After writing a piece elaborating on how African-Americans can break the cycle of poverty, I contemplated more ideas of practicing group economics. I wanted to put together something that gives everyone viable solutions in helping you (and your community) build wealth. I’ve compiled several activities that make group economics simple, whether you’re going at it alone, have a group, or better yet a community.
The Patron Mindset
Before getting into the details, let’s begin the journey of patronage. Let me explain further. As a black community, we have an economic calling to answer. That calling is supporting and creating black-owned businesses. The only way we can do this is through patronizing black-owned businesses to the point where those businesses can re-invest resources back into our community.
In exercising group economics, one must have the mindset to spend money at black owned businesses. This is a pivotal step. Without this foundation, one will not have the perseverance to support black-owned businesses with his/her hard-earned money. This is the first hurdle one must overcome. If you can’t overcome the first hurdle, you surely won’t get past the second.
Surround Yourself With Like-Minded Individuals
For group economics to be successful, you must build trust with individuals you want to build with. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals increases the chance of others participating and supporting you in your economic endeavors. Now, let’s cut to the details.
Group Economic Ideas
Listed below are activities that could be done as a community, group, or on your own. Getting the job done on your own is great; however, there is strength in numbers. The more individuals you can get involved, the higher your economic power will be.
Host community events
Getting the entire community involved in group economics is the ultimate goal. Imagine your entire neighborhood, on one page working toward a common goal. The level of influence would be so great, that others couldn’t help but get involved. I understand it would take a large amount of effort to organize a community-wide event of this nature. However, with proper organization, cooperation and drive it can happen.
Host community yard sales: Community members can sell unused household items and take the time to get to know each other building relationships amongst each other.
Host a career fair for the youth: Middle school, high school, and local college students will be able to get an idea of what other community members do for a living. This will promote career awareness where the youth see several avenues in becoming successful.
Host a mini-food market: Black-owned restaurants can cook a sample of food offered at their restaurants to bring awareness of local black owned restaurants in the area.
Host an economic seminar: This will allow youth and older community members to pitch business ideas or community improvement suggestions to get individuals’ minds sparked on ideas to improve their community.
Community-wide events would have a ripple effect on our community. However, it would require a large amount of effort and coordination, which could take some time. Group economic activities are the most viable solution to see a real impact in your community. Create a group with people you trust, get out there and make a difference with the following strategies.
Start an investment club: Instead of investing by yourself, get a group of people together and manage your own investment account. You could receive higher returns working in a group versus being a lone wolf.
Create a Sou-Sou group: No this is not a pyramid scheme. Creating a Sou-sou group allows you to save money for a purpose. Create a meeting agenda to set a dollar amount each member will contribute on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Set-up a criterion plan each member must meet, so everyone knows what each member will use the funds for.
Not convinced? Here’s someone that used a sou-sou group to fund her business.
Create a buying club: Use your spending power as a consumer to your advantage by buying essentials in-bulk at a black-owned business. Contact the business within their “Contact us” section explaining you have a group of people looking to buy X, Y, Z in bulk supply. Ask for a percent discount on all supplies bought within the group. To help you get started I’ve listed several business directory links below.
If you decide to go the lone wolf route in your black economic endeavors, here are a few options at your disposal. Even though you may feel like you are on the journey alone, rest assured, you are not alone in having the economic spirit in supporting black owned businesses.
Use black business directories as a guide in helping you find black-owned businesses to support. Here are several sites I’ve found to be quite useful:
Melanin Business: A great site I used to find black owned banks and other businesses throughout the United States. It also includes reviews, giving you more insight in consumer’s experience.
We Buy Black: An online marketplace for black owned businesses to display and sell their product to a global community.
Refer a black owned business: This is by far one of the easiest things you can do. Be an advocate for a black owned business. Some even offer compensation for being an affiliate.
Hire black owned companies to perform services: Some of the services include lawn mowing company, plumbing, real estate agents, lawyers etc. Try to spend as much money with black owned businesses as possible.
Improve your financial IQ: Here are several resources to get you started in improving your financial knowledge through financial literacy and investing. Making sound, conscious financial decisions makes you spend your money in the community smarter.
Use my ideas listed in this article as a starting guide. Talk with your family and friends to brainstorm other ideas and execute them. As a black community, we have the power, ability, and intellect to take matters into our own hands. Be innovate, be great and create the future you envision.
Garrick Bradley is the Founder of Youngwealthbuilders.org, a site dedicated to helping others build wealth by educating others on personal finance. A consultant by day, and wealth builder by night, Garrick is constantly helping others with his financial advice while reaching his goals. Having two degrees and his CPA designation, he feels that he has a duty to be a financial leader within his community. If you are interested in following him you can reach him on twitter at @ywealthbuilder, join his Facebook group in learning more financial tips, or like his FB page to get even more financial insight!
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