The Black Card Talks: Black Business Builds Us

Written by on 20/10/2020

Black Business Build Us.

It’s Black History Month and if you don’t know we have been running a campaign entitled “Know Your Past, Shape Our Future”. On last week’s show we had the pleasure of hosting Khalia Ismain the founder of Jamii talking about the need for Black Business and the need for us to support them. What is Jamii you ask? Jamii are a discount card and discovery platform, making it easy for you to find and shop at the best of independent black-owned businesses in the UK. They launched in August 2016 and we’re on a mission to make shopping at black-owned brands as seamless and instinctive as any other. Their website is

But back to the blog, how does Black Business Build Us, here is a short story… 

In 1990 Uncle Ade set up a shop in Tottenham because he and his wife were tired of travelling to Brixton to buy rice, yam, plantain and scotch bonnets to cook, and travelling to Peckham to buy cosmetics such as cocoa butter and Expression hair extensions for his daughter’s braids. 

By 2000 Uncle Ade’s shop became the go to store in the community of Tottenham for all things “from back home” that you couldn’t find easily in mainstream stores. People were now travelling to his store for these items. Naturally more local shops selling such products began to pop up in areas of demand. 

By 2005 Uncle Ade had supported many others, set up their own local store and had plans to expand his store to other locations. He wanted to ensure that across the board store owners were getting fair rates for the products they were buying, so he began working on moving up the supply chain to start providing products to these local stores. 

In 2008 Sainsbury’s introduced a “world food aisle” selling the likes of Tropical Sun, KTC, and generally a lot of the stock Uncle Ade sold with some alternatives. Soon enough people stopped making the additional stop at Uncle Ade’s store and started buying everything from these mainstream stores.

Uncle Ade’s store began to lack, as such he stocked up less and whilst rollback deals were possible at mainstream shops they weren’t in his store. Customers became critical of his prices and their customer experience at Uncle Ade’s so they stopped visiting his store. Not knowing Uncle Ade was tired of not being able to compete. 

Needless to stay Uncle Ade never pursued his franchise model, neither did he move up the supply chain. In fact the less stock he ordered the more expensive it became. Today he is still on the coal face of the day to day sale, in a shop that only those who know him in the community still support him. Meanwhile world food aisles continue to grow.  

This is why Black people show buy from Black Owned Businesses. 

Because it is fundamental to community economics. 

Because our white counterparts are far more unlikely to require items from these stores. 

Because these businesses are far less likely to secure foreign investments. 

Because there are many more factors to consider than the price and the customer service.

Buying Black increases Black spending power.It means we can expand Black Businesses. Hire Black Staff. Move up the supply chain and sell at better rates to Black store owners. It means we are in production rather than on the coal face of the sale. 

So the moral of the story is simple, Black Business Builds Us. We need to support our own communities, especially in these tumultuous times. Making small changes in and amongst the noise can change the game for those coming after us. 

So the question we have for you is where is your #BlackPoundDay receipt? 

This momentum must birth a movement!  Black Pound Day should be EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. And it is on us as the consumer and the suppliers to make this a lifestyle. 

So from The Black Card Talks we are here to help with that. By using the code “Ola” you can receive 15% of your Jamii card. Additionally if you are a business and would like to be featured on the Jamii platform get in touch with us on

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