Tag Archives: black empowerment

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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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

 

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)

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.

The Black Digital Divide

As a person who has a long association and background with technology and how access to the internet and devices can be difficult. I have realised some black people take their access for granted and they are not ware of those who do not have the same access to this technology.

There is also a viewpoint of how you use technology in your every day life. For example you can now use a smartphone to pay for a coffee in selected places if you so wish.

Many black people around the world cannot access the internet, and so they are unable to add knowledge, wisdom or their voice to an ongoing discussion and (in some cases) action in motion.

There are many other races of people who do not have access and there are initiatives by mainstream technology companies to provide cheaper and free internet, as well as training on how to use the internet and devices which rely on it.

I have managed and been involved in projects where internet is unavailable and wireless internet has been provided, which is how you get WiFi internet as mobile phone signal carriers can be used to provide broadband speed internet for free or at a low cost for a day or week, in city and town centres.

Digital exclusion is a term which black people do not know well and this is what it is in a nutshell, being socially excluded from digital services. So for example you might not be able to access internet banking or have to pay more for to set up a standing order or pay a bill in person or through the post rather than online from your device. More and more services are being moved online and access to the internet is becoming more essential.

The internet now is a utility like gas, water and electricity, especially as device, services and products are part of our instant – now society.