Tag: black businesses

Chicago Deposits $20 Million into Illinois Service Federal and Loan Association, the City’s Last Black-Owned Bank 

(Photo credit: Nancy Harty via blavity.com)

via blavity.com

The Illinois Service Federal and Loan Association (ISF) is the last black-owned bank in Chicago. According to CBS Chicago, Kurt Summers, the city’s treasurer, has decided to make a momentous investment in the bank. Summers announced Monday that the city will be depositing $20 million into the black-owned institution.

At the announcement, the treasurer called this investment his department’s first step towards addressing the city’s history of segregation, something that he claims is one of the root causes of the city’s current violence. So, what will this investment mean for the city? According to Summers, the contribution will increase the number of successful black-owned businesses in Chicago.”If we’re going to be serious about supporting those communities and supporting community banks and what they do for small businesses, we have to look for opportunities like this,” he said, Business Day reports.

When going to large, national banks, Chicago’s black business owners only receive the full amount of their loan requests 47 percent of the time. White business owners receive all the money they ask for 76 percent of the time. Summers hopes that this investment will give black small business owners some place to go to find funding for their endeavors. “The community banks are often more capable of evaluating the risks of local borrowers than large remote financial institutions,” said Summers.

This is only one of the changes Chicago politicians are anticipating following the deposit. Alderman Roderick Sawyer told CBS that he believes that this investment will help resolve the issue of economic disparity in Chicago, and, ultimately, even violence. Papa Kwesi Nduom, the chairperson of the Illinois Service Federal and Loan Association, agrees with him. Nduom said the deposit will give his bank a “much-needed boost to our financial foundation, ensuring that we can strengthen the economic base of our communities and help people fulfill their dreams.”

The black-owned bank has been providing services to the black communities of the South Side of Chicago for more than 80 years.

To read more: Chicago Deposits $20M In City’s Last Black-Owned Bank | BLAVITY

Rival Gang Members Malachi Jenkins and Roberto Smith Quit Banging, Create Catering Business Trap Kitchen LA

article by Shenequa Golding via vibe.com

Malachai Jenkins and Roberto Smith at one point would’ve never saw eye-to-eye. Both LA natives pledged their allegiance to rival gang members, Jenkins a Crip and Smith a member of the Bloods. But after years of gang banging, Jenkins grew tired of the dangerous life.

“All money isn’t good money, Jenkins said. “[Selling drugs] worked for me for a little while until it started to get me into trouble, so I had to find something legit to do.”

Jenkins then enrolled into the famed culinary school Le Cordon Bleu, and from there things began to change. A mutual friend introduced Jenkins to Smith and the two became fast comrades. Upon finishing his courses, Jenkins, who also goes by the name Chef Spanky, began cooking meals and posting the finishing product on Instagram. Soon, people started placing orders and slowly, their catering business Trap Kitchen LA was birthed.

“The gang stuff, the shootings, now that I’m in this kitchen, I don’t go through none of that,” Smith said.

The way it works is Jenkins puts the daily menu on Instagram and people then place their orders. The men make everything from the simple and comforting chicken and waffles to the popular and more decadent $25 Pineapple Friday dish which is made up of King Crab, lobster, jumbo shrimp and salmon over white rice covered in Teriyaki Sriracha sesame seeds and green onions placed inside an actual pineapple. Whatever your stomach desires, the gentlemen of Trap Kitchen LA will serve you.

To see original article, go to: http://www.vibe.com/2016/03/rival-gang-members-trap-kitchen-la/

HBCU Hackathons Expand Black Business Opportunities

hbcu hackathons

Last year may have been the year of the historically black hack-a-thon. Several of the nations’ most prominent black colleges welcomed students of varying majors and interests to a whirlwind experience of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and networking.  Almost makes you wish there was an app for that, but that’s HBCU Hack-a-thons are all about; taking individuals with little-to-no tech or coding experience and pairing their creativity with tech savvy developers and marketers to make a new generation of black entrepreneurs in emerging tech markets.

Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta, Howard and Morgan State participated in the 2013 HBCU Hack-a-thon experience. Students compete for prizes, exposure, and for some, their first visions of owning their own company in a field in which they never imagined working.

“It sparks students from across all kinds of disciplines to come together to develop an idea that can be brought to the marketplace,” says Omar Muhammad, Director of the Entrepreneurial Development and Assistance Center of the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University. “They get hands on experience with working groups, and understanding what it means to start a business. The individuals who come in as entrepreneurs really help the students to learn how to move their businesses forward.”

Muhammad says the nature of hack-a-thons inspires collaboration, and melds ideas from different backgrounds, industries and social constructs to bring out the essence of innovation. The movement was started by the Black Founders, a group of working black tech professionals who wanted to spur more African-American ownership in tech industries.  One of the Founders and University of Maryland Eastern Shore alumna, Hadiyah Mujhid, told Black Enterprise Magazine in 2013 about the importance of the hack-a-thon effort on HBCU campuses.

Continue reading “HBCU Hackathons Expand Black Business Opportunities”

ABC’s “Shark Tank” Wants Black Businesses; Hires Rodney Sampson to Increase Diversity

The Shart Tank CastThousands of minority- and women-owned entrepreneurs will have the chance to audition to appear on ABC’s reality show Shark Tank, providing them an opportunity to gain much needed capital for growing their businesses. Casting directors will hold an open call on Friday, August 23, in Washington, DC during the Kingonomics Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Investment Conference. The event’s organizer, Rodney Sampson, recently signed on with Shark Tank Executive Producer Mark Burnett as executive in charge of diversity and outreach at One Three Media, a joint media and production venture between Burnett and the Hearst Corporation.

Kingonomics is the title of Sampson’s book, which is an interpretation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s economic vision for jobs and financial freedom for all Americans; through his lens as a serial entrepreneur and accredited investor primarily in technology and new media. The Kingonomics Conference, done in collaboration with the SCLC Poverty Institute, will bring together experts in capital raising strategies including crowdfunding, angel investment, and venture capital. The daylong forum and Shark Tank casting call also coincides with activities on Capitol Hill surrounding the 50th Anniversary celebration of the historic March On Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Now in its fifth season, Shark Tank is a competition reality-based television series that features a panel of self-made multimillionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs/judges who consider offers from aspiring entrepreneurs seeking investment capital for their businesses or products. The Emmy Award-nominated series features investor billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks; business mogul and brand expert Daymond John, founder of FUBU clothing line; inventor and “Queen of QVC” Lori Griener; real estate mogul Barbara Corcocran; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; and, venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary.

Sampson was tapped personally by Burnett (Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice, The Voice) to spearhead his television production company’s diversity efforts. The two had worked together on the hit television miniseries The Bible; the 10-hour drama that ran on the History Channel in March 2013. Burnett and his wife Roma Downey scripted and produced the show. Sampson served on the show’s advisory board in a diversity and inclusion role to insure conversations around people of color were authentic.

Burnett sought Sampson’s assistance when he learned the ratings for the Shark Tank revealed a larger African American and female audience on Friday night at 8 pm ET.

“The challenge he said is that most of the companies that pitch are white males,” recalls Sampson. “He decided that he wanted diversity and inclusion to be intentional not just on Shark Tank or one show but all of his properties. That is what led to me becoming the first head of diversity and inclusion inside of the organization.”

Sampson is charged with identifying and attracting a more diverse pool of inventors and entrepreneurs.  “Our goal is for at least 20% of the companies that pitch on the show to be minorities.”

The Shark Tank open casting call is a great forum he says especially given that access to capital remains the most important factor limiting the launch, expansion or growth of minority-owned businesses. Moreover, less than 3% of venture capital is invested in women owned and operated enterprises; less than 1% goes to African-American run businesses.

article by Carolyn M. Brown via blackenterprise.com

Chicago’s Black Businesses Get a Bigger Slice of City Contracts

The Chicago skyline seen from a helicopter.  More black businesses have been given city contracts this year. (AP Photo Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Chicago businesses owned by African Americans got $193 million, or 21 percent, of the contracts awarded by the city for the first eight months of this year. This is an increase from the mere eight percent ($96 million) they got for the same period last year.

“Although the black contracting surge sounds too good to be true, [Chief Procurement Officer Jamie] Rhee said it’s a product of the mayor’s decision to reform the scandal-scarred minority business program, return certification and compliance to the Department of Procurement Services and ‘really get out there and aggressively talk to people’ about upcoming opportunities,” reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Continue reading “Chicago’s Black Businesses Get a Bigger Slice of City Contracts”