There has been much publicity this shopping season about supporting black-owned stores. It was made a little easier for shoppers with the Around the Way app that locates black-owned businesses in your area, but here’s a site you might want to keep in mind for the final hours of your gift hunt –Ujamaa Deals. Read more
If you are looking for someone who personifies academic and business success in the African-American community, Dr. Randal Pinkett is your go-to guy. Most people remember his rise to fame as the winner of the fourth season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, a high point of his career — but there is much more to the man than this 2005 victory. Dr. Pinkett is a Rhodes Scholar, track star, author of multiple books, and has received two master’s degrees and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Most recently, Dr. Pinkett’s company, BCT Partners, was awarded a billion dollars in contracts from the U.S. government to help implement President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. (Read More)
Last week, I wrote an article for theGrio entitled theGrio’s guide to buying black online. As I was reading the Facebook comments about the article, I noticed a great sense of frustration on behalf of consumers about black businesses. Many commenters said that they will never shop at a black-owned store until these firms make their prices lower, improve customer service, and start selling things that they like to buy. Although these criticisms are certainly valid for many black-owned businesses, African-Americans are stuck in a chicken or egg scenario. We refuse to spend our money with slightly-to-moderately inferior black businesses, because they are not on-par with the competition, but the only way for them to improve is through practice and financial support from their base to keep them in business in the long term. (Read More)
Blacks represent 13.6% of the U.S. population with a purchasing power of nearly 1 trillion, according to the recent State of the African-American Consumer Report gathered by information and analytics company Nielsen. However, less than three cents of every dollar return to Black-owned businesses. And at 16%, the national unemployment rate among African Americans is disproportionately high.
"A majority of our resources are spent outside of our own community, while the goods and services we offer are rarely extended to the international market. Because of that, the economic disparity is self-inflicted," says Michael Mansell, a physics student at Oregon State University (Read more)