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Is Entrepreneurship the Ultimate Expression of Black Empowerment?


By Careers Desk


Thursday, December 17, 2017.


The next time you step out to do your Christmas shopping, take a look around you. As you stroll down the high street of any major metropolitan city you’ll see huge monolithic representations of the corporate giants. You’ll see icons of branding that are so entrenched they’re part of our cultural psyche. And you’ll notice that a lot of the corporate mascots are of the Caucasian persuasion.

Just look at the Starbucks mermaid looking positively pallid against her backdrop of green. You’ll see Colonel Sanders’ visage rendered in negative space against a background of pure brilliant white and you’ll see… Whatever the heck Ronald McDonald is under all that makeup. Meanwhile the black community has… Aunt Jemima. And she’s pretty problematic!

Whatever efforts have been made to restore the balance of social and economic equality around the world there can be no denying that the face of big business is a resoundingly white one. With this in mind, could the rise of black and minority owned businesses be the ultimate expression of empowerment in a capitalist culture? There are certainly some compelling arguments:

Black owned businesses can help build communities

It’s only fairly recently that the corporate giants have begun to put their ethics at the forefront of their business practices and one could argue that this is predominantly because a spotlight has been shone on them in the digital age where there is greater transparency and consumers have a much better idea of what’s going on behind the scenes.

Black owned businesses are ideally placed to benefit their local communities. Aside from the
local community advantages that are inherently offered by small businesses smaller black owned businesses can hire within their own community, directly addressing the social inequalities caused by disproportionate unemployment within the black community.


They can help to balance wealth disparity

Smaller businesses benefit the economy in a number of different ways but every time aspiring black entrepreneurs take out business loans they can potentially tip the scales a step further towards balance. A study by the Association for Enterprise Opportunity found that the wealth disparity between white and black adults is an astonishing 13:1, although this is reduced significantly by 3:1 among business owners. While any disparity is still unacceptable, it’s clear that entrepreneurship is a great driver of racial economic equality as start-ups set a positive and life affirming example to their communities.   


They can help people take control of their lives

While we can bemoan the election of President Trump all we want, it’s clear that he didn’t rise to power solely on the approval of baying alt-right ultra nationalists. His election was due to the way his election campaign struck a chord with the disenfranchised working classes who were sick of banging their heads against a glass ceiling that showed that opportunity and prosperity were out there but were just slightly out of reach.


Entrepreneurship empowers people of all colours and creeds by enabling them to take back control of their lives and carve out a niche for themselves in ways that would be possible if they continue to confine themselves to the nine-to-five.


Is Entrepreneurship the Ultimate Expression of Black Empowerment?

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