did (and I apologised see the blog). Think before you put time, money and effort into someone’s campaign as they might just be trying to create a wave with no foundations behind it.

Freeloading

There is a lot of killer content out there, some of it is useful some does just that to your concentration. I’m more of a blog reader, though I also listen to podcasts as I work, travel to work or just out and about. One of the things which has struck me and other is how these videos make money.

Looking at the business side of these services is important if you want to understand the reason why they can keep this stream of content and information flowing. They get advertising money from adverts on their videos from the streaming channel. This is now being stopped by google for less desirable videos as there is a concern that too many truthful videos are benefiting from businesses who are purely interested in keeping you distracted with superficial and none nonsensical videos.

Most of the people who do truth seeking or providing videos could benefit from continuing to get the advertising money from these video which you watch without paying but google (in reference to YouTube has stopped this). Before my tirade ends, I have heard and seen some videos where these Video bloggers and podcasters have asked for financial support but there has been a lack of support from blacks, which is typical of my own people, we would rather pay a European for the same request and why because we do not value our own products.

There have been some instances where some people have asked for donations and the audience of the blog have told that person to get a job, or why should they pay for it. These are the kind of people that queue up for the latest gadget or item of clothing or have subscriptions to something which they rarely watch or because there friends have it, when that money could be used for something which they may have watched for years.

A way around this which I have discussed in a previous blog is the video blogger could have adverts at the start, middle and end of the videos, this way you will not be able to complain about the video blogger asking you for money and you will be able to continue to access your free information.

The other alternative to this is where a video blogger had decided to not bother create or release any content until they got a minimum number of donations or supporters on a service named patreon. If you have watched a lot of this persons content putting something towards it shows you will have a level of ownership.

Further Information:

Patreon (www.patreon.com)

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

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)

Black Hibernation Month

For the months of October and February in the UK and America there are celebrations which look at the history and tradition of black people according to how the funders set the stall out.

The time when the celebrations are made are usually when it just starts to become dark or when it is really cold. In the UK it is dark and beginning to be cold in the month of October so events do get attendance but really you want to hibernate. In the US the month of February which can be warm or cold depending on which part of the country you are in.

The festival should be in both July and August as it is summer and most of the kids are on holiday and so it can be a time to reinforce the knowledge which people have about African history. There should not be one month of just history it should be a year round thing with the two months being festivals mirroring those in the main land of Africa, with tribal dances, drumming and story telling, and the talks which outline the importance of these activities.

Many of the topics of black history month look at social progress, though if you are talking about history, you need to look also at the political and economic factors. If you look at just the social factors then you have no economic awareness which means you rely on another group which is happening now. You should be able to get economic information about business owners, wealth black people and how you can help your communities through wealth and income, i.e. learning that money is not a contentious issue but an important on.

Politics is important too as we look at thinks on the surface and think just because someone was said to do good for black people they were good people. Rather, we should look at what the person did to improve our economic (wealth building, job creation and access to finances) situation. Like with elections, we need to learn how to get together and ask people how they will help us and what we can do to guarantee their assistance.

The reason I believe, there is political and economic factors missing in black history presentations and the same or similar people being talked about is the events are provided by the local authority. If your presentation is publicly funded then you will need to keep to an agenda, which is favourable to them. The better alternative is to have your own event, and listing it on websites within the local area you live.

There are places you can look which can suggest free or low cost buildings and rooms for rent to hold a presentation or event. The costs can be recouped if you do it through do nations or charge a price you think is reasonable for the event.

If you live in the UK and would like to find a venue for black history events or other events, you can find some here.

Further Information

Black History Month (UK) 2016

Economic Developments

Over the last few months in the UK there has been much discussion about the UK’s exit from the European Union and how this can affect both the UK and the international economy. The UK is in a period of transition around the world and also the world is too to a smaller degree.

In regards to black people in the UK this is a time when we can take advantage and get back to the levels of business ownership before the early 1990’s. There are programmes out there for people in their late teens and early youth. Though, if like me, you are early 30s there are some ways in which you will be able to benefit. If you have experience of professional work or have an interest in a trade then there will be more opportunities to do this.

This is a time when you will need to have an added income, rather than just a job, two or three incomes each is needed since the economy is weakening.

There are other schemes available for you to use you can get these from the businesses resources section of the website

(Some) Further Resources (Books and Podcasts):

Smart Passive Income

$100 Dollar Start Up

4 Hour work Week

Lean Start Up

Entrepreneur Revolution

 

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

Economy Of Knowledge

In the 1980’s and mid 1990’s (if your old enough to remember) there were people who were working in factories and mills. This was the case until the UK economy had moved towards a service economy (banking, customer service, technology based – IT and computer programming).

The aim of the government moving towards this economy was to maintain and create enough jobs for the current labour market, who were losing jobs as a result of moving away from a industrial towards a more knowledge based economy.

The movement should have been towards a entrepreneurial based economy and education system (in the UK). Since the education system was designed to prepare you for working in a bricks and mortar industry. The education system was slightly modified for the service economy as they thought they could up skill all the workers to work in the service jobs, as a result of getting a degree.

To get to this the national and local government looks at attracting investement and companies into regions, cities and towns as a way of providing more job opportunities. This is a good idea, which is why you see state of the art buildings being constructed around the place, as a place where businesses can set up or warehouse or industrial units built in the outskirts of towns and cities.

This in theory works but in practice the results are mixed since, many of the roles that these companies offer are menial as only low skilled tasks might be undertaken by that regional branch. Usually the research and development departments (the place where the more skilled vacancies are) are usually in the headquarters or home country.

The history of those born in the early 1970’s to late 1980’s being encouraged to join the knowledge economy was due to a skills shortage for high skilled jobs in the late 1980’s. In the late 2000’s there were more qualified people than jobs to match the skills.

This is evident today as black people who were adults in the late 80’s early 90’s with children did not prepare them for what was coming, instead of keeping hold of businesses we sold many of them of (with a few remaining) and told our children to join the knowledge economy in the late 90’s early 2000’s.

The economy is now changing from a knowledge based one to a entrepreneurial one, with the need to have more than one income. If the next generation and this one (18-40) do not have more than one income or at least access to one then we will not fare well as jobs are becoming less and less.

The government is attempting to get people skilled in technological areas such as computer science and sciences. It is great theses areas are looked at but as a people, we need to first and foremost look at developing business running skills, having an idea, developing it and then looking at many ways you can get income from this idea.

Further information

Knowledge is a myth (www.theguardian.com)

Knowledge Economy Myth (www.theweek.co.uk)

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