Business Scholar Wants to Build Black Companies -$1 at a Time


BlackBizFunding, a Cincinnati-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting Black entrepreneurs, is launching a $1 million fundraising drive Oct. 1. The grassroots campaign asks supporters to chip in one dollar or to “Give a Buck for a Biz.”

This is the first major campaign of BlackBizFunding, which was founded in November 2011. The organization not only provides funding for Black startups and businesses, but also training, because management skills are also a necessary component for sustaining the success of Black businesses, said Cherlyn Carroll, the architect of BlackBizFunding.

Contributions can be made at BlackBizFunding.com. The organization’s staff also will participate in Black conferences, expos and festivals around the country, inviting participants to chip in a dollar.

“Who can’t give a dollar? That’s less than a cup of coffee,” Carroll told the AFRO.

Carroll is an entrepreneur who has studied small business owners for more than three decades. Among her accomplishments include Volunteer of the Year for SCORE, appointment to Ohio Gov. Taft’s Ohio Women’s Business Advisory Roundtable (OWBAR), and founding of the Black Business Expo.

“We’re going to shoot for $1 million but whatever amount we arrive at, it’s going to Black businesses and that’s what this is about,” she said. Proceeds of the campaign will be gifted to Black-owned startups and viable businesses.

A panel of judges will narrow the finalists; contributors will assist in selecting the funding recipients. Funding amounts will range from $2,500 to $250,000 and will be distributed in the geographical areas in which they are collected.

The 57-year-old Black entrepreneur said she has studied African-American businesses for over 30 years and, typically, access to capital has been one of the leading obstacles.

“There are many Black businesses that cannot obtain funding for one reason or another, but that does not mean they are not viable,” she said. “So we want to support those businesses…. We bet on Black.”

And the best way to do that, Carroll said, was to tap into the Black community itself.

According to a recent Nielsen report, African American consumers have a current buying power of $1 trillion that is forecasted to reach $1.3 trillion dollars by the year 2017.

With such a deep pool of resources, Carroll said, African Americans shouldn’t have to beg for what they need.

“If Black America were a country we would be the 11th largest. It is unthinkable, unforgiveable, that high unemployment, poverty, crime and poor schools are still prevalent in many of our communities,” Carroll said in a previously issued statement. “Even as the biggest consumers in the nation, a dollar earned by an African American stays in the Black community for only six hours before being spent in other communities! And what do those ‘other communities’ do for us?

“Our issues belong to us and can be solved by us if we pool our money and work together,” she added. “We have the earning power to be self-supportive . It starts with supporting and creating Black businesses.”

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Business Scholar Wants to Build Black Companies -$1 at a Time

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