Browse Tag

investing

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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.

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8 Ways to Intelligently Invest $500

To ensure future financial stability, the best thing for you to do right now is to intelligently invest your money into profitable avenues.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to have thousands of dollars at your disposal to begin investing. With just $500, you can start investing and accumulating real, long-term wealth.

Keep reading to know how you can effectively invest your $500.

1.   Purchase a Certificate of Deposit

If you want to save for a short-term goal, certificates of deposit are a great way to invest your money. They’re safe to invest in as you get a guaranteed return on your investment, irrespective of the economy’s status. Interest paid on your certificate of deposit will be based on the initial deposit agreement you made and not market conditions.

2.   Start a Side Business

If your day job isn’t too demanding or you’d like to do something productive on the weekends, you could start a side business. Doing so will not only give you extra income but can also help you hone any other skills you have. You can buy items for cheap and flip them for profit, freelance as a content writer or graphic designer, sell second-hand goods on eBay or Craigslist, or open an e-commerce store.

3.   Pay Down Your Debt

With $500, you can pay down your debt and save thousands of dollars in interest. Getting rid of your debt as quickly as possible means that you won’t have to pay exorbitant interests to your creditors.

4.   Equity Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding refers to raising money from the public to finance a new business venture. In equity crowdfunding, public investors get a proportionate slice of equity in the business in exchange for their investment. Do some research and invest your $500 in a business that you think will provide lucrative returns.

5.   Set Up a Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP)

Purchase dividend-paying stocks and invest them into buying more stocks. Over time, you will begin to accumulate more money through these reinvestments. Your stock can also increase in value over time and boost your overall net worth.

6.   Use Robo-Advisors

Robo-advisors are automated investing platforms that manage your investments. Many financial institutions let you invest through Robo-advisors. When you sign up for one, you will have to answer questions regarding your finances. Based on your answers, the platform creates an investment portfolio tailored to your needs. When you don’t have too much money, Robo-advisors are a great way to get started on investing.

7.   Contribute to a 401(k) or IRA

Contribute your $500 to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, like a 401(k). Make it your goal to maximize your employer’s match to accumulate more money. Talk to the HR personnel in your company to see if you can make a one-time deposit of $500.

You can also invest your money by opening a Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account), a retirement savings plan that allows you to contribute after-tax money to your investment account.

8.   Buy Savings Bonds

If you’re a prudent investor, purchasing savings bonds is a great way to invest your $500. Bonds are low-risk investments, which means that the return on investment you receive from them will be lesser than your returns on stocks. Usually, you purchase a bond at face value and receive the principal amount plus interest at the time of its redemption.

Investing isn’t as confusing or overwhelming as it seems on the outside. It doesn’t always take too much time, effort, and money. If you still have misgivings about investing your money, talk to a financial expert and ask them for professional guidance.

 

***Important: Please do as much research as you can beforehand before making any investments.***

 

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Black Owned Healthcare Fund Raises $72M, Becoming The World’s Largest Fund Focused on Women’s Health

SteelSky Ventures is a Black owned venture capital firm focused on healthcare for women. The Atlanta-based venture capital firm recently announced the final close of its inaugural fund focused on improving access, care, and outcomes in women’s health.

The close of the fund brings SteelSky’s total assets under management to $72 million, making SteelSky the world’s largest venture capital fund focused on women’s healthcare.

SteelSky Ventures was founded by Maria Toler Velissaris after she uncovered a gap in funding for women, and more specifically, women’s health.  To date, Maria has invested in over 20 female-led companies.

The League of Extraordinary Funders: Meet Maria Velissaris, SteelSky Ventures | by Grasshopper Bank | Grasshopper Bank | Medium
Maria Toler Velissaris, Founding Partner at SteelSky Ventures

“Women’s health is an area of tremendous growth potential, and SteelSky is building a pipeline of the next billion-dollar healthcare giants. We are proud to invest in entrepreneurs who are significantly progressing healthcare for women around the world,” Maria said.

SteelSky invests across the spectrum of women’s health indications and care modalities, including medical devices, consumer health, digital health, ePharmacy, and retail therapeutics. The fund’s innovative approach to women’s health also allows for investment in technology infrastructure that supports new and innovative care delivery models.

