Browse Tag

crowdfunding

3 mins read

Different Ways to Invest in Black Owned Businesses

When it comes to supporting Black-owned businesses, some research is needed to discover which businesses are actually Black-owned.

Luckily, most public companies do not hide who is on their executive board, making the process easy with a little research. Once you have done some research on the businesses you wish to support, there are ways you can go about investing in them. If you have a desire to invest in Black-owned businesses, read on for a few ways to do so:

Take to the Stock Exchange

One of the easiest ways to support any publicly-owned business is to invest in the company on the stock exchange. Here are a few companies that have either a Black president or CEO, or have majority Black ownership that you can invest in:

  • Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc.
  • RLJ Lodging Trust
  • Urban One, Inc.

Invest in Companies That Financially Support Racial Justice

Supporting companies that have donated money to support racial justice can also be an option in the stock market. Several large companies have done so over the past few years, and supporting them can help them continue to do so. Choosing businesses such as these to get behind can help also grow your own money while showing your support for said business.

The Non-Stock Ways to Support Racial Justice

While taking to the stock exchange can be a great way to support Black-owned businesses and businesses that support racial justice, there are other methods available to investors as well, such as investing in startups or real estate crowdfunding.

You can join platforms such as The 10K Project, a community of everyday investors who actively fund Black-owned businesses.

You can invest in Buy the Block, another crowdfunding platform, for a minimum of $100. Many of the projects listed on Buy the Block are in historic Black neighborhoods or benefit a local community.

No matter what way you decide to invest, make certain you do your research. With investing in startups and real estate crowdfunding there is the risk of losing your entire investment, so it’s best to be careful.

Rethink Your Bank

Why not consider a Black-owned bank, especially if your current bank doesn’t meet all of your banking needs? Not only are you supporting a Black-owned company by using such a bank, but you can also ask them about any initiatives they have for the African American community to further your support.

Larger banks that are not Black-owned might also have community-focused initiatives as well, and it never hurts to ask, especially if you want to support such initiatives.

There are so many ways that you can support Black-owned businesses. Research the business you want to support, and think about how best you can support them, be it through purchasing stocks in the company or taking part in the company’s initiatives.

-Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

How I Raised $1 Million in Business Funding

Roughly 45% of businesses don’t make it past the five-year mark. One of the most common reasons for this failure rate? A lack of business funding.

Now, this isn’t to say that money isn’t available—the chances are that if you’re got the fundamentals of your business laid out, the money is out there.

Ultimately, it comes down to how you manage to acquire it. And that’s exactly what this article is going to cover.

How I Raised $1.07 Million for My Trucking Business

2020 showcased a remarkable accomplishment for Pierre Laguerre, the founder of Fleeting, who became the first Black man to raise the maximum amount possible ($1,070,000) through crowdfunding opportunities in the span of 12 months.

Fleeting is a platform that connects companies with experienced and qualified CDL drivers. Since trucking is a critical part of the supply chain, which constitutes the backbone of the economy, many investors quickly took the chance to weigh in.

How to Raise Capital for Your Business

When it comes to the trucking industry, entrepreneurs might find that they need more than just dedication. Starting a trucking business is an excellent decision because the trucking industry isn’t going anywhere, but it often always requires high capital investment for startup and operations.

That said, there are still several ways you can finance your business:

1. Use Equipment Lenders

With a well-managed business plan and some existing capital, you stand a higher chance of getting financing from equipment lenders. Many lenders provide tailored solutions that you can use for your trucking business, which will eventually help you bring in more investors.

2. Crowdfunding

When compared to other methods of raising capital or financing a business, crowdfunding is definitely a newer option. Despite being new, however, it’s quickly risen in popularity as a way of funding, and we’re no exception to this.

Crowdfunding functions much like a loan, pre-order, or investment—just from several people instead of one person or entity. As an entrepreneur, it will be your responsibility to sell your business on the crowdfunding platform, including your goals, plans, amount of funding required, etc.

3. Enter a Franchise Agreement

Entering franchise agreements with interested parties can be extremely useful to grow your business quickly. This arrangement allows other owners to use your name for their business while paying you a franchise fee as well as a portion of their profits.

4. Look into Freight Bill Factoring Financing

A problem you’re likely to run into in the trucking industry is delayed revenue. In some industries, this may not be a problem, but a trucking business will rack up operational costs that need to be paid off.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have an immediate cash flow, freight bill factoring financing can help. Freight factoring companies essentially buy your invoices for immediate payment, and then wait to be paid by the clients.

Ultimately, there are several ways to grow your business, depending on your needs.

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7 mins read

The 10K Project is on a Mission to connect One Million “Every Day” Black Investors with Black Owned Businesses that need Funding

Thanks to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, entrepreneurs can raise up to $5 million per year from individual investors. These investments can be made via campaigns on SEC-approved equity crowdfunding platforms.

Black entrepreneurs who have historically struggled to raise funding from traditional financial institutions now have another option to raise the capital needed to start and grow their businesses.

