I thought I would share a slide based around business ownership preparation. I have created a slide on what information you need to put in a business plan, and that it only need be a side of A4 or A5 and expand it as the business grows:
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:
Heres a insight into the programme:
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.
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:
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).
Over a long period of time I have been reviewing how I could use knowledge and information on regeneration to improve the lives of black people (primarily in the UK). There is much media and articles written on gentrification in black neighbourhoods in the US and the UK but there is not a clear definition of regeneration.
Below I have added an extract of the strategy, the objectives (section):
Businesses – Operations improve access
Businesses are often struggling in this economy, with more businesses requiring advertising and growth advise through the provision of training and education. This may be through vocational qualifications or online vocational programmes, which enable these businesses to provide better service and achieve greater customer satisfaction, as well as creating a community bond which has always existed with an absence of professionalism.
Innovation of business growth
There is currently a lack of black businesses which sells technological and practical products and services. Black people invest a lot of time in purchasing and using these products. The question is why do black people got to say south Asians to fix their products, when black people should be able to set up a business after undertaking training in practical (plumbing and electronics) fields and provide services and sell electronic goods which we buy in bulk and spend it in our local areas. The ambitions as a race are connected to what is sold in the media and not enough on how businesses and community organisations can support community activities.
How this can be achieved in the black communities:
The creation of a community centre or working space
A working group of engineers and scientists is required
A strategy to encourage black technology and science professionals to set up or support scientific industries.
Create a local community project on encouraging school age children to take up more scientific and technological sector apprenticeships and training.
More cycling and maintenance should be encouraged for black people to take up, as a way of keeping fit.
More technological technician roles should be encouraged.
The aim is to make black people more self sufficient in providing and developing our own products and services, rather than going to the provider or to a shop where another race is able to sell our goods and items, which we can do our selves.
This will create jobs and more income into the community, which will give black people more economic, social and political power in our communities in the UK. The other important aspect of this is to ensure there is a support mechanism so black people can buy in bulk but also have a forum where information and advice is available from people who look like you.
I have been working on a regeneration proposal for 2 years and thought I would release some of it in segments for those interested in having a look.
I have chosen History as a segment
Awareness of History
More education of African history and more focus on promoting African and Caribbean
history to young people, and adults. The awareness of history can be taught from the
home, and in community groups. For example there are after school clubs run by black
people these are good avenues to teach this to black children.
The home is the first place children should be made aware of their history, parents who
are not educated, should be educated on their history and how this has affected them,
even if it is West Indian history from the Windrush or about the respective countries they
came from. This will provide an avenue for black people to work from and then this can
then be provided to children.
There are some organisations which provide lectures and talks on seminars, there may
be the opportunity for a resource to be put up in place for teaching parents and adults to
teach young people their history with free and paid for tool kits to facilitate this teaching.
The importance of learning African Centred history is for a greater sense of self, as part of
social regeneration, where people are then able to make informed decisions on
economically being able to provide for themselves and their community, through
employment of black people in their businesses and investing locally as well as physical
regeneration in regards to pride in their area cleaning their path and keeping their
gardens tidy, which may have a knock on effect with their neighbours.
The process of undertaking this:
- Educating Adults, who would like to educate their children on this history.
- Educating young people in black youth clubs and organisations around the local
- Educating young people in Saturday schools, after school cubs and home-
- A national, regional or another organisation providing online and paper tool kits
(paid for the paper tool kits) for other groups or parents to educate their children on learning about black history.
- More presentations based on Ancient Kemet (Egypt), Timbuktu, African Presence.
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Social media has been important for black people to communicate with the breaking of news and sharing of information.
The thing, which we should consider is productivity, if you are productive then you will be on social media less and less.
Productivity in this blog is considering the use of skills or knowledge to create something beneficial for your people. I only see people posting old information re sharing news items and complaining about new things.
We all use social media to keep up with information and things in our interest areas. Using social media to keep up with black social, economic and political news can be one dimensional. There seems to be a pattern present a idea, debate then repeat the process again.
There seems to be very few who get up and go especially those who have a following. They can be responsible for a rise in followers and videos which are posted. Some even have podcasts but they do not have anything which points towards them doing action.
The thing to consider is how can you use social media effectively without living a social media reality and the real world is neglected.
How many of these people who do videos, plug other black businesses products, provide you with economic empowerment. There are some of these persons who provide events, or workshops though they are few and far between considering they make videos.
There was a video I saw with a guy saying Mexicans worked together on a derelict house in his area. Within 24 hours it was a different house as several people chipped in to work round the clock on the house.
This is an example of working together, black people will in a room say they will work together as the idea sounds good but when you turn up 85% of them wont have bothered or will be interested in something else.
The original and continuing aim of upliftment information is to provide information and resources where possible to improve the lives of black people to some degree.
The content is not the best or the greatest but the perspective it is written from hopes to provide you with a different insight which others dont provide.
The use of social media should be for sign posting and information gaining rather than extended debate. The energy for debates should be expressed in working as a group or team on more practical activities to support the forward movement of the things we debate and discuss.
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.
There is currently a lot of charitable need in the black community, we are a materialistic race our net worth as a race is trillions of dollars, yet our communities as a people is worth less than a dollar. A black womans median wealth is $5 and the black family holds 6% of the wealth white people hold.
This plays into the importance of charity shops (or thrift shops if you are reading the US), there is much distain amongst the black community in shopping charity shops, but it could be a way of getting things to the community and also allowing there to be more money, initially in the community, then wealth could be built.
This could be build from a example
For example, some Africans who migrate to the UK to work, for a short to medium term period, in the care and low pay industry send much of the money they have back to their home countries to build houses and businesses with family members. They save money by shopping in charity shops and eating simply as well as living in shared accommodation. I’m not advocating this exact example, but I hope you can see what I am getting at, live simply if you have a very low income or look for value for money items.
The charity shop would be used to sell:
Tickets to black events
These are some of the items which could be sold and used to be put back into the community and generate income for local community activities. There are a number of charities which are run and set up by black people, for black people. I am not sure how many are willing to put the work in to set up a shop even if its required there could be the possibility to get a start up grant for the charity/ organisation (some further information will be provided at the bottom):
Another use of charity shops is to use it as a facility to enable members of the community to get transferable skills such as customer service, communication, productivity and team working skills. From experience I volunteered in a Oxfam charity shop, whilst I was working in international development (full time during the week and do this on a weekend). It enabled me to develop my customer service and productivity skills, which came in use a few months later when I was working as a library assistant whilst studying full time.
The Charity shop would eventually be used for the following:
A skills Hub
A place where members of the community can buy cheaper goods
A place where you can buy a book for cheap
A place where you can get information on local events
Charity shops can be used as a place (as listed above) where you can donate unwanted clothes and furniture as well as clothes and books. This may be important when looking a persons who may not be able to afford brand new items and would like something in good condition whilst they are awaiting new items.
There is much potential a charity shop could add to an area, its a shame as African American or Afro Caribbean people we do not want to be associated with going into a shop to buy things which we can actually afford, rather than overspending and not using the money we overspend to create a future for our race rather than our children. At least visit a charity shop to see what they have on offer there are some gems.
Further information on setting the Charity Shop up
Recently in the black concious news there has been much discussion about black leaders and how they conduct themselves. Personally if they are generally acting in the best interests of the people they serve then so be it. Everyone has a bit of maverick in them in fact I believe most geniuses have a great deal of maverick in them. Being honest do you have traits in you which are straight an narrow. I know writing this blog I don’t.
For instance as a man, I have certain characteristics which are questionable such as being introverted and wanting to stay in the background, but I deliver when the time comes 90% of the time because I am human and the other 10% I am working hard to at least achieve a minimum output.
So I discuss Dr Umar Johnson, he for me is a genius, maverick and leader, a leader in my opinion and reading is the following:
Ability to inspire
There are other leaders of the black network (We are not a community as we are still split, thanks to Red Pill of KTL radio for this point) out their working on a local level, in the US and the UK with most or some of the qualities listed above but who really can say they are an allrounder like Dr Umar Johnson. On a side note, the term allrounder is usually used in a cricket context as I am a fan and a player, but that’s for another day.
I keep on banging on about this but its true, what makes an effective leader and community is the ability to be:
Every time the black network decides to elect or look up to someone as a leader we fail to take into account all three of these traits. Usually we elect someone on the basis of aesthetics rather than on substance. Then when things go wrong we just complain rather than looking at the persons qualities and if they have the ability to do what we request.
This ties into the fact that Dr Umar Johnson’s indiscretions, however big or small they were caused black people in some quarters to open rather than close ranks and it seemed many were hoping for him to collapse. If we were realistic and the people who went to his talks and lectures considered him on the leadership qualities and the effective leader qualities then this would not have split his so called supporters.
We are generally an uneducated bunch of people on both sides of the Atlantic and we are in need of some education. I just hope that we begin to educate ourselves based on looking at the requirements for the job at hand rather than a persons personality and if it fits in with our own. If it doesn’t so what theres plenty to discuss after the work is done, and that my brothers and sisters will be a long time down the line.
For further information please check out: