Producing Top Young Entrepreneurs

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Every year, our community produces several athletes that go on to college and some are so good that they go onto the pro ranks in their sport. Recruiters from colleges all over the country spread out to different tournaments and events to prospect for our youngsters who can one day play at the college level. These events are huge money makers for the promotors of the events, coach’s who take the kids to these tournaments, the referees who officiate the games, the vendors who sell food and athletic apparel. It’s really a big deal and if kids want to be seen by several recruiters or even a particular recruiter or coach from a certain school of their choice, they want to be on a team at one of these tournaments.
 This program is called the he Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and is one of the largest non-profit volunteer sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs. Parents from all over the country let their children participate in this process because this is where their child can develop the skills they need to show college recruiters and coach’s that they can help their program and in return receive a free education when they are choose by a school and offered a scholarship.
A full ride scholarship can pay for a child’s education at the undergrad and graduate level in some cases. So for many parents, it’s a payoff that is well worth the effort from the child and finances from the parents to invest in a program that can get their child that scholarship.
Many of you are aware of this process because you’ve either had a child on an AAU team or know someone who does. Parents follow their child all over the country to see them play, spending thousands on team fees (which adds up to thousands of dollars over the years), uniforms, tournament fees, food, gas and time because the program for the most part works. Many of the athletes we see at these big college games are a result of AAU programs and my contention is that if we can produce student athletes with this process, why then can’t we use the same approach to produce major entrepreneurs from our community using the same model?
Just like we produce top flight athlete’s with, we need to be producing entrepreneurs who can either go onto major college business programs or even into business right out of high school if they have a good business plan or idea to do so.
If we invested the same time and energy in an Entrepreneurial Amateur Business (EAB) we could produce thousands of young entrepreneurs out our community who learn how to start and run their businesses. It would take the same type of time and commitment from our students that they invest into athletics. They would have after school entrepreneurial practices where they could learn business skills just like an athlete. On weekends, they would continue the process by hooking up with an EAB coach or business that could teach them the skills to run a business of their choice.  Just like athletes, they would work on EAB teams or programs during the summer, interning at businesses where they could take their business skills to a whole new level the way athletes do. Parents would be required to invest the necessary time and money in their child to get them into an EAB program that an athlete is required to invest.
As a result, we could see young entrepreneurs all over the country, maybe not at the rate we see athlete’s, but on a significant level where they could come back to their community’s and start businesses that could revitalize black business districts all over the country and even throughout the African Diaspora. This would be a major paradigm shift for our people because instead of our children being put in a pipeline to go to prison.  Or get caught up in a street life, where they are doomed to failure and therefore add no value but crime and destruction to our community. They could become the productive citizens we need to build a strong business climate where our people could provide jobs for ourselves and provide goods and services made by us for us.
The sky is the limit for such a program because no longer would the businesses and institutions in our neighborhoods be dominated by people from outside of our community, they would now be ran by us. The banks, grocery stores, department stores, pharmacies, insurance companies, beauty supply stores, car dealer ships, electronic stores, you name it, would be run by our youth.
No longer would they be conditioned to beg other people for jobs, because they would be trained, just like athletes train, to be entrepreneurs. This would take us from being the most unemployed and powerless. To the most employed and powerful. Just like we see athletes from all over the world who have been trained to be great. We would have entrepreneurs from throughout the African Diaspora who have been trained to be great business leaders and as The Honorable Marcus Garvey said “Captains of Industry”.


By Kefing Moor

Business owner and administrator  of the African Market Mall Online Facebook page

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Why We Need Strong Black Business Districts

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As you ride or pass through Black Communities today and see all of the burned out businesses and boarded up housing, it makes you wonder whatever happened to the vision and goals we once had as a people?Whatever happened to the pride we once had in our businesses, institutions, families and neighborhoods? I know growing up, there was the Black owned variety store we went to every time we got our hands on a nickel or dime to buy candy. There was the greasy spoon restaurant that served our kind of food, Black owned gas stations that sponsored our local baseball team. The police and fire department was staffed by Brother’s who we knew, lived next door to and went to school with their kids. Of course, we had our church’s and still have plenty of them today.
These businesses and institutions did more than just provide goods and services to the community. They also gave us concrete, attainable goals to shoot for as kids, that one day we could own or run our own stores when we grew up.
As kids, you didn’t really think about it, but the fact that we had those businesses and institutions gave many of us the ambition to be somebody when we grew up. That ambition helped us to put forth an effort in school too, because we had targets that we experienced everyday that inspired many of us to aim for and achieve positive results.
Our leadership at every level encouraged us to be somebody when we grew up. We heard it from our parents, teachers, coach’s, neighbors and just about every grown up you encountered would do the same.
But with the mass exodus of the have’s in our community to the suburbs, went the people who ran and put together a lot of those businesses and institutions that  inspired us to be prosperous. Our leaders and captains of industry took with them a lot of the ambition we once had to be the best that we could be.
Our collective goals went from ownership to just trying to survive in a community that couldn’t provide jobs for it’s people because of the depletion of it’s economic engine–the Black Business District.
So what we have left behind, are many Brother’s and Sister’s who don’t have the resources or know how to maintain the businesses and institutions in our communities.  When that happened, you got a community without the economic engine to provide goods, services and maintenance that it thrived on before. Many conservatives like to blame the decline of our communities on crime, illiteracy, welfare and fatherless families. But which one came first, the ills of our community? or the dismantling of our business districts and institutions that provided the resources we needed to thrive?
When we controlled our businesses we had communities that were stable and on many levels self sufficient. Studies show that communities that own their own businesses are more interdependent and less dependent on majority industry to provide for them. When we lost or relinquished control of our businesses, we basically lost control of everything else. People from other communities came in and took over our businesses and now that money goes to send their kids to school and their tax bases instead of ours.
Our goals now are mainly centered around symptoms in our communities such as civil rights, police brutality, not being hired or discriminated against. These are necessary goals on some level, but they won’t produce the economic engine that we need to restore our communities to prosperity.
Everyone in our community must begin to set goals of ownership of our institutions and businesses so that we can funnel our resources back into our own communities the way every other community do. We must restore the things that can  give us hope and inspiration in ourselves to be owners and not just consumers. To be providers and not takers. To be independent and not dependent on other’s to take care of us. This should be our major goal as a people: to rebuild the Black business district in our communities. That will go a long way in turning hoods back into into neighborhoods and the ghetto into an oasis where our children and families can live in peace and prosperity. This is why we need a strong Black Business District in every Black community wherever we reside in the world.

By Kefing Moor

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How Can We Benefit From The Obamacare Boom?

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A disproportionate amount people with no health insurance also happen to be black.
Nationally, starting Oct. 1, many of us who don’t have health care coverage on the job can go to online insurance markets – also called exchanges – to shop for a private plan that can improve our access to healthcare. An estimated 4 out 5 consumers in the new markets will be eligible for some level of tax credit.
Come Jan. 1, insurance companies, who have historically exploited us, will no longer be able to turn our people away who have poor health.
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is estimated to increase spending on healthcare by more than $620 billion through 2022. An estimated 11 million Americans will gain health coverage through the Obamacare exchanges in 2014, with up to 30 million previously uninsured individuals obtaining insurance by 2022. The good news is that many in our community will now have access to health care services other than emergency care.

Billions upon billions of new spending means that some organizations in our community will be on the receiving end of some of that money. How can we benefit financially from this increase in spending on healthcare? Do we have or own any clinics or hospitals that can receive some of this money? Do we have any company’s that provide outsourced staffing, including health-care professionals and administrative services workers, to hospitals and other health-care providers who will be in a position to get some this money? In addition, we have several patients in our community who will need to buy medications somewhere. Will we be the employee’s or owners of drug stores that provide these services in our community?
The big boom in health-care spending is on its way and Obamacare is rewriting the rules for the health care industry, and in the process of doing so, it’s creating massive opportunities for our people on many levels to profit.
How? By becoming owners of businesses and institutions that provide healthcare to our people. Now is the time for Black medical schools and other non Black schools medical students to use their expertise to not only benefit from the Obamacare boom to our economy, but also be the major providers of healthcare services to our people.
The African American community can no longer permit itself to be “legitimately” economically exploited by non-African American communities who work in the hospitals and drug stores who profit from our lack of ownership. By us not being in control of these businesses and institutions, we’re leaving ourselves to be criminalized due to unemployment and a lack of ownership.  The African American community can no longer be addicted to wasteful and nonsensical consumerism.

Obamacare gives us an opportunity to invest our wealth and human resources in ourselves by committing ourselves to controlling our own healthcare institutions. This is an opportunity for us to put our youth and our overall community in a position not to be criminalized and subjected to the increasing impoverishment. Because by having our own, we can provide the resources and jobs we need to thrive as a people.  If we choose to do so, we can use Obamacare to help improve our own health and wealth.

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Focus on Owning Businesses

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When we start putting as much energy into building businesses and institutions that create jobs that we do in playing sports. We’ll be able to rebuild Black Business Districts throughout the African Diaspora in record time. On any given Saturday or Sunday, you see lots of Brother’s on every football team who are in college or the pros. However, having those Brothers in those positions haven’t translated to prosperity for the Black Business Districts or our community. If we could get 75% of those Brother’s to either start a BOB (Black Owned Business) in the community that produced them, we would be well on our way to restoring the resources we’ve lost as a result of European Colonialism and Imperialism. We must encourage these Brother’s (in any sport or profession) to use their resources to invest in Black business districts so that we can rebuild the Black economy.

When we learn how to dominate business the way we dominate sports, we will once again dominate the world!

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BLACK LABOR BLACK WEALTH

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Hotep Brothers and Sisters. I pray that all is well with you and your families.  I had a chance to go back home to Detroit this past weekend to see family and it was a good thing. On the way to their homes, I got a chance to ride through the neighborhoods and see the deterioration. Many of them were full of abandoned homes, but there were some that were still holding on trying to keep their homes and neighborhoods up.  However, you could see how far the middle class has fallen in Detroit from the time while I was growing up there.
Back in the day while I was growing up you could go from a premium neighborhood like Palmer Woods, Rosedale Park, the University District, Indian Village or Victoria Park and enter into a well kept middle class neighborhood with nice brick Colonial or Ranch style homes before you got to a section that seemed to be struggling from the appearance of the homes. Even in those neighborhoods you there would be wooden homes, or homes with aluminum siding, but they still had basements and were nice homes, especially if you were just starting out as a family.
But today, that’s not the case. You can now leave a premium neighborhood and only after a few blocks see the drop off in the neighborhood. Which to me is a clear sign of the devastated middle class in not just Detroit, but Black communities all over the country. Then when you ride down the main streets, where the businesses are supposed to be, and the devastation is even worse. You may see a beauty shop or a barber shop that we own. Maybe even a soul food restaurant or two that we own and a church on just about every corner. But right next door to them are abandoned businesses that go on block after block until you run into a gas station or beauty supply store that is owned by someone outside of the community. Who at night, when the store closes, takes that money back to their communities to feed, cloth, transport and educate their children and take care of their families.
Meanwhile, if you go to the suburbs, you see where most of the middle class Black community has gone. The homes are nicer and the business district (although not owned by us) is still thriving. This is where a large portion of our affluent or productive community has been sucked out of the city, leaving the relatively well to do and the poor behind. The donut hole they call it, where you have a big hole left in the middle, full of working poor people, surrounded by the so called people with some dough. However, because of our disconnect with our people, unlike other communities, we haven’t as a people reached back from the suburbs to build businesses and institutions to serve those who are left behind. We’ve totally abandoned our Brother’s and Sister’s, even to the point where we feel “better” than those left behind, instead of feeling some kind of kinship with each other.
Because we haven’t filled the void left by businesses that have fled our communities with our own , fifty years after the “dream” of racial equality invoked by Martin Luther King at the March on Washington, the reality is that African-Americans still suffer the most unemployment. Government statistics show the overall US unemployment rate stood at 7.4% in July.
But while whites had a jobless rate of 6.6% last month, the rate was nearly double for blacks at 12.6%.
By comparison, the Hispanic, or Latino, minority fared better, with 9.1% unemployed.

Asian-Americans were the least affected by the woes in the US labor market after the Great Recession; only 5.7% lacked jobs.
The yawning gap between majority whites and blacks is nothing new and has persisted through periods of economic expansion and recession.
As long as our business districts in our communities are depleted and abandoned, our labor as a people will continue to create abundance of valuable possessions or money and material prosperity will go to those that do control whatever businesses that are left. 
The yawning gap of unemployment statistics above will remain the same for us if we don’t begin to use Black Labor to build Black Wealth. In other words, those other communities that have thriving business districts that is the engine that employs, educates and funnels the fruits of their labor back into their communities. If we are to close the gap between us and other’s, we have to focus our efforts at all levels on reviving our business districts. By educating our children to become entrepreneurs who can run their own businesses or whatever business that exist in our community. All of the pharmacies, gas stations. banks, grocery stores, clothing stores, insurance offices, police, fireman, nurses, doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, and beauty supply stores etc., in our community should be owned or run by us. If we took control of those businesses and institutions we would be on the upside of employment and that yawning gap would be eliminated in our communities.
In other words, all of the labor that it takes to run those businesses and institutions would result in Black Labor and Black Wealth, instead our current situation of our labor or our wealth going to enrich those communities that understand the power of owning businesses and institutions. Of course, we’re at a disadvantage, because for centuries we have been conditioned to work for somebody else and not ourselves. Why would other’s educate us to be self sufficient, when their using our labor and wealth for their benefit.
From this point on, we need to structure all of our schools, church’s and families to focus on making sure that our labor results in our wealth. When we do that, we rebuild our business districts which will provide the wealth we need to prosper as a people. If we don’t do that, we will be marching for jobs and justice 50 years from now and that, we can’t afford to do. We must use Black Labor to build Black Wealth if we are to restore all of the resources we lost over the past 500 years to slavery, oppression and exploitation.

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