First place to end poverty is in your own mindset. If you believe that you are supposed to live in an unending state of poverty and hopelessness, then that is exactly where you will continue to find yourself. It is, therefore, refreshing to witness President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Commerce place a major national priority on increasing the development and economic sustainability of Black American-owned businesses. In particular, there has been a steady increase in younger African American entrepreneurs taking the lead in new business development across United States.
power is ordained and limited only for the sons and daughters of former slave masters who are entitled to wealth based on their historical inheritance of privilege and power over the flow of money. Too many people in our communities do not believe that they can achieve financial success and wealth. That is a sad and inaccurate understanding of the opportunities at hand today. 2011- 2012 ought to be the year of focus on building and expanding Black-owned businesses and constructing a more secure economic foundation and sustainability for the expansion of wealth-building in the African American community.
U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and U.S. Census Bureau released new data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners showing “that the number of African American-owned firms in the United States increased by 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007 to 1.9 million firms. African American-owned businesses also drove job creation over the five-year period, with employment growing 22 percent, exceeding that of non-minority-owned businesses.” Keep in mind that this Black American business growth was also during the severe economic crisis in the United States. Today Black-owned businesses are helping to provide more new jobs and income into Black America than ever before.
According to the MBDA, “While minority-owned firms are experiencing substantial growth, African American-owned businesses still only represent 7 percent of all classifiable firms but 12 percent of the adult population. MBDA works to promote the growth and global competitiveness of minority businesses, so they are better equipped to create jobs, boost their local economies, and compete in the global marketplace.” Here is where we definitely agree with Hinson and the MBDA. Connecting Black-owned businesses in the United States to the global marketplace is critical and essential going forward. Million-dollar businesses in our communities have an opportunity to become billion-dollar businesses with the right networking by building global business relationships and joint ventures. In other words, we have to expand our vision and mission. Ending the poverty in the African American community will not happen overnight. Building more wealth in our communities will also not be done overnight. There are not going to be quick easy fixes to our financial status. But, there are real solutions to our problems.
The point here is that as we build more successful businesses that serve the economic interests of Black people, we will be stronger to remove poverty from both out mindset and our socioeconomic condition. For those who are doing better today financially and for those who will do better in the future, please do not forget about reaching back to provide more economic development opportunities for more of our sisters and brothers who really want a better quality of life. The more we acquire or have, the more we should give back and lend a helping hand.