A young entrepreneur has launched a discount card that aims to help support black British businesses.
Khalia Ismain launched Jamii with the goal of showcasing the very best of black-owned businesses in the UK, and encouraging customers to engage with them.
It works just like a Time Out card. You sign up, buy a card for £14.95, and you get a year of discounts from a wide range of black businesses.
Khalia is passionate about supporting black-owned ventures, and she hopes Jamii will prove a vital resource for promoting widespread growth and development.
Khalia has always been politically-minded. She vividly remembers the summer of 2015 when the Black Lives Matter campaign captivated the UK.
But she was left wondering – what’s the next move for black activism? ‘I specifically remember in Oxford street there were massive protests, people were swinging off bus-stops – it was really powerful.
But I just kept thinking, when people go home – then what? We have been fighting these issues for decades, and we’re still in a similar position, the placards still look the same.
I think the problem is resources. We can’t rely on black people just being angry – there has to be something more sustainable, something that can back up these arguments.’ That’s where Jamii comes in.
Khalia believes that by championing black-owned businesses, she can help create the infrastructure for real, lasting change. ‘We need organsations and businesses that are really fighting our corner, even when we don’t have the energy or the anger to do so ourselves.
It has to be long-lasting, and more sustainable than a singular protest or movement.’ Khalia says that traditional methods of supporting black businesses don’t work. We can’t rely on people’s sense of moral obligation – there needs to be a real incentive.