We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Weaver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrew, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
The very foundation of BLVCK$FUND is social impact. After George Floyd’s murder, I realized Black people need an economic vehicle that’s solely focused on our needs without incorporating the government, politics, non-profits or greed.
Black people deserve an economic ecosystem solely designed to invest in our future. Growing up poor, I quickly realized that no one was coming back to the community to lift it unless it was gentrification whereas the investors stood to gain drastically more than any of its the inhabitants. So, I set out on a mission to change this reality once and for all.
BLVCK$FUND is a membership based business that invests membership fees to create opportunities and building wealth for Black Communities. Finally, we have a system specifically designed for economic justice for just us! The amazing part is that people of all ethnic and economic backgrounds are becoming members because they know the promise of BLVCK$FUND benefits us all. Poverty in Black Communities must end create a better world for us all!
For example: Our memberships are, as low as, $3 per month to $25 per month. The Black population is over 42 million. If 10% of Black America (roughly 4.2 million) joined at a mean of $13 per month, we’d raise over $54M per month to invest ONLY in Black people and their Communities. This would drastically shift the narrative for Black America and put us well on our way to bridging the wealth gap. It’s long overdue.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
BLVCK$FUND is a labor of love. It’s where my passions meet my purpose. Previously, I was an entrepreneur purely seeking funding and ran into many obstacles which is par for the course. I thought the denials were due to my pitch deck, my business plan, my energy in the room, the normal reasons for being turned down by investors, but I realized one thing remained the same in every pitch…the investors loved my business and had a lot of great questions. Every one of them thought it was a multi-billion dollar business (their words, not mine) and would be successful, but only one of them was brave enough to tell me the unfiltered truth.
This investor was the most powerful VC I met because he was not just a partner, he was the owner. He was highly respectful and kind spirited. We had lunch together and he heard my pitch and instantly loved it. We continued eating and discussing my plans for the business in the near future and possible exit strategies. It appeared I had aced this meeting. He had nothing but glowing things to say about me and my business. The conversation lasted over an hour and I was sure he was going to invest and then he sprung it on me…
“I love your idea and think it will be highly successful. I really don’t have any advice for you since it seems like you’re on the right track. You should finish developing your app and get some metrics and keep in touch.” This was wonderful news since no one had given me this much information. So I responded, “This is awesome! What metrics would you need to see to invest in my business?” He responded that he wouldn’t be able to invest. I asked, “Why?” His reply echoes in my head like it was just moments ago. He said, “My investors believe in “social impact”, but let’s be honest they are in the business of investing to make money.” I replied, “Exactly, and this is a multi-billion dollar business. You said so yourself.” He said, “Yes, but…how can I say this? My investors are mostly white men and it’s hard for me to get investments in the social impact industry for companies that focus on helping poor black people in developing countries let alone in America. They won’t invest in Black Entrepreneurs.”
This revelation was painful, yet highly helpful in motivating me to do research on how many Black Entrepreneurs received VC funding in 2019. The answer was shockingly less than 1%. So, this racism the VC investor spoke about was statistically true. I immediately started developing what is now called BLVCK$FUND, LLC. We take membership fees and invest solely into Black people and their communities. No more being turned down by people who have a conscious effort to keep poverty a reality for Black people and their Communities.
Today, we’re 28 members strong and look forward to a successful 2021. Our initial goal is to raise $42 million to invest in Black America. We have a long, tough road ahead of us, but we’re motivated to make this a reality for Black Communities despite the obstacles that lie ahead.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m originally from Indiana, but have lived in Los Angeles since 1993. Every one who visits expects to go to the beach, Hollywood, Universal Studios and Disneyland. The most interesting place I visited was Sequoia National Park. It was a fun family getaway.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate the lion share of my success to my Lillie Weaver (mother) and Irene Hardy (sister). They exhibited love and compassion in every aspect of my life. I would not be the person I am today without their love and support.
Other: Clubhouse: @aeweaver70 TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@blvck_dollar_fund