In this article I reflect on the African Diaspora while attempting to engage the need for current and future unity and solidarity. I outline business structures and models for the reader’s review. I talk about a world that is planning for the future, i.e., a future wherein Black people seem to be purposely missing. I talk about being independent and interconnected with one another.
I have no words that can describe the feelings Black people have for one another. For to each of us belongs our thoughts, feeling, emotions and experiences. Yet, their is a nexus that binds us to one another; it was formed in the spiritual realm, and made manifest in the physical realm. It is a phenomenon that cannot be explained with words.
Yet, here in this ocean of life, the African Diaspora’s passive past and present is ready to blossom after being subdued by storm, after storm, after storm. The season for giving and sharing is at hand; it’s governance is people helping people to live better. The gentle, intelligent, rich nature of Black people need to unite in solidarity; which is key, as strive to evolve, participate and share in all the todays and tomorrows.
African Diaspora Business Model
There is the axiom, “It Takes A Village To Raise A Child,” and it applies not only to parents and children, but too entrepreneurs and businesses as well. In our advocacy for solidarity and unity, TrueWord Ministries has faith the Black people can determine and control their future.
The African Diaspora survived exclusion from mainstream socioeconomic development and opportunity for centuries. Advocacy for self-determination throughout the African Diaspora proffers the development of business models that open channels for Black people to participate in the bartering of goods and services all over the world.
For example, one business model which may facilitate an African Diaspora movement toward independence and inclusion suggest “New Beginnings,” or start up companies. In the goals and objectives, let’s start organizing global teams to foster an environment of business startup companies.
By creating global teams, as opposed to a single office, the potential for growth becomes organic. The global team concept can also lend itself to grassroots information sharing to inform selection of products, and development of services.
The concept of developing, buying and selling products internationally is not knew, Europeans have garnered tremendous wealth from decades of taking natural resources from undeveloped parts of the world, exporting them to their countries where products are manufactured and sold to the global marketplace for profits.
In doing so, they have created jobs and revenue that support their economies.
This business model is not without challenges. Language and cultural issues must be considered, but the rewards are worth it. Adopting a business model that allows new businesses to function and expand globally is sure to attract smart people, people who share the vision of solidarity, unity and economic prosperity for the African Diaspora.
They were wrong when they said the world is flat, and if we fast forward; it is equally as wrong to limit our ability to barter goods and services among ourselves in the African Diaspora. The business model being proffered here is inclusive; it incorporates the skill, talent and products of small villages, towns, cities, and nations opening channels for them to each global markets.
And, as everyday families and communities gain access to the global marketplace, their products generate revenue, which can be recycled among the people of the African Diaspora, and facilitate educational programs, housing developments, nutritional programs, sanitation programs and hygiene care.
We will need to make decisions about distribution. There are local channels that can be used to distribute, sell and market products; and, there are national and international means of distribution. Technology in the hands of the right people can open and create distribution channels that were inaccessible only a few decades ago. The key is a well thought out plan.
The planning process begins with forethought. It should take into account products and production, as well as identifying and understanding consumer trends. So that, the plan must include an understanding and description of the target market.
Selling products in a local mall, or marketplace can be challenging. Likewise, according to a CB Insights analysis of 101 failed startups, 42 percent of the businesses closed, at least partly, because there was no need in the market for their products or services. Thirteen percent cited bad timing as a reason for failure, and 17 percent pointed to a bad pivot or failure to shift at all.
Businesses, and business plans fail when they don’t understand the marketplace and it’s consumers. Business today must identify problems and create ways to solve them. One way to gain knowledge and helpful information about the marketplace is to conduct surveys and ask potential customers in the target area whether they need your products and services. Growth and discussions should be governed by data.
When used correctly, technology can be used to communicate, overcome barriers and solve problems. For example, whether using WhatsApp, Email, or Zoom; the organization must design and commit to a communication plan that can be implemented throughout the entire organization.
And each member of the team should understand the importance of communicating and sharing information, as it is a critical component of identifying problems, solving problems and staying on course for success.
Startup companies are born out of visions, research and commitment. While the day to day operation requires focus, it’s not a bad idea to be forward thinking; because a good business as room for growth.
In my last article, I talked about Multinational National Corporations (MNC). Here again I would offer some perspective relative to MNCs and startup businesses in the African Diaspora.
MNCs are in most cases large companies headquartered in one country, but with operations in several countries. One of the defining traits of a MNC, is being incorporated in one country, and doing business in several countries.
The structure or goals of a MNC vary, but can include:
- Business headquarters in each country (warehouses, factories, offices, managers, workers, accountants, attorneys)
- Importing and exporting expertise will facilitate growth. Products need to reach the marketplace. And as success meets with success; MNCs needs supplies, products and materials coming and going to meet needs of consumers and organizational needs.
- MNCs don’t have to be traded publicly, but many of corporations do go public. Publicly traded corporations make shares in their businesses available to investors. The investment money helps fund the company, and if the value of shares goes up, investors can share in the profits. Small businesses interested in becoming public corporations don’t necessarily need to become huge. Public trading only requires that the company open its shares to a public audience, and many startups greatly expand when they choose to go public.
- Because MNCs do business across borders, many MNCs develop partnerships and affiliations with other businesses, non-governmental organizations and governments. Such affiliations might include the licensing of products or chains to individuals or businesses, partnerships with governments to fulfill local initiatives and affiliations with non-governmental organizations to help raise money for charitable causes.
- Small businesses hoping to become multinational corporations generally need clear business plans as well as the capacity to expand operations, staff and business reach. That said, the internet has opened the world of multinational operations to all businesses. Some small businesses can compete in a global marketplace by selling on websites or connecting remotely to foreign locations. Internet businesses often have lower overhead, particularly if they don’t have brick-and-mortar stores.
Business Of Tomorrow
Unity, solidarity and economic prosperity for the people of the Africa Diaspora is at a critical stage. For centuries Black people around the world have been relegated to ineptitude and exclusion.
But, even so, the season to reap what has been sown is here: Luke 10:2 says, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.
God has provided the harvest, and it requires our talents, skills, and work to bring in the crops. The harvest is so ripe, it’s fruit is just falling off the trees. In a sense, all we need to do is collect the fruit; it is the fruit of sowing over the course of centuries.
Already, world systems, powers, corporations, and governments have plans to monopolize the wealth of the world for the next half century and more. For example, BRCI, which is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China (South Africa?) is strategizing on ways to generate demand for goods and services for the next 30 years.
The BRCI countries have shifted toward social and political strategies that foster economic development using the same brand of capitalism that built the United States. People and communities in BRCI countries are being organized to facilitate the production and distribution of of goods and services (roads, highways, rails, airports, hospitals, health care etc).
Brazil, Russia, India and China are working toward becoming the four most dominant economies by the year 2050. Collectively, they represent 25% of the world’s land, and 40% of the world’s population. They hold a combined GDP of $20 trillion.
And because these are among the biggest and fastest growing markets, no matter what lenses you look through, they are on the way to being the largest consumer base on the global stage.
As the BRIC Countries have changed their political systems to embrace capitalism; Goldman Sachs predicts that China and India, respectively, will become the dominant global suppliers of manufactured goods and services, while Brazil and Russia will become similarly dominant as suppliers of raw materials. More can be said about this in another article.
What is clear is the there is very little data relative to international interest in the development of Africa. Multinational Corporations are not investing in Africa, and if they are they are keeping it a secret. And so, where you have the BRCI countries that will rival the economies the United States, and Europe; plans for Africa and the African Diaspora carry the oder of marginalization, and exploitation.
The African Diaspora is ripe with wonderful stories of survival. Take Brazil for instance. Right now, today, Afro Brazilians are being excluded from Brazil’s strategy for economic development.
For example the Quilombola, who are descendants of Africans who escaped slavery and settled in Brazil, are being exploited. The government is behind the senes facilitating conflicts that are inhumane and tragic.
The land the Quilombola people have lived on for hundreds of years are not demarcated and fully recognized the Brazilian government. And, under President Bolsonaro, their land could be take away.
To fuel Brazil’s economic growth, land grabbers are killing Afro-Brazilians and taking their land. Mining and deforestation, pipelines, and railways are the priority. And rather than allow wealth to flow into the families and communities of the Quilombola, they are being forced to sell their land for a few dollars or it is taken by whatever means necessary.
And so, it is important to recognize that there are resources in the African Diaspora that can be transformed into wealth building mechanisms that can produce revenue and enhance the quality of life for Black people. If we do not own and develop these resources, European descendants will.
Whether in Africa, or Brazil the goal of Black people should revolve around helping others to live better lives. This is possible when resources are directed toward sanitation, education, proper nourishment, community development that empowers people to love and care for one another.
That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, See, this is new? It has already been in ancient times before us (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)