Many are surprised to see social assistance is one of the largest industries comprised of Black business owners…
Revenues for Black-Owned Firms Near $89 Billion, Number of Businesses Up 45 Percent
Revenues generated by the nations 1.2 million black-owned businesses rose 25 percent between 1997 and 2002 to $88.8 billion in 2002, while the number of such firms grew by 45 percent in the same five-year period. This is according to a new report, Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Firms: 2002 [PDF], released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
“These are encouraging results,” says Roger Madison, CEO of iZania,LLC. “However, these broad figures mask the reality that over 90% of Black-owned businesses are single proprietorships and home-based businesses.”
Entrepreneurship is recognized as a key element in the movement toward wealth creation within the Black community. Now Black Entrepreneurs must advance beyond the entry level and engage in collaborative activities to gain the critical size and capacity for growth. The iZania Virtual Black Community strives to provide the connections, and access to the resources within our community that can capitalize on our $700 billion in spending and investment power to help drive the growth of our enterprises.
JOIN iZania today to help us continue these growth trends.
What Business Category Are You In?
By Prof. James Clingman Jr.
I posed this question to my Black Entrepreneurship class at the University of Cincinnati, and much to my chagrin, after a long period of silence, only one young lady had an answer. Even sadder is the fact that I did not posit the question in the context of entrepreneurship, rather, it was just a general question. While I am not surprised at their lack of response, in the larger context of Black leadership, that response spoke volumes their silence was deafening. So I ask you. Who does speak for Black people? Who stands up for Black people?
For all those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a mind to think, let us sit down and reason about our future.
Read complete article here…..
If Black America couldn’t accumulate mainstream wealth through integration, diversity, politics, education and/or religion after 400 years, we must do the next best thing — create wealth outside of the mainstream within our Black communities. It’s time to be coming from out the box!
This reminds me of the old plantation scenario. You got your house slave, who’s close to Massah, wears Massah’s hand-me-downs, get’s the scraps off Massah’s dinner table, and overall is treated better than his brother, the field slave. What’s significant here is that the house slave see’s his interest as being in line with Massah’s – improve Massah’s individual economic postition.
On the other hand you got your field slave, who’s lives a long way from Massah’s house. He stays in the pig stein or barn. He wears burlap bags or whatever is on her back. The field slave eats low on the hog, while his brother the house slave eats high on the hog. He never hears kind words from Massah, but he did hear the crack of Massah’s whip as it cuts into his flesh during constant beatings………..
Black business owners on rise
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
By Elwin Green, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Black Americans are becoming entrepreneurs at a rapidly increasing rate and Pittsburgh is following the trend, a new report issued by the Census Bureau suggests.
The report, “Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Firms: 2002,” says that between 1997 and 2002, the number of black-owned businesses in the United States rose 45 percent to 1.2 million, while the combined revenue increased 25 percent to $88.8 billion.
“It’s encouraging to see not just the number but the sales and receipts of black-owned businesses are growing at such a robust rate, confirming that these firms are among the fastest growing segments of our economy,” said Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon.
Slated for release today, the report also shows a significant if not quite as dramatic increase in local black business ownership. It found 4,363 black-owned firms in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area as of 2002, up 38.8 percent from 3,142 in 1997. Revenue figures for the metro area, which includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties, were not available.
Doris Carson Williams, president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, found the Census Bureau figures encouraging but not surprising.
As blacks join the numbers of those being downsized by corporations, she said, “more and more have found that entrepreneurship is a viable option for them. They don’t want to go through the corporate menagerie again.”
Both local and national figures show the greatest numbers of black-owned businesses in the fields of health care and social assistance.
Other categories with a strong presence of black-owned businesses include retail; professional, scientific and technical services; and transportation and warehousing.
New York City had more black-owned firms than any other city at 98,076, followed by Chicago (39,424), Los Angeles (25,958), Houston (21,226), and Detroit (19,530).
Among states, New York had the greatest number of black-owned firms with 129,324, followed by California (112,873), Florida (102,079), Georgia (90,461) , and Texas (88,769). These five states accounted for about 44 percent of all black-owned businesses in the United States. Pennsylvania had 24,757.
(Elwin Green can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1969. )
Eight Biz Web Site Myths
By John Williams
Our small biz myth-buster runs down common Web misconceptions you must
know before you build your Web site.
If you’re feeling pressure to create a website for your company, you’re
not alone. Even if you don’t want to sell your products or services
directly over the internet, simply maintaining a professional-looking,
well-functioning site can help a new company seem more established.
(Conversely, having an unappealing, poorly functioning site can hurt
business.) Before you get started developing the online component to your
business, though, consider the following common misconceptions:
1. “If I build it, they will come.” Marketing your site may not be as
easy as it seems. You’ll need economical ways to direct traffic to your
site on a national–or international–level. Perhaps the most obvious way
is to advertise on search engines like Google and Overture, but this can
get expensive. Unfortunately, it can take months or even years for your
URL to turn up near the top of organic searches. Investigate other ways
to get eyes to your site, like affiliate programs, e-mail newsletters and
2. The more you offer, the more you’ll sell. Trying to be all things to
all people rarely works. It may seem logical that the more things you
have for sale online, the more people you’ll attract. But even if you
attract them, will they buy? The “general” aspect of your offering will
communicate that the value of your product or service is equal to that of
others–so price becomes the only issue, and branding becomes more
difficult. In today’s marketplace, there’s a powerful demand for
specialized products and services. The point is to differentiate your
company from your competitors, so determine your niche and stick to it.
3. The best way to generate sales is to copy the competition. It can be
tempting to copy your competitors in everything from marketing strategies
and positioning to sales offers and design choices. Remember the adage
that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? This means that when
you imitate, you’re not just reminding your audience about your
competition–you’re suggesting they’re better! Certainly you can learn
things from what your competition does, but blaze your own trail if
you’re serious about branding your company.
4. Your home page should explain everything about your business, or
you’ll lose visitors. You’ve got about three seconds to hook
visitors–not bore them with visually overwhelming text. Grab their
attention by being concise clear and compelling.
5. Once I get my site up and running, sales will skyrocket. Yes, your
potential customer pool has grown exponentially–but so has your
competitions’. How will you stand out? How will you locate the people
most likely to buy your product or service and get them to visit your
6. Websites should be slick, with lots of bells and whistles. On the
internet, functionality is king. High-tech gimmicks may look great, but
they load slowly. It’s best to find a good balance between form and
7. Building a website is easy–I’ll just buy a how-to book. Whether or
not you can do it yourself depends on the type of site you want and your
own experience and skills. For example, will you require shopping cart
functionality or database programming? Building a website is deceptively
complex and requires a variety of skill sets, from HTML savvy to good
artistic taste. You might want to think about hiring a web design pro.
8. Everybody else has a site, so I should, too. Determining the real
purpose of your site is crucial. Is it to sell your product? Increase
awareness of your business? Provide information to drive local sales? Add
credibility? Despite what some critics say, creating an “online brochure”
is a legitimate reason to build a site. However, that’s a very different
purpose than selling directly over the internet.
Clarifying your purpose for wanting a website is a perfect starting
point. Good luck!
Harvard University Black Policy Conference
April 4, 06
Join us for the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Second Annual Black Policy Conference April 21-23, 2006 in Cambridge, MA. Register on-line at http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/bpc.
This conference is the leading policy-driven forum to address the issues affecting communities within the African Diaspora. This year our theme, entitled “Bridging the Gap: The Intersection of Race, Class, Identity and Gender” centers around the socioeconomic disparity faced by people of African descent. In light of the tragedy that we witnessed as Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and the Gulf, it became evident that the endemic inequality we witnessed as a nation, cut across lines of race, class and gender. This phenomenon is not unique to the United States, but spans globally, to all people of African descent in the Caribbean, Latin American and throughout Africa.
The conference provides an opportunity for the convergence of the world’s greatest minds and practitioners; with the hope and intent of finding sustainable solutions for this prevailing social problem that has been ignored for much too long. The overwhelming success of the inaugural conference last year is testament to interest in subject matter and the need to continue the dialogue.
Please join us April 21-23, 2006! Visit http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/bpc for more details and registration.
Confirmed speakers include:
*Hill Harper, star of CSI New York and author of “Letters to a Young Brother”
*Andrew Carr, Exec. Director, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
*Dean Christopher Edley, Boalt Hall Law School, UC Berkeley
*Kamala Harris, District Attorney, San Francisco
*Dean Donald Stewart, University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy
*Joyce Ann Brown, President and CEO, Mothers and Fathers Advancing Social Systems
*Michael Carson, Partners for Development
*Dr. Felton Earls, Professor, Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
*And many more!