AAPDEP: One Step Closer to Self-Sustainability

Arlington, VA: Leading members of The All African People’s Development & Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) and Black Star Industries (BSI) attended the National Association of Resale Trade Professionals Conference at the Ritz Carlton in Arlington, VA, from June 27-June 30, 2014.  
It was necessary to participate in this conference in order to gain access to information that will be helpful as AAPDEP makes moves to open a consignment store in Huntsville, Alabama in early 2015. 
Jacqueline Morgan, Economic development coordinator for AAPDEP Huntsville, Dr. Aisha Fields, AAPDEP International Director, Yejide Orunmila, AAPDEP Information and Education Director and Ona Zene Yeshitela, Deputy Chair of APSP-USA and Director of Black Star Industries—the organization that runs the African People’s Socialist Party’s economic institutions like, Uhuru Foods and Pies, Uhuru Furniture Stores, Tyron Lewis Community Gym and so on—were in attendance.
Why open a consignment shop?
AAPDEP has struggled to sustain our work through donations and membership dues, over the past seven years
We realized that, while these resources have allowed us to build many significant projects, in order for us to function at full capacity, we need a strategy to address the question of economic development that would sustain AAPDEP’s long term self-sufficiency. 
AAPDEP's consignment store will serve multiple purposes. It will be the National headquarters, where people can come in everyday to make donations and see who their donations benefit. 
AAPDEP’s consignment store will allow us to put our perspective out in the world and showcase AAPDEP like never before by winning people to our mission and vision and by cultivating our donor base as a major funding source for AAPDEP international. 
The conference helped us to get a sense of the successes and pitfalls of the resale business. We were able to network with longtime veterans who have opened consignment stores to fund their not-for-profit work. 
What we learned is that we are right on track with our marketing ideas. Nonetheless, we have to dig deeper to develop a standard approach to our business.
This is important because what we are doing is in the interest of Africa and African working class people and we must ensure that our practices follow the African Socialist Internationalist business model and not some capitalist model of doing business, instead.
The topics of the session we attended spanned the areas of social media marketing, branding, window design, non-profit management, economic development, getting started, employee training and manuals, all of which were helpful in the development of our business plan.
We also gained access to a major supplies source, which could be integral to the start of our new business venture. 
Next steps
AAPDEP and the Office of the Deputy Chair will be hard at work developing our business plan and startup funding strategy, in the next few weeks. We call on all of our supporters to help make this goal a reality with donations.
AAPDEP will announce the winning entry of the “Name It” contest and unveil the logo, tagline and mission and vision statement on August 9, 2014. 
Stay tuned for all of these exciting developments.
Be sure to Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and request to be added to our email list.
Do for self!
Build our own institutions!
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