Money makes the world go around. In most cases, it’s also the root of all evil. To generate an income, you have to harness your talents and skills to develop a business, or perhaps get a job and climb the career ladder. For some, they often rely on limited resources to feed their families especially in an uncertain economy that has left many British, black British, feeling unstable and at a disadvantage.
My grandma was an entrepreneur. She ran a food business that sent her four kids, my mum included, to school, college, and universities before retiring. She didn’t further her education to a higher level, yet utilise her skills to gain independence and avoid the stereotypes of being a housewife. And this is exactly my feelings towards those women you see hustling in Peckham, Upton Park beckoning you to their hair salons, food stations and much more. They are the women with zeal to keep their head afloat and be the driving force for their children’s success. They are the real hustlers.
We tend to put black businesses on pedestals, expecting the de creme de la creme services
Despite the negatives shown in Africa to the world, black businesses have been thriving for years. Minus the growing threat of Asia countries trying to swoop in to take over in Africa. But this topic is for another post. In comparison to other communities of colour in the UK; The Asians and Latinos, it’s evident that our numbers in business ownership are much lower. It’s upsetting that we, myself included, give money towards businesses that aren’t inclusive of us, putting us as their after-thought in their final decision making. Sometimes, these business offers lacklustre customer service and professionalism yet excuses for the lack of support given to black business revolve around lack of professionalism and customer service.
We tend to put black businesses on pedestals, expecting the de creme de la creme services which in turn exposes our internalised mantra of working twice as hard to get half of what they have. When not met the highest standards, they are bashed for it and get boycotting without given second chances as we do to other businesses. I’m not excusing some black businesses behaviours as I believe they need to improve their commercial awareness and customer service but not supporting them based on those attributes isn’t a good enough excuse.
Supporting black businesses doesn’t only come in financial investment but by other means; word of mouth, sharing on social media, Perhaps, gently informing the aunty of ways to get their business to future customers. I try my best to always talk about black business I stumble across on social media, informing my friends of new hair vendors that are black-owned, eateries and much more. We are in control of two things; our money and influence. It’s time we start using our skills to circulate the pound sign within the black community, creating a domino effect that can change people’s standard of living which will, in turn, place future generations in higher societal places. The domino effect that has been falling can be disrupted and change the course of the future.
Karen Millen Top | Warehouse Trousers | Primark Heels