Welcome to the website for
POOLING OUR RESOURCES TO FOSTER BLACK PROGRESS
AN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND IMPACT INVESTING FRAMEWORK
By Michael J. Isimbabi, Ph.D.
Published by Universal Progress Media
ISBN: 978-1-937143-26-8 January 2014
In August 2013, the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the substantial progress that has been made since 1963 toward achieving racial equality. However, there was also general acknowledgement that there remains “unfinished business,” as President Obama noted, particularly in relation to economic opportunity, persistent racial disparities in unemployment, poverty, wealth, income, etc., and the dire circumstances in so-called “distressed” or “underserved” communities.
For decades, the need to “pool our resources” to foster more rapid economic progress through self-reliance has been a common refrain in the black community. While such resource-pooling has happened on small scales in communities to support countless causes and address numerous issues, it has yet to materialize on a large, national scale that could have the truly transformational economic impact that is usually envisioned.
Nonetheless, the concept remains appealing, especially in light of the futility of waiting for the government to address unemployment, poverty, and social ills in poor communities. There is clearly great potential with respect to the powerful nexus among: black earning/buying/investing power, philanthropy and resource-pooling, buying/banking black, entrepreneurship, business development, job creation, wealth-building, and economic and social progress. A potent, large-scale resource-pooling vehicle with a comprehensive framework that is able to harness this potential, especially with the galvanizing power of online and social media, can have immense impact.
This book provides information and insights on recent developments and trends that indicate: (i) the time is right for the establishment of such an initiative, in the form of a national impact investment fund, and (ii) the requirements necessary to make it a reality are already in place. It discusses the key issues and challenges as well as recent philanthropic, economic empowerment, and entrepreneurship-based initiatives to pool resources on large scales.
Thus, the topics covered and information presented in the book provide an integrative framework for establishing the impact fund–the “Excellence and Ventures Transformation Fund” (or “EXCEL-TRANSFORM Fund”). The Fund would provide direly-needed patient and flexible capital to for-profit businesses and nonprofits that primarily serve distressed communities, especially in critical areas such as education, health, housing, finance, energy, retail, etc.
While the Fund would provide financial returns to investors, it would also provide them with social returns (presumably a more important consideration for most philanthropic or “impact” investors) by uplifting the communities through job creation, job training, workforce development, educational achievement, entrepreneurship development, poverty reduction, wealth-building, etc.
The Fund would thereby help to facilitate greater self-determination and self-empowerment in the communities with respect to education, employment, the entrepreneurial spirit, strong and stable family structures, community prosperity and stability, eradication of dysfunctional and destructive behaviors, etc.
The Fund framework includes a specific focus on how to overcome the barriers that evidently have hampered the creation of such an initiative to date, particularly the “trust barrier”—credibility, leadership, accountability, and innovative and effective implementation strategies.
The book discusses recent developments and trends that indicate that the black community’s financial, intellectual and other resources (which are considerable), strong motivation, energy, networks, visionaries, business and social entrepreneurs, and innovators can be potently harnessed and leveraged to ensure that the Fund has transformational impact, thereby helping to finish the “unfinished business” of the civil rights movement.
The developments and trends include:
– the strong culture of philanthropy and resource-pooling in the black community
– the increasingly potent power of the Internet, social media, and other new technologies—for harnessing resources and galvanizing action
– the large and growing population of affluent, influential and philanthropic-minded African Americans
– growth and trends in black entrepreneurship
– recently established self-reliance-driven “community galvanization,” “buy black”/“bank black”, and other economic empowerment initiatives
– strong evidence of profitable business opportunities in underserved communities that also uplift the communities
– the growing earning/buying/investing power of African Americans
– the impetus among African Americans toward increased investing and wealth-building
– growth and trends in impact investing; etc.
The book integrates all of this information to provide a credible framework for addressing a fundamental challenge: engendering enough trust and confidence to enable the galvanization of millions of African Americans to invest in a Fund that can have a sustained transformational impact.
It is hoped that the book will spur (a) constructive discourse on innovative strategies for self-reliant resource-pooling and (b) the establishment of an initiative such as the Fund.
The next step is the preparation of a business plan that provides the requisite detailed information along the lines of the Fund framework discussed in the book–check back for updates on this website.
If you are interested in writing a review of the book, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy.
CONTENTS OF THE BOOK
I. The Futility of Waiting for the
Government…and the Imperative for
Pooling Resources on a Large National
II. African American Philanthropy and
Resource Pooling: A Long History and
Strong Tradition and Culture
III. African American “Affluents” and
Collective Black Philanthropy
IV. Recent Initiatives and Trends in
Collaborative Black Philanthropy
V. Resource-Pooling Initiatives Focused
on Entrepreneurship, Business,
Economic Empowerment and Job
VI. A Framework for a National,
Impact Investment Fund
VII. Cause for Optimism