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
See also: SYNOPSIS OF THE BOOK
The “Excellence and Ventures Transformation Fund” (or “EXCEL-TRANSFORM Fund”) outlined in the book is envisaged as an initiative that would, over time, grow into a large, national impact investment fund by attracting millions of people who want their investments to have a positive, transformational social impact – job creation, poverty alleviation, etc. – in addition to providing financial returns.
The discussions in the chapters clearly indicate that it is not unrealistic or far-fetched to envision investments by millions of ordinary people of modest means in the Fund. The discussions include:
- the strong culture of philanthropy and resource-pooling in the black community
- recent trends in collaborative philanthropy and self-reliant resource-pooling
- “buy black”/“bank black”, community galvanization and economic empowerment initiatives
- the large and growing number of affluent, influential and philanthropic-minded African Americans
- the earning/buying/investing power of African Americans
- trends in black entrepreneurship, investing and wealth-building
- business opportunities in underserved communities
- growth and trends in impact investing, crowdfunding, etc.
- galvanizing action by leveraging the power of the Internet and social media; etc.
Prospective investors would, of course, need to be convinced that investing in the Fund would have the desired significant impact, and would be an opportunity for them to be part of a potent transformational effort that is the 21st century extension of the civil rights movement—helping to finish the “unfinished business” of the movement.
Thus, the Fund framework discussed in the book focuses on how to overcome the barriers that evidently have hampered the creation of such an initiative to date, particularly the “trust barrier” — i.e., credibility, leadership, accountability, and innovative and effective implementation strategies — and thereby enable it to attract large numbers of investors.
The book provides information that shows that (i) the time is right for the establishment of an initiative such as the Fund and (ii) the requirements necessary to make it a reality are already in place.
… Such resource-pooling [through investments in the Fund by large numbers of people] would be driven by the same motivations that prompted ordinary people to make contributions, however small, to ensure the success of the civil rights movement. Thus, pooling resources in this manner could be viewed as a natural extension of the civil rights movement, i.e., to finish the “unfinished business” by addressing the remaining challenges, which, fundamentally, are largely economic. …
So how could such resource pooling occur? What would it look like?
Imagine the captivating and galvanizing impact that would reverberate through the black community (and even the country at large) if:
• Five to ten highly-respected, high-profile African Americans got together and convinced 1000 affluent African Americans – successful entrepreneurs, top corporate executives, entertainment, sports and other celebrities, etc. – to invest, on average, $20,000 each, thereby generating $20 million as seed capital for establishing an “impact investment fund” [footnote omitted] that could provide the “patient capital” [footnote omitted] to help foster entrepreneurship, business development, and job creation in underserved communities; and then
• The 1000+ pioneering investors in turn helped to galvanize some of the over 10 million blacks who make $25,000 or more per year [footnote omitted] to invest – that is, with the expectation of some financial return, not just give away – an average of $600 per year in the fund (i.e., $50 per month on average–individual investments could range from as low as $5 per month to hundreds of dollars per month). Even if only one-third of those 10+ million people were able to make such investments, the fund could raise at least $2 billion per year. And, even if only one-tenth, i.e., about 1 million people, were able to do so, it would result in $1.8 billion or more over three years.
The capital raised could be leveraged even further to mobilize additional billions of dollars to finance businesses that could provide needed products and services in underserved communities. This would create jobs, help people get out of poverty, foster the entrepreneurial spirit and wealth-building, and uplift and transform communities.
… But, is resource-pooling on such a large scale really feasible?
Absolutely. For several reasons: ….
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