Folks can no longer depend on working at a job for 30 years, and then retiring with a phat nest egg/benefits. Those days are over...if Enron taught us anything . Now, you best have 2-3 side gigs/skills to keep yourself employed. For folks of color, especially black women, we definitely need to stay on our grind. The saying “last hired and first fired,” hasn’t been a staple in our community for nothing. Starting our own businesses/side gigs is a good way to stay afloat.
According to the article “Black Women Branch Out As Owners,” between 1997 and 2002, the last year statistics were available, black female-owned businesses grew 70 percent.
I stay doing something. Whether I’m blogging, organizing my zine workshops, volunteering, etc., I keep myself occupied. When you do lots of “stuff” money eventually flows in from somewhere. I only work part-time (the other time in school). It’s been difficult finding even another part-time job. My state’s unemployment rate is still high. Of course, black folks unemployment doubles that of white folks. Imagine how hard it is for folks (regardless of color) who live in rural areas. Jobs are scarce. It’s a shame the long-term unemployed are suffering so.
I have also been developing my grant writing skills. I encourage folks to take a grant writing workshop (small fee at a community college/sometimes free at a local library). It’s good way to find funds. For those of you who are change agents, I really like the grant “The Pollination Project: Seed Projects That Change The World.” It’s a cool grant because it support folks who want to make a difference in their community. Creating community projects can be a good way to combat depression/sense of hopelessness when one is under/unemployed.
Black women are natural doers. We have always had to work. If you’ve seen “12 Years a Slave,” you know Patsy wasn’t chilling. We can use our everyday life skills (braiding hair, cooking, organizing, etc) to help us financially/create businesses.
“There’s an entrepreneurial spirit in the black community,” said Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, a San Francisco think tank, and author of a 2004 report on African-American women and entrepreneurship. “The opportunities are [in entrepreneurial enterprises] for women who want to combine work and family.” http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2005-07-24/business/0507220743_1_black-women-women-entrepreneurs-businesses
If ya need support, check out the Small Business Administration website
or these blog articles:
other grant ideas: