In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, our Homeland Security Agency launched a campaign to raise public awareness of indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime. The slogan that was used to help raise the awareness was "If You See Something, Say Something."
The Growth of Black Entrepreneurs
We can use a similar emphasis on sharing the news about Black-owned businesses. In the aftermath of the 2008 economic recession, there has been an increased focus on Black entrepreneurs. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black self-employment has been on the rise. The number of self-employed blacks grew by 5.7 percent from 2007 through 2009, in contrast to the 3.4 decrease experienced by self-employed whites. Successful Black entrepreneurs are the foundation of any hopes for increased Black economic empowerment.
Raising the Awareness of Black-owned Businesses
I was recently visiting Chicago and discovered a unique Black-owned business with a great product line derived from natural urban honey.
Sweet Beginnings LLC, is an urban business run by ex-felons. In addition to offering great products, this enterprise provides a second chance and employment for those who have the greatest challenges in this economy. We need to launch our on viral word of mouth campaign to spread the news about great success stories like this.
Leveraging Social Media to Spread the News
At iZania, we have been leading the effort to promote Black-owned Businesses through our iZania Black Business Network Facebook page, and our iZania Twitter Feed. Follow us to learn about new Black-owned businesses.
The businesses below have been highlighted in our most recent newsletter:
- Beelove -- all natural, spa inspired skin care and urban honey.
- Around The Way App -- Find the nearest Black-owned businesses with your smart phone.
- BlackStartup.com -- A crowdfunding platform to fund Black-owned businesses.
- DNBE Apparel -- Streetwear with positive messages.
- Hue-Man Bookstore -- The go to place of any and every author of color.
If You See Something, Say Something!
Roger Madison, CEO