How one Dayton entrepreneur is reinvesting in the Black community
Category: Black Business,Community,Entrepreneur Author: BCDAlliance Date: 7 months ago Comments: 0

DAYTON, OHIO (Dayton Business Journal) — Nate Dillard has a simple explanation for his entrepreneurship journey: He followed in his father’s footsteps.

“When my dad left the military, he started his own IT business,” Dillard said. “That’s why I followed that legacy. My dad did it. I saw it happen. So, I did what I saw — and I’ve done it in my own way.”

As a young man growing up in Detroit, Dillard witnessed firsthand the powers of generational wealth and community reinvestment. But for many minority business owners, securing enough capital to turn growth-stage ventures into self-sustaining enterprises remains a challenge, he said.

That’s why after serving eight years active duty for the U.S. Air Force, Dillard joined the reserves and launched the National Black Business Directory (NBBD) — a business development platform designed to empower Black entrepreneurs.

Its primary goal is to help minority business owners leverage the best available resources to maximize access to capital.

Late last year, NBBD teamed up with two other Black-owned consulting companies — AgencyX and Intensify Design — to launch a new venture: LunarX Agency, a full-service design and development consulting firm featuring a team of more than 20 independent contractors and strategic outsourcing partnerships.

Where to Find Black-Owned Banks and How You Can Support Them
Category: Black Business,Community Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0

Since 1865, when President Abraham Lincoln established the Freedman’s Bank, this country has grappled with providing financial access to millions of disenfranchised Americans. Into the void steps a small but influential group of Black-owned banks.

Black-owned does not mean “Black only”

According to Kevin Cohee, Chairman and CEO of OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S., Black-owned banks are designed to meet the financial needs of underserved communities. However, people of all races are welcome to take advantage of their unique services. For customers, it is a win/win situation.

Black-owned banks like OneUnited help create infrastructure and add value to the inner-city areas in which they are located. They also help customers build (or rebuild) their financial reputations and foster a greater sense of community pride. One of the most important goals of Black-owned banks is to help customers become financially literate and provide them with the tools they need to learn how to make money work for them.

Since May 25, 2020 — the day a Minneapolis police officer knelt on 46-year-old George Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes until Floyd was dead — OneUnited Bank has opened 60,000 new accounts. Looking for a way to support the communities that need it most, Americans of all races are doing what they can.

How to become an ally of a Black-owned bank

Like all financial issues, what you do with your hard-earned money deserves careful consideration. Here are some of the benefits to opening an account, making an investment, or taking out a loan with a Black-owned bank:

  • If you already have an established bank account, opening another is a good way to diversify funds. As Cohee says, “Banks are not like wives. You can have more than one.”
  • Having more than one checking account is an easy way to keep track of your money. For example, if you make online purchases using one account, it’s simple to track how much you are spending without wading through all your other purchases.
  • Building an emergency savings account with a second institution is a clever way to train yourself to keep your hands off until the funds are needed.
  • Even today, banking relationships are important. Establishing a working relationship with more than one bank offers more options when it comes time to make a big financial decision.
  • You can feel good about helping to build at-risk communities and being part of something bigger than yourself.

If you decide to become an ally, take a look at this map designed by Blackout Coalition, showing the Black-owned banks and credit unions around the country. Do some research, decide which products and services best suit your needs, and become part of the movement.

The heart of the community

It might be easy to imagine OneUnited Bank’s Cohee as a rich, self-satisfied fat-cat. He has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin, a law degree from Harvard, and success as an investment banker and business owner under his belt. Cohee is indeed a wealthy man, but it was never his ambition to make money for the sake of hoarding. “I was determined to make money quickly so I could switch from being focused on what I was earning to making Black America a place where there was more opportunity.”

To understand Cohee’s goal to start a Black-owned bank, it helps to know where the sentiment was born. He was four years old, sitting in an uncle’s basement in Kansas City, Missouri, surrounded by a room full of Black Power supporters discussing how to improve the lives of their family, friends, and neighbors. He recalls one gentleman turning to him and gently telling him that there were enough good men on the street, fighting to effect change. What the movement needed were young brothers to go out, get a good education, and work within the system to give others a hand up. What the gentleman hoped to see were more Black-owned businesses, Black-owned banks, and Black Americans in a position to help others.

Today, from one of his offices in Compton, California, that is precisely what Cohee and his staff are busy doing. They help customers who are unable to open bank accounts due to past financial problems rebuild their good names and rebuild credit. They loan money so customers can purchase homes and open businesses in low- and moderate-income areas. They provide financial education through an ever-expanding library of entertaining, informative materials. They stay on top of new technology, believing that 21st-century banking will be done almost entirely online.

More than anything else, though, they make their presence known, becoming a permanent anchor around which communities can build.

These savings accounts are FDIC insured and can earn you 18x your bank

Many people are missing out on guaranteed returns as their money languishes in a big bank savings account earning next to no interest. Our picks of the best online savings accounts can earn you more than 18x the national average savings account rate. Click here to uncover the best-in-class picks that landed a spot on our shortlist of the best savings accounts for 2020.

The National Business League Aims to Empower 1 Million Black Businesses By 2025
Category: Black Business,Black-Owned Businesses,Community,Minority Business Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0

Calling itself America’s oldest and largest trade group for Black businesses, the National Business League has aggressive growth plans for the future.

The Washington, D.C.-based business advocacy group aims to boost its current membership from 120,000 to over one million black business owners and professionals in the next five years. It aims to achieve that by launching a national membership drive through its 365 local league chapters starting in January 2021.

In line with its mission, here are some collaborative programs that the NBL is hosting or taking part in to advance Black businesses:

  • The NBL is backing Med Week 2020, a virtual event led by the National Minority Business Development Agency that runs from Sept. 13-19. Get more details about the event here.
  • As part of its newly formed partnership with Comerica Bank,  the NBL will host a Black Capital Access Program Monthly COVID-19 Economic Recovery Webinar Series. The event will help entrepreneurs gain tips and resources on how to become bankable and investable from financial services experts. The first virtual seminar will occur Sept. 17. For more information, visit here.
  • The NBL begins its annual National Black Supplier Conference on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. This year will mark the NBL’s first virtual national conference. It will include panel discussions, workshops, and matchmaking with over 100 corporations looking to provide contracting and procurement opportunities for Black businesses in America and globally. The event is free to all Black businesses affected by COVID-19.  The event will be presented by American Express, General Motors, Comerica Bank, Fiat Chrysler, DTE Energy, Ford, MPS Group, and Toyota.

Dr. Kenneth Harris, the NBL’s president and CEO,  said the organization plans to use its robust digital platform, growing social media apparatus, and significant strategic partnerships throughout the country within the public and private sectors to help reach the national goal.

The membership strategy comes as the NBL just celebrated its 120th anniversary. The group was founded on August 23, 1900, by the iconic Booker T. Washington.

With the special occasion come and gone, the NBL reports it is poised to streamline the integration of the nation’s 2.6 million Black businesses into the global marketplace using technology. It proclaims Black-owned businesses generate $150 billion in annual revenue in the United States while supporting 3.56 million jobs here. This advanced shift into the digital age will be absolutely critical in the post-COVID-19 era, Harris said in a news release.

“Booker T. Washington’s vision is more relevant today than it was 120 years ago, as a new generation of unapologetic Black leadership takes the helm,” he said.  “The revolution won’t be televised; it shall be digitized.”

The National Business League Aims to Empower 1 Million Black Businesses By 2025

Category: Community Author: BCDAlliance Date: 8 months ago Comments: 1

Category: Community,Nonprofit Author: BCDAlliance Date: 9 months ago Comments: 0