CJ Lloyd Webley
The project Founder and CEO, CJ Lloyd Webley a young playwright and Theatre-maker from Birmingham said his inspiration for the project came after witnessing over 5000 people in the Birmingham City Centre shouting Black lives matter.
He has founded THE BLACK POUNDS PROJECT, which through its own fundraising, aims to be the conduit needed within the community to help black business owners access business and financial support.
He said: “Statistics indicate that black businesses are less likely to be approved for commercial loans. Thus, the working capital options which other businesses have readily available to them are not equally accessible for black businesses. In the current economy, this makes survival, let alone success a lot harder. We must act now so we can dismantle the systems which are preventing black businesses from operating in a fair economy”
Black Lives Matter is not a statement that resonates with me as it should anymore. It seems to have become an emblem that many of us wear on our t-shirts or shout about when it suits us and then go about our daily lives.
I’m absolutely outraged by not only what I witnessed with George Floyd, but also the fact that there seems to be some sort of let’s continue as normal rhetoric as though these things aren’t still happening.
For the rest of my time on this planet I will fight for justice. The issues the black community face are very specific and need to be targeted in a very measured, calculated and specific way. It will take time.
This requires accountability, which means we must also being willing to align ourselves with those who are ready and available to support us.”
The most important thing for us at The Black Pounds Project is to make it possible for black business owners, however small, to access the business and financial help that will help them to kick start their business. We want to breakdown barriers, build up trust and confidence and work alongside them every step of the way at this unprecedented time.
Since the initial Black Pounds Project fundraising page went live in June, CJ has dedicated his time to develop the project further so that black businesses can not only apply for available funding but, if successful, will receive access to professional business mentors across a range of sectors who will provide quality advice including:-
- Professional development, coaching and mentorship
- Funds to help with set up costs, business and digital strategies
- Signpost black owned SME’s to local business networks
- Training to support businesses in becoming legally and regulatory compliant across all areas
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