For aspiring investors, it no longer takes thousands of dollars to start investing in early-stage companies like wealthy families do.

All you need to do is join platforms such as The 10K Project, a community of everyday investors who actively fund Black-owned businesses.

The 10K Project, founded by Cheree Warrick and Tawana Rivers is building a community of those not only buying Black but also investing Black.

We recently caught up with Tawana to find out more about the platform.

the 10k project
Tawana Rivers, Co-founder and COO, The 10K Project

What inspired you and Cheree to create The 10K Project? 

We were leaders in another group that uplifted the Black community. Each week, we would have conversations regarding how Black people could break into the blockchain industry by building businesses.

One of the primary concerns people had was a lack of capital. Cheree continuously said, “If 10,000 of us came together and invested $100 each into the business, that’s $1 million. We can fund our OWN businesses.”

One day, Cheree said it again for the umpteenth time and I asked her, “When are you going to do something about it?” She said that she couldn’t do it alone so four of us joined her as the founding members of The 10K Project. And here we are!

the 10k project
Cheree Warrick, Co-founder and CEO, The 10K Project

Briefly explain the importance of creating an ecosystem of Black investors.

We oftentimes hear phrases such as “it takes a village,” “each one teach one,” “we’re better together,” and “we must circulate the Black dollar longer;” however, most people aren’t sure how to implement them. We want to help people build generational wealth.

At The 10K Project, we aim to not only let these sentences be catchphrases. Instead, we live them! We bring together 3 groups of people:

  1. Entrepreneurs who have great ideas and want to raise capital for their businesses,
  2. Investors who have as little as $100 to invest in Black founders, and
  3. Experts who can help these entrepreneurs grow their companies (e.g. project managers, sales consultants, construction professionals, etc)

We bring together people from all socioeconomic backgrounds who want to uplift and invest in the Black founder. Within our organization, we say “We buy Black. Now we can invest Black, too.”

If we want to truly OWN and DOMINATE industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, real estate, healthcare, and technology, then we MUST invest in each other. No one is coming to save us, so we must save ourselves.

What are some things a business should have in place in order to have a successful crowdfunding campaign?

To successfully manage a crowdfunding campaign, entrepreneurs must have a winning crowdfunding campaign plan, a knowledgeable team who understands legal compliance, investors, a legally compliant crowdfunding platform, and experts to guide you through your campaign. 

We offer entrepreneurs more information regarding how to successfully launch and complete an equity crowdfunding campaign at www.roadtocrowdfunding.com.

Fill in this blank. “We need to see more Black businesses that ____”

Have equal amounts of resources as our counterparts. Most Black businesses aren’t able to maximize growth due to a lack of resources. And resources are more than cash. It’s team members, mentors, access to credit, access to networks, etc.

The 10K Project is more than just access to capital. We are a community of individuals who work together to help the entrepreneur succeed. If the entrepreneur needs staff, then he or she can access our Expert Directory and find the skilled talent they need.

If the entrepreneur needs access to profit acceleration resources such as marketing, product placement, and business efficiencies, our Knowledge Center has recorded webinars and individuals to help.

As Black businesses receive the resources needed, they hire more people within the community, grow revenues, give back to our nonprofits, mentor more of our children, and uplift our economic standing globally.

the 10k project

Where do you see The 10K Project in 5 years?

We will be an investor network with 1 million members.

Within 5 years, we will be THE place where entrepreneurs raise $5 million (the legal limit for Regulation CF governed by the SEC) within 48 hours…and we will do this over and over again.

We want to expose our investor members to opportunities that can help them build generational wealth. And we want to have a major economic impact globally (including the Caribbean and Africa). 

Sign up here to join The 10K project and start investing Black!

Tony O. Lawson


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5 mins read

Mother Creates Baby Vend, a Vending Machine Business That Helps Traveling Families

Prior to the widespread COVID-19 shutdowns, the vending machine industry in the U.S. reached $8 billion, and global vending machine revenue topped $23 billion.

The vending machine industry took a hit during the beginning of the pandemic but is expected to rebound fully and even continue its pattern of growth now that more people are back to work and traveling more often.

Jasmin Smith is the CEO of Anchorage, Alaska based Baby Vend, a network of vending machines equipped with baby supplies. We caught up with her to find out more about her business.

Baby Vend

What inspired you to start your business?

I have always been involved in entrepreneurship and owned businesses in Alaska from business development consulting to coworking spaces and incubators but BabyVend LLC is truly special.

I found myself stuck in a mall with my twins who were babies at the time and I really needed a diaper because I didn’t pack as many as I thought.

I ran all over the mall looking for help to no avail and it was at that moment I thought I gotta do something about this. Not just something, but something unique. So, I did extensive market research to see how I could make a product that served traveling families.

Baby Vend
Baby Vend at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (Emily Mesner / ADN)

Tell us about being Black in Alaska.

Black Alaska is small and unique. People often forget and sometimes can’t believe we are here but there are many (like myself) who grew up here!