The fund’s limited partners include healthcare strategic investors such as the American Hospital Association (AHA), Eli Lilly, Blue Shield of California, MultiCare Hospital System, Henry Ford Hospital System, and Essential Access Health.

Tony O. Lawson


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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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Alitheia Raises $100 Million to Invest In Women Owned Businesses Across Africa

Alitheia IDF (AIF), Africa’s first women-led and women-focused private equity fund announced the final close of a $100 million fund in December of 2021. With this final close, Alitheia IDF becomes the largest woman-focused private equity fund by value in Africa.

Led by principal partners Polo Leteka and Tokunboh Ishmael, Alitheia IDF invests in growth-stage companies across six African countries: Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Zambia.

Alitheia
Polo Leteka co-Founder and Principal Partner – South Africa(Credit: Bridget Corke Photography)

The fund has a mandate to plug the over $42 billion investment gap between male and female entrepreneurs as a means of catalyzing the economic power of African women as producers, distributors, and consumers.

In 2021, the fund began implementing this mandate by leading investment rounds in five women-led businesses across essential sectors including agribusiness, education, manufacturing, housing, technology, and logistics.

The investee companies are Jetstream Africa (Ghana), ReelFruit Ltd (Nigeria), SKLD (Nigeria), AV Light Steel (South Africa), and Chika’s Food (Nigeria).

“Globally, women have tremendous purchasing power as consumers and controllers of household economics. In the same vein, women entrepreneurs have a significant presence in Africa’s SME sector with African women making up 58% of the continent’s self-employed population.

Alitheia
Tokunboh Ishmael – co-Founder and Principal Partner – Nigeria

However, despite this economic power and presence, African women are underserved as consumers and producers.

This has had a huge impact on economic growth as the potential of more than half of the continent’s population remains untapped due to structural and systemic issues.

We are proactively working towards filling this gap with a clear mandate to support women-led businesses across the continent while raising awareness for gender-smart investment as a path towards inclusive economic growth,” said Principal Partner Tokunboh Ishmael in Nigeria.

African women have remained underserved by the financial sector even as the historical investment gap between men and women continues to widen.

Estimates show that African women receive less than 5% of all investment on the continent even though over 40% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are women-led.

Reports by McKinsey point out that closing the investment gap will lead to 26% gross domestic product (GDP) growth ($28 trillion) by 2025.

By applying a gender-smart lens to investment, Alitheia IDF is setting the pace and providing a framework for gender-inclusive investments with the goal of enabling economic growth for African countries and, critically, African women.

Polo Leteka, Principal Partner in South Africa, explained that it is her hope that Alitheia IDF’s leading example will inspire other investors on the continent to invest in women, noting that women have an important role to play in unlocking the economic potential of Africa.

She further stated that “the historic inability to appropriately capture the economic potential of African women has affected Africa’s development. Alitheia IDF is on a mission to fill this gap by using a gender smart approach and financial capital to empower women as consumers and producers.”

Tony O. Lawson


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Meet Sangu Delle, one of Africa’s Most Successful Investors

Sangu Delle is a Ghanaian investor, entrepreneur, activist, and author. He has received several international accolades including being named Africa’s “Young Person of the Year”, a TEDGlobal Fellow, one of Forbes’ top 30 most promising entrepreneurs in Africa.

Sangu serves as CEO of Africa Health Holdings, an innovative company focused on building Africa’s healthcare future.

In November, African Health Holdings raised $18 million to expand its telemedicine service beyond Ghana to Nigeria and Kenya, and scale its network of health facilities.

He is also the Chairman of Golden Palm Investments (“GPI”); an investment holding and advisory company focused on building world class technology companies in Africa.

Via GPI, Sangu has been an early investor in several African tech startups including Andela and Flutterwave, two of only three West African companies valued at one billion U.S. dollars.

In this interview, Sangu and I discuss:

  • His journey from Ghana to the U.S. and back to Ghana.
  • Why he pivoted from investing in agriculture to focus exclusively on technology
  • What inspired his passion for building Africa’s healthcare future.
  • The importance of Africans and the Black diaspora collaborating on economic and social issues.
  • Advice for those interested in investing in startups based on the continent.

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Tony O. Lawson


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How is Cryptocurrency Taxed? Everything You Need To Know

Cryptocurrency continues to be the talk of the town, with the whole world watching the increasing price of Bitcoin as it hit its highest ever price twice this year. In October 2021, its price reached $64,000.

