Tag Archives: black people

A solution to a underwhelming event

Recently, I was looking forward to going to a black event but this was dispelled as soon as I had entered the event.
There are several things which I will note:
  • The reception was not courteous
  • The leaflet had random pieces of information
  • No itinerary for the days events
  • No schedule for the speakers
  • The event information was a Facebook page
  • No activities for children
  • There was no menu
This could easily have been:
  • A warm welcome
  • Simple but effective design of a leaflet/flyer
  • A itinerary of what would be happening on the day
  • A schedule of the days events
  • Having a website as a first point of contact, with a Facebook page as a signpost
  • Speakers being on time
  • Activities for children
  • Food menu as it had a cafeteria
The effect of being more organised:
  • A value for money event
  • More support in future
  • A service which is worthwhile
  • More transparent operation
  • People who are capable of delivering a great event
  • Repeat custom
The event could have been cheaper, and the atmosphere considering the topic it was focused on could have been more welcoming and interactive. It is some thing which an event organiser may think about as well as the committee of the organisation.
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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

Black People and Coffee Shops

For nearly a decade now I have been going to coffee shops in my spare time, at first it was to write poetry and just detox on a Saturday afternoon after a hard week of working. Then it got to the point where I would go sometimes during the week after work, whether it was with acquaintances, project proposals or on my lonesome.

I noticed at this point in my early to mid 20’s that I was one of a few UK born Africans who was interested in going to coffee shops just to chill. I used to wonder why our people did not go to coffee shops in the 2000’s but it is for similar reasons why some still do not go now (though I notice more people in them these days). They would rather make the drink at home, though a coffee shop should not be seen as just a place where you go to drink a coffee rather a place to socialise, develop ideas, relationships or just disappear.

I find 8 years later that there are more people going to coffee shops who are African/black as more people are realising what you can do in a coffee shop and what you can discuss, without pressure of the environment or time constraints to finish your drink.

The Europeans use coffee shops to socialise and chill with each other, its only the British who think going to the coffee shop is a upwardly mobile thing to do or have it as a treat. I have noticed that coffee shops are beginning to open later and so more people who are from backgrounds which do not drink or drink little alcohol are meeting friends and family in these places.

Black people could begin to be more sociable by meeting in these places, rather than thinking there are few places to go maybe just enjoying each others company in a place where you can have a warm drink or cool drink (in summer) might be a good place to get your personal and professional goals off the ground.

To finish, I often go to a couple of well known coffee shops as I am allergic to milk so I get the milk free options. I sometimes go to independent ones, though my favourite coffee shop which had a great atmosphere decided to expand and lost the atmosphere, that is not to say all coffee shops are like that. Though some coffee shops are family friendly with child seats, as others are work friendly with chairs and tables whilst one thing which is guaranteed in all is free WiFi.

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