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Seke Ballard is the founder of Fantastic Tree Capital, a firm that lends funds to modest cannabis organizations.
Ballard’s interest in cannabis was sparked for the duration of the summer time of 2015, when churches have been getting burned across the South and a young white man walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and murdered nine individuals, all of whom have been black. He says it felt like Jim Crow was back.
Ballard lives in Chicago, but half of his loved ones is from Charleston, so his dad recruited him for a road trip to spend respects to the victims. Throughout the 10-hour automobile trip, a query animated the drive: Exactly where had his dad’s generation gone incorrect?
“His response to that query was that he felt like securing the financial foundation of the African-American neighborhood was the unfinished business enterprise of the civil rights movement,” Ballard says. “His belief was that as a individuals it wasn’t sensible that they couldn’t sustain social and political advances unless these advances are constructed on firm financial footing.”
His dad ran into lots of of the barriers black and marginalized individuals continue to run into nowadays. When he applied for 13 modest business enterprise loans to expand his pulpwood logging corporation, he was rejected by just about every bank for just about every loan.
“His hypothesis was that it had nothing at all to do with the merit of his business enterprise but rather with the colour of his skin. Turns out he was specifically ideal,” Ballard says, referring to research locating individuals of color are frequently discriminated against when looking for modest business enterprise loans.
In August, Ballard and…
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