As of October 2021, the total crypto market cap reached $2.6 Trillion. With such an increase in adoption, it’s important to understand how cryptocurrency is taxed so that they can better manage their wealth.

Here in this article, we have discussed everything you need to know about how cryptocurrency is taxed.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that does not depend on intermediaries such as banks. Instead, it utilizes blockchain ledger technology to store and verify transactions.

The ledger is secured using strong cryptography. Cryptocurrency is designed as the medium of exchange.

Many different types of cryptocurrencies are available globally, such as Ethereum, Dogecoin, Cardano, Aave, etc.

How is Cryptocurrency taxed?

Many people believe that the government does not back cryptocurrency; therefore, it does not involve taxation. However, that is not true. In the United States, cryptocurrency is taxed almost the same way as traditional assets.

Crypto exchanges report user activity on gains and losses to IRS (Internal Revenue Service) because the IRS treats cryptocurrency as a capital asset which one must pay tax on gains and losses.

How to calculate tax on your Cryptocurrency

Tax on cryptos depends on various factors such as:

Capital gains: When you sell crypto, and its price exceeds the original cost.

Capital loss: When you sell crypto, and its price is less than the original price.

Duration: The length of time you held the assets. The time duration of holding assets determines the gains or losses as “short term” or “long term” and are subjected to tax differently.

Short-term capital gains or losses: If you buy a Cryptocurrency and sell within 365 days, it is considered a short-term gain if the cryptocurrency made a profit.

According to IRS, the Short Term Capital Gain Tax on Cryptocurrency profits is 10% to 37% in 2021.

Tax Rate

Single Married

Head of Household

10%

$0 – $9950 $0 – $19,900 $0 – $14,200

12%

$9951 – $40,525  

$19,901 – $81,050

 

 

$14,201 – $54,200

22%

 $40,526 – $86,375  

$81,051 – $172,750

 

$54,201 – $86,350

24%

$86,376 – $164,925 $172,751 – $329,850  

$86,351 – $164,900

 

32% $164,926 – $209,425 $329,851 – $418,850

$164,901 – $209,400

35%

$209,426 – $523,600 $418,851 – $628,300 $209,401 – $523,600
37% $523,601 or more  $628,301 – more

$523,601 – more

Long-term capital gains or losses

If you own a crypto asset and sell it after one year, the difference between the sale price and purchase price determines long-term capital gain or loss.  Long Term Capital Gains are 0% to 20%, which depends on your income.

The chart below shows how cryptocurrency profits (Long Term Capital Gains) are taxed when held for more than a year.

Tax Rate

Single Married

Head of Household

0%

$0 – $40,400 $0 – $80,800 $0 – $54,100
15% $40,401 – $445,850  

$80,801 – $501,600

 

 

$54,101 – $473,750

20%

$445,851 – more  

$501,601 – more

 

$473,751 – more

 

The Bottom Line

The taxation of cryptocurrency is not as simple as it seems. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, therefore, challenging to determine tax. However, crypto gifts below $15,000 do not involve taxation but are subject to capital gain tax if you sell the gift. Inherited cryptos are also subject to tax like other assets.

Its also important to stress that not reporting your Bitcoin earning is considered tax evasion by the IRS, and you have to pay the penalty if you don’t pay the tax after the deficiency notice from the IRS.


Presented by CryptoShare, a lending platform that allows people to lend and borrow money without banks or credit checks.

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Africa Focused Private Equity Firm Raises $900 Million

Development Partners International (DPI), a premier investment firm focused on Africa, today announced that African Development Partners III Fund (ADP III), has exceeded its US$800 million target, and is set to hold a final close at US$900 million, with an additional US$250m of dedicated co-investment capital. This brings a total of US$1.15 billion for investments on the continent. The fundraising establishes ADP III as one of the largest funds dedicated to investing global capital in Africa.

ADP III will invest in established and growing companies in industries that benefit from Africa’s fast-growing middle class and the increasing digital transformation of the continent. All investments have the highest standards of impact and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) work. In doing this work DPI is using its proprietary DPI Management System (“DPIMS”) toolkit to deliver impact in line with 10 of the UN Sustainable Development goals, as well as driving the highest standards of ESG.

Runa Alam, co-founder and Chief Executive of DPI commented: “Africa remains an exciting investment destination with positive demographics, rising adoption of technology, and rising consumer and business spending. Against this backdrop, DPI has continued to generate top quartile returns by leveraging our team’s deep-rooted local expertise across the African continent.

“As we look towards the future with our ADP III fund, we will focus on innovation-driven companies leading the digital transformation of the economies in which they operate. In addition, our deep integration of impact and ESG initiatives in the investment life cycle has been widely recognised and ensures we are known as a trusted partner.”

ADP III secured capital from a broad range of leading pension and sovereign wealth funds, development finance institutions, endowment and foundations, insurance companies, fund-of-funds, asset managers, and impact investors. The global investor base represents 20 countries across North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. In addition to strong support from existing investors, DPI welcomed over 25 new LPs into its investor base. This is testament to DPI’s track record and ability to create institutional-grade investment opportunities in Africa, while continuing to deliver sustained environmental and economic impact.

Joanne Yoo, Managing Director at DPI, said, “The strong support for ADP III validates our strategic focus, creative approach and investment discipline. We are grateful for the trust that our investors have placed in DPI, and we are confident that our talented team will continue to deliver competitive returns and impact.”

ADP III has made four investments to date, including:

  • Channel VAS, a leading global fintech business providing mobile financial services;
  • SICAM, a leading Tunisian tomato producer, in one of the largest private equity transactions undertaken in the country;
  • Kelix Bio, a biopharmaceutical platform broadening access to speciality generic drugs across Africa; and
  • MNT-Halan, Egypt’s leading fintech ecosystem.

Additionally, DPI has a significant pipeline of investment opportunities across the continent, focused on key sectors of the economy such as financial services, healthcare, agri-business, education, and telecom infrastructure.

DPI places an emphasis on promoting best in class standards in ESG through its investments, with the aim of creating institutionalised high-performing companies at exit. Working with its portfolio companies, DPI seeks to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by implementing its proprietary Impact and ESG Management System based on three key impact themes: Job Quality, Climate Change, and Gender Balance.

ADP III was the first African fund signatory to the Operating Principles for Impact Management (“Impact Principles”), an international market standard for impact investing and the first to be granted 2x Flagship Fund status, as part of the 2x Challenge, a gender-lens initiative.

PJT Park Hill acted as advisor and placement agent for ADP III, and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal adviser for the Fund.

Tony O. Lawson


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$126.5 Million SPAC Formed to Acquire Black Owned Firms

Shawn Rochester is the CEO of Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisition Inc. (“MEOA”) the first minority-led special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed on the Nasdaq.

The company will focus its search and transactions on historically undercapitalized minority-owned/controlled businesses in various industry sectors across the country.

In this episode, Shawn discusses:

  • Being the only SPAC working with a Black owned bank
  • MEOA exceding its initial $100M goal and and raising $126M
  • How his company plans to help Black businesses grow through aquisition
  • What MBE’s need to have in place in order to qualify as an ideal investment
  • The need for more Black capital providers and Black led investment firms
  • The cultural disconnect that prevents some non Black firms from investing in Black companies.
  • The importance of building a well capitalized business infrastructure in the Black community
  • The inspiration behind his book “The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America”

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Tony O. Lawson


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Barbershop App theCut Raises $4.5M, Has Helped Barbers Generate $500M in Revenue

theCut is a mobile platform for barbers and clients modernizing the barbershop experience. Today, the company announced that they have raised $4.5 million in new funding.

The Northern Virginia-based startup provides information and reviews on barbers for potential customers while also helping barbers manage mobile payments, appointments, and other back end tasks.

Clients can easily search for and discover new barbers, then book and pay for haircuts at their convenience. After completing an appointment, clients can review the barber and shout out a job well done.

Barbers can then manage all those clients, appointments, and payments with one easy to use tool.

Founded in 2016 by high school best friends, Obi Omile Jr. and Kush Patel, theCut has successfully booked 2 million appointments by over 350,000 clients who visited 22,000 barbers across the country. This has helped barbers generate more than $500 million in revenue since the app launched.

Nextgen Venture Partners led the funding round and was joined by Leadout Capital, Elevate Ventures, and Singh Capital. This brings total funding to $5.35 million.

The new investment will be used to hire additional talent, marketing and grow the business across the country.

Tony O. Lawson


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