I recently attended the kickoff event for the formation of the Columbus African American Chamber of Commerce. This initiative confirms for me that African American business leaders recognize the potential they have to make a positive impact on the economic recovery of our community.
According to the President, Ray Miller, "It is our intention to work in a measured way to become full players in the economic and civic affairs of Columbus and its surrounding communities."
Here are five ways that supporting Black entrepreneurs that can make a positive difference.
- Black Entrepreneurs are job creators. Studies indicate that most of the employees of Black-owned business are also Black. Therefore, when Black entrepreneurs succeed and grow, Black employment grows.
- Black Entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment of new businesses. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the greatest increase in new businesses over the past 5 years has been among Black entrepreneurs -- with Black women-owned businesses leading the way.
- Black Entrepreneurs provide a win-win for Black consumers. Most Black businesses compete in the mainstream economy, and would enjoy a boost from greater Black consumer support. This would also create more marketplace options as well as jobs mentioned above.
- Black Entrepreneurs offer many solutions that are unique to Black consumer needs. From ethnic restaurants, to health and beauty products, to fashion design and art, these offerings meet the cultural needs of Black consumers that often go unmet.
- Black Online Entrepreneurs and Black Consumer Adoption of Technology are converging. Studies indicate that the rate of Black adoption of online technology and mobile devices for a wide range of services exceeds the general population. This convergence represents opportunities for business and job growth.
We should think about Black entrepreneurs beyond the image of small storefront businesses, and consider the economic growth of the entire virtual Black community. This approach can help build stronger Black enterprises that benefit a larger segment of our community. Rather than looking to government programs to solve our economic challenges, the nearly $1 trillion spending power of Black consumers can be directed to supporting Black entrepreneurs that provide self-help solutions to our economic woes.
Black consumers should lead the way in supporting Black entrepreneurs. This will also lead to positive contributions to the mainstream economy as well. Join our dialog about Black entrepreneurs at www.facebook.com/izanianetwork.
A starting point for identifying Black-owned businesses is the iZania Black-owned Business Directory. New businesses can be added FREE.
The point is to start today to take a pro-active steps to increase your support of Black entrepreneurs.
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