We have an extensive history and deep roots in Alaska to include business owners, elected officials, military, community activists, and more. We celebrate Black community milestones like Juneteenth and Black History Month, Kwanzaa and we also are n solidarity with movements like Black Lives Matter and had our own civil rights moments here.

We have organizations like the NAACP and Black Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Black Business Directory & Expo and many other organizations and we literally have Black community members from all walks of the diaspora. For folks who are new to Alaska, it can be hard to adjust but once you get acquainted with the community I think many see we have a lot to offer.

Being Black in Alaska is not for the faint of heart but we have a community committed to making sure we are seen and heard and empowered.


Based on research and feedback, what type of locations are these vending machines most in demand?

Definitely airports, trains, hotels, amusement parks, and anywhere else you may want to visit and don’t have quick access to leave if you find yourself without something.

What can we expect from BabyVend in the new future?

We recently launched new machines that take technology to a whole new level. We expanded to more locations and are currently in 8 states with 2 more on the way and aspirations to be in 15 by the end of 2021.

We finalized our supply kit division for locations that cannot accommodate a full vending machine. We also launched our own shipping and receiving department to get our machines placed faster.

In addition to that, we are in the process of holding a huge nationwide custom vending conference to help other people launch their own companies to include getting one of our machines.

baby vend

How can we support you now and going forward?

By investing and supporting our campaign, most importantly. We are one of the largest Black owned custom vending companies in the country and the financial support will allow us to grow, hire new key departments and finalize some much needed research and development

Lastly, if you know of any airlines, Amtrak, or other transit locations that would be interested in various sized machines and products kits, contact us!

Visit Baby Vend on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or visit their website.

1 min read

Black Journalist Creates App To Help Viewers Connect and Review Favorite TV shows and Films.

PopViewers is an app that allows fans to connect and critique all of their favorite TV shows and films.

With user-generated content scores and reaction videos, PopViewers is ultimately shifting how we engage with content online and helps content providers when developing new movies and tv shows.

popviewers

They want to democratize the voices of those who watch, consume, and pay for all of this entertainment and empower them to get into the boardroom and pull up a chair at that table.

In this interview, I spoke with founder Chris Witherspoon about how Pop Viewers can be used to empowering Black creatives. We also discussed how PopViewers can help bring more diverse voices and opinions to Hollywood.

Don’t forget to LIKE the video and SUBSCRIBE to the channel!

Tony O. Lawson


Subscribe and Follow SHOPPE BLACK on Facebook, Instagram &Twitter

4 mins read

Black Data Scientist Creates a Digital Wallet For Lending and Borrowing Cryptocurrency

The World Data Science Institute is an SEC-registered financial data science research and development company. They develop Blockchain and financial technology applications.

So far, the startup has raised over $145,000 to launch its flagship product, CryptoShare. CryptoShare is a digital wallet and peer-to-peer lending app that provides the unbanked and credit challenged with the ability to borrow money.

THE PROBLEM

According to Fico statistics, African Americans have the lowest credit scores and are declined for loans three times as much as white applicants. Nearly 30% of African Americans and Hispanics do not have a bank account at all!

African Americans and Hispanics are also disproportionately forced to use high-interest cash advances and pawnshop loans that can be up to 500%.

This clearly shows that an inexcusable amount of African Americans and Hispanics do not have access to adequate loan products.

THE SOLUTION

CrypstoShare replaces the need for a bank account (think Paypal) and allows peer-to-peer lending to be done within the app, giving users the option to use physical and digital assets as collateral at much lower interest rates.

Physical assets can be placed in a Blockchain Smart Locker similar to the Amazon lockers that are used for deliveries.

The borrower places physical assets in the locker and if they don’t pay, the lender will have access to collateral in the locker or it will be mailed to them.

The digital wallets come with a Digital Debit Card so borrowers can use funds immediately to shop online and if they need cash they can withdraw from ATMs.

The most important part is interest rates will range from 10 – 20%. Essentially eliminating the need for expensive high interest loan options that plague the African American and Hispanic communities.

THE FOUNDER: Anade Davis

Anade Davis

What inspired you to start CryptoShare?

I have struggled with either credit and access to funding to grow businesses my entire life. Sometimes I struggled to have access to both at the same time!

As I grew older and traveled to different countries; I realized how many people were dealing with the same struggles internationally.

The problem is the current global banking and credit system excludes billions of people. One thousand US dollars ($1,000) is enough in many countries to jumpstart a business.

These are the reasons that inspired me to create a lending solution for people around the world utilizing Cryptocurrency and ATMs.

What advantages does CryptoShare offer borrowers and lenders?

  • It’s convenient. The only document borrowers will need to provide is their ID.
  • It’s flexible. Ability to customize the loan terms to suit lenders’ needs. Both borrower and lender can customize their loan terms according to their requirements.
  • It’s accessible to everyone because there is no need for a bank account, credit score, or income statement.

How can people support you right now?

You can support us by investing as little as $100 before the investor close date of October 1!

 

Tony O. Lawson


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