Black Lives Matter... unconditionally and unapologetically, Black lives do matter. The pain currently felt around the world resonates with Amoo not simply because its co-founders are Black but also because we stand for fairness, civil rights and justice. Our hearts ache whenever we listen to yet another story that illuminates the abuse we face. Disappointingly, a lot of work still needs to be done to tackle systemic racism, injustice and inequity.
Our industry is not immune to the borderless wake-up call for real tangible change. The concept for Amoo centres on opening up access to finance for businesses, as a lot of brilliant individuals, entrepreneurs, and founders are denied funding because of their background. In the last week alone, millions of pounds have been committed in the UK and US to support Black businesses and community programmes.
We are aware that systems of oppression extend beyond Blackness. Women, LGBTQ+, disabled, working class, migrant or older citizens endure unique but nonetheless exclusionary experiences on a regular basis. Limited awareness of intersectionality sometimes also forces individuals to deny an aspect of themselves in order to fit in. Some of the actions on our roadmap that we would accelerate, in furtherance of our commitment to support underrepresented businesses include:
Make ourselves available to work with philanthropists, investors, and other stewards of capital that require platforms like ours to carry out due diligence on innovative Black-owned initiatives or businesses they would like to allocate capital to. Capital providers may indicate interest here.
Allocate office hours for Black-owned businesses that would like to better understand the fundraising process and how they can better improve their chances of securing external funding. Business owners may sign up here.
Initiate the process to register our company Amoo, as a B-Corp before the end of 2020.
We are weary in this marathon but in the words of Audre Lorde, “When times are hard, do something. If it works, do it some more. If it does not work, do something else. But keep going.”