With just one day away, former Harvard Business School professor Steven S. Rogers will moderate at the Small Business Summit hosted by BLACK ENTERPRISE. The complimentary event takes place on May 6, is virtual, and kicks off at noon EST with welcome remarks from BE President and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. This is not an event to miss out on.
At 3:45 p.m., speakers David Miree, head of Consumer & Small Business Banking Diverse Customer Segments for Wells Fargo, and Amanda E. Johnson, co-founder and COO of Mented Cosmetics take the main stage as panelists. The pair will discuss “How Your Business Can Profit from Diversity, Equity & Inclusion“ to enlighten Black companies on how they might benefit from the wave of corporations who made a commitment to invest in the advancement of Black businesses through growth and development.
Rogers joins them as the panel moderator. Rogers, who authored A Letter To My White Friends And Colleagues: What You Can Do Right Now To Help The Black Community, is an expert in Black business and money. Read an excerpt from the upcoming book below.
Supporting Black business also means supporting Black communities because businesses are usually more than just places that offer goods and services. Black entrepreneurs are the largest private employers of Black people in the country. When you support Black entrepreneurs, you are helping to close the Black- White wealth gap.
Two people who are likely to gain wealth as a result of public support of Black entrepreneurs are Sergio Hudson and Christopher John Rogers. Both men own their own clothing design companies. Vice President Kamala Harris wore clothes they designed at the 2021 presidential inauguration. This was a very intentional choice made by the vice president. As Paul Cobler, the reporter for the Advocate, wrote, “she made it a point to wear clothes by Black designers.”4 The positive financial impact on their companies was best explained the day after the inauguration by Alison Bringe, the chief marketing officer of an analytics company:
“When Christopher John Rogers showed his spring collection at New York Fashion Week, the brand generated just over $1 million, while yesterday’s events accumulated upward of 8 times that – in less than 24 hours.”
Black entrepreneurship not only enriches the company’s owner but provides living wages to the employees. I travel the country giving speeches about Black entrepreneurs being my personal heroes and sheros because they create jobs. People with jobs are self-sufficient. And people who are self-sufficient tend to live in safer, healthier communities.
One indicator of a community’s health is measured by the amount of money, in terms of spending, that remains in the community. In contrast, money that leaves a community is called “leakage.”
Leakage, in its simplest definition, is money a resident spends outside of the resident’s neighborhood. In many cases, relevant goods and services are not available locally in Black communities. Based on analysis done by economists and economic development think tanks, a healthy community retains about 73 cents of every dollar. These economic and demographic facts help identify the necessity and benefits of Black-owned businesses in Black communities, and why we need to grow them.
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