Courtesy of Black Enterprise
By 2015 African Americans will yield $1.1 trillion in spending. But that thirteen-figure power should be used to invest in not only patronizing black-owned businesses but starting black-owned businesses, says Congressman Donald Payne Jr. (D, NJ), who won a special election in 2012 following the death of his father, representative Donald Payne Sr. As a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Payne has championed minority entrepreneurs gaining greater access to capital and resources. He has worked with the U.S. Small Business Administration to help them increase their contracting spend with minority-owned businesses. Payne led a panel on empowering the black community through entrepreneurship at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 43rd Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.
Among the group was Dr. Dt Ogilvie, dean and professor of business strategy at the Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The prevailing model for economic development has been a focus on jobs and housing for the past 50 years, but it has not worked for most inner cities, she says. “You can get job training but not get a job; you can buy a house but that doesn’t create wealth.” Learning the skills to create and successfully run a business creates wealth, she adds.