Asos Goes Urban With LaQuan Smith Collaboration

Asos Goes Urban With LaQuan Smith Collaboration

By CultureBanx Team

  • ASOS x LaQuan Smith collection comes out in October

  • Only 1% of fashion designers sold at major U.S. department stores are black

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Queen’s based designer LaQuan Smith is bringing his celebrity threads to millions of people. The brilliant fashion mind is partnering with British online retailer Asos (ASC -0.97%), as they try to reinvigorate their sales growth. 

Why This Matters: From Rihanna, to Beyonce and even Cardi B, Smith has played a prominent role in their fashion choices. Asos is making a concerted effort to seek out black designers who continue to be at the forefront of the industry, with its twentysomethings fashion demographic. This audience sits right in Smith’s design sweet spot.

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Pandora Continues to Feed its Talent Pipeline in Atlanta

Pandora Continues to Feed its Talent Pipeline in Atlanta

By Adedamola Agboola

  • Pandora will beat its 250-person target in Atlanta before the end of 2018

  • A family of 4 in San Francisco earning $117,400 or less qualifies as low income

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Pandora (P -1.01%) announced plans earlier in the year to make Atlanta its second home. Less than six months into the plan, CEO Roger Lynch said his company’s Atlanta-based positions are being filled faster than he had expected. He now predicts Pandora will beat the 250-person target before the end of the year.

Why This Matters: The music streaming service has followed in the footsteps of firms like Global Payments, First Data, McKesson, Ionic and NexDefense. All of these companies have moved to Atlanta in search of young, diverse talent. Over the past couple of years, the city has emerged as a technology hub on the East Coast. Atlanta was ranked third in 2017 by Forbes as one of America’s next “tech meccas.”

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Black Capitalism: The Original Impact Investing

Black Capitalism: The Original Impact Investing

By CultureBanx Team

  • Impact investing will grow to more than $300 billion by 2020

  • Global economic stability needs to address access to capital inequities

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In the past couple of years, lots of capital has poured into social impact businesses, taking a pages out of the original black investors playbook. With impact investing on the rise are we likely to see the rise of more black venture capitalists as the old becomes new again?

Why This Matters: Traditionally VC’s haven’t focused in impact investing, which is a subset of socially responsible investing. McKinsey forecasts impact investing to grow to more than $300 billion by 2020. Social impact companies need investors ready to put capital into more than just benchmarks on a spreadsheet. This is something Edward Dugger, one of the pioneer investors in black founders knows all too well.

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JPay is Playing Monopoly With Prisoners Money

JPay is Playing Monopoly With Prisoners Money

By Lamar Johnson

  • JPay is the sole communications contractor for prisons in 20 states

  • Inmates make an average of $0.14 - $0.63 an hour

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Originally created to expedite the process at which family members can send money to prisoners, JPay has been increasing its hold on the e-messaging market, at the expense of the incarcerated. While charging rates that seem subjective and are likely to rise without warning, the software company has made a killing over charging inmates. They squeeze money for everything from tablets to music to email, while helping limit other forms of communication in and out of prisons.

Why This Matters: Owned by parent company Secarus, JPay is currently the sole communications contractor for prisons in 20 states. For many families of the incarcerated, it’s is the only way to communicate with their loved ones.

The company has pushed to have “free tablets” for prisoners in Colorado, Missouri, New York and Florida, marketed as ways for prisoners to connect with the outside world. However, the change of tablet provider erased an estimated $11.2 million of music purchased by prisoners in Florida with no way of recovery, according to Rolling Stone.

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Blockchain and the Future of Agriculture

Blockchain and the Future of Agriculture

By ICO Alert

  • Agriculture is a multi-trillion dollar industry

  • Blockchain can play a vital role in the optimization of farming practices

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Agriculture has grown into a multi-trillion dollar industry. However, there are many challenges currently facing the sector and food security remains a global issue. How big could the impact of blockchain become in overcoming the mounting problems and shape the future of agriculture?

Why This Matters: With current issues like food shortages, food security, and climate change, blockchain can play a vital role in the optimization of farming practices and also create new potential market opportunities. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted every year.

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Changing the Game: Mimconnect Makes Media Job Hunting Easier

Changing the Game: Mimconnect Makes Media Job Hunting Easier

By CultureBanx Team

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Co-Founders Netta Dobbins and Bianca Jeanty often found themselves as the only people in PR that didn’t have a network catered to them. They decided to fix this by launching Mimconnect, short for Minorities in Media connect.  It’s an HR social networking platform for media professionals that’s community first. There are some companies geared towards job placement and minorities, none of them are concentrated on this sector. “We focus on people first, we’re not company first like LinkedIn,” said Dobbins. They’ve landed big big clients looking to have a larger stake in this community, including Getty Images and Translation. In addition to helping mid-level and senior-level media people find new gigs, they’re also focused on community building and educational resources. “Black and brown people in the industry are very competitive and possess great power when we reach back and pull each other up.” The company has been steadily growing over the past two years and has thousands of users across the country.

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Allianz Commits to Funding African Infrastructure

Allianz Commits to Funding African Infrastructure

By CultureBanx Team

  • Allianz is investing $120M in the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

  • Only 35% of people have access to electricity

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Allianz announced it’s funding infrastructure projects in Africa by investing in the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) to the tune of nearly $120 million. Could this encourage other major financial institutions to look more closely at investing in what are generally considered risky African projects?

Why This Matters: Africa has become more attractive for investors as the continent offers long-term growth opportunities. Some of those factors include positive demographic trends, a growing middle-class and increased urbanization. The European firm is going to make this investment over a 12 year period. “We believe in Africa’s growth potential and will invest across different asset classes across the continent,” said Sebastian Schroff, global head of private debt at Allianz.

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