What is Cashblack?
Cashblack is a platform that rewards members with cashback when they shop online with Black-owned businesses. Users register with us, browse for products and services from Black-owned retailers, and when they make a purchase, they receive cashback from the affiliate commissions we receive. They can withdraw the cashback for themselves or donate it to one of our affiliated goodwill causes where we match the donations.
Founded in 2020, the need for financial and socio-economic empowerment within the Black community was never more apparent - both globally and in the United Kingdom. Cashblack aims to benefit both the Black community and society as a whole by decreasing the racial wealth gap through the promotion of Black-owned businesses and the provision of funds back to consumers of these businesses through cashback.
How did Cashblack Start?
Cashblack was founded by Matthew, Jonathan, and Nicholas Addai – three brothers from St. Albans Hertfordshire who came up with the idea around their mother’s dining table in 2020. During that summer’s global anti-racism movement, it became clear to the wider population that there was a direct correlation between socioeconomic issues faced by Black people throughout the world and the lack of support for Black-owned businesses. We felt that a way to address these issues would be to incentivize patronage in Black-owned businesses and have the Black-owned businesses reinvest back into consumers.
“How about a cashback website?” we thought.
“A cashback website for Black-owned businesses.”
“Why don’t we call it – ‘Cashblack’?”
And what started off as a play on words is now our platform for supporting your support of Black-owned businesses.
Why is it Important to Support Black-Owned Businesses?
Socio-economic issues and the lack of support for Black-owned businesses are directly correlated. Many issues that impact the Black community and, thus, society as a whole, stem from socio-economic issues. We believe that many of these social and economic issues can be overcome through the support of such enterprises.
Supporting Black-owned businesses has the potential to change the perception of Black people in professional settings, which can lead to more opportunities for both board seats and executive roles at major organizations. Additionally, the 27% of the Black population in the UK that had only thought about starting a business without pursuing it any further would be encouraged with more trailblazers in their demographic to inspire them.
“White males make up 62% of boards and occupy 83.8% of executive directorship while male BAMEs 6% and female BAMEs 3.8%.” (The DiversityQ FTSE 100 Board Diversity Report, 2020)
“Over a 16-year period, nearly 30% of the UK Black population had thought about setting up or operating a business venture, nearly twice the level of the non-ethnic population. However, only 3% had actually gone ahead with their plans.” (Federation Small Businesses, 2020)
Although it may not be feasible to stop racial profiling and potential harassment from law enforcement by business support alone, the support of Black-owned businesses can provide legitimate opportunities for start-up founders who may have otherwise used their entrepreneurial acumen on illegal enterprising activities. Additionally, job opportunities for potential candidates who may have otherwise found difficulty in securing employment due to their personal circumstances would be improved as would the decline in re-offender rates with stable and fulfilling employment.
“Black people are over 3 times as likely to be arrested as white people. In 2019, there were 32 arrests for every 1,000 Black people, and 10 arrests for every 1,000 White people.” (ONS, 2020)
“While Black people account for just 3% of the UK population, they make up 12% of people in prison.” (The Lammy Review, 2018)
Although it’s unrealistic to put a complete end to the social problem of racial abuse, the increased visibility of Black-owned businesses and participation of patronage of these establishments can aid in the strengthening of society, breaking down of social barriers and help to integrate communities more than otherwise.
“95% of young Black people have witnessed racist language at school.” (YMCA, 2020)
“70% of ethnic minority workers said that they have experienced racial harassment at work in the last five years and around 60% said that they had been subjected to unfair treatment by their employer because of their race.” (Trade Union Congress, 2019)
Racial Wealth Gap
The support of Black-owned businesses creates further opportunities for the Black community to increase their quality of life. This can be achieved through an increase in income to lessen the current inequality in earnings and the wealth disparity relative to other ethnic groups. Additionally, as much of this wealth in other communities is mostly made up of housing and private pensions, the creation of generational wealth can be encouraged with the aim of providing a better life for future generations.
“Black, Asian and ethnic minority employees are losing out on £3.2bn a year in wages compared to white colleagues doing the same work.” (The Resolution Foundation, 2018)
“The median Black Caribbean and Black African households were worth £89,000 and £24,000 respectively in the middle of the past decade compared to £282,000 for a white British household, and £266,000 for an Indian household, mostly made up of housing and private pensions. Black African and Bangladeshi households had the lowest of just £24,000 and £22,000, respectively.” (ONS, 2020)
It’s a fair summation that “more support for Black-owned businesses means less Black unemployment” due to the obvious increase in opportunities available for both future business owners and future employees.
“In the UK, 8% of Black people are unemployed – the highest rate of all ethnic groups – twice that of white people at 4%.” (ONS, 2021)
“Black, Asian and ethnic minority university graduates are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than their white peers. Research shows that although the overall unemployment rate for white graduates is 2.3%, this rises to 5.9% for BAME graduates.” (Trade Union Congress, 2016)
With increased visibility of Black-owned businesses, it is likely that assumed creditworthiness of these businesses will increase thus helping businesses that would otherwise have found loans harder to come by.
Particularly with the uncertainty of Brexit and the associated issues with exporting, it is likely that Black business owners will have to become more innovative and creative in their operations to ensure that they are not impacted too harshly by an increase in export costs and may seek to increase domestic activity which, in turn, affects the UK economy.
“Even when Black-owned businesses had an overdraft, the interest rate was 2.12 percentage points higher than for White-owned businesses, and that Black-owned businesses were 14.4 per cent more likely to be rejected for a long-term loan.” (Warwick Business School, 2012)
“Ethnic minority business owners were more likely to export than non EMB owners in every region.” (FSB, 2020)
We believe that Cashblack satisfies the demands of our target audience: People want “cash” – as evidenced by the economic effects of the post-pandemic global recession, a rise in unemployment and an increased interest in trading and investing among the masses. People want to support the “Black” community – as evidenced by the global anti-racism protests, social justice initiatives from major corporations, and increased efforts from governments to end racism. More than just in the name, we believe the proposition of “Cashblack” goes far and beyond fulfilling both of these needs and will make every attempt to do so.
We believe that Cashblack satisfies the demands of our target audience:
People want “cash” – as evidenced by the economic effects of the post-pandemic global recession, a rise in unemployment and an increased interest in trading and investing among the masses.
People want to support the “Black” community – as evidenced by the global anti-racism protests, social justice initiatives from major corporations, and increased efforts from governments to end racism.
More than just in the name, we believe the proposition of “Cashblack” goes far and beyond fulfilling both of these needs and will make every attempt to do so.