The Next Big Thing

BlackEnterprise.com highlights the next big ideas shaping the world

care about their workers and give back to the community.

For the past six years, Hope Masters, CEO of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, has lobbied corporations here and abroad to adhere to the Global Sullivan Principles, which encourage companies to support economic, social, and political justice where they do business. As of this year, 400 major corporations have endorsed them. “The importance of the principles really hit home when I visited a factory in Tanzania,” Sullivan says. “The women were working in a heat-filled room with no fan, a dirty lavatory, and they were housed in squalid conditions. I asked the manager why there were no Tanzanian women in management and he said, ‘You have to have a brain for that.’ It was truly unacceptable.”

For more than 30 years, the mission of the nonprofit South Bronx Overall Development Corp. (SoBRO) has been the revitalization of the much-maligned South Bronx. SoBRO creates affordable housing, transforms abandoned industrial zones into neighborhoods, and provides programs for aspiring business owners and at-risk teens. Phillip Morrow, president and CEO, says the Bronx, once written off as a dead zone, is set to become a thriving borough once again. “SoBRO’s mission is to make the Bronx a place where low- and middle-income New Yorkers can raise families, create businesses, and own their own homes,” Morrow says. “And in the process, we’re attracting new businesses, improving the quality of life for the people in these neighborhoods, and creating jobs.”

—Siobhan Leftwich

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE

Lifestyle

greenlightbulbglobeFor travelers, it’s less about where you go, but creating an elite experience while you’re there.

Imagine the following: An after-hours dinner with white-glove service in a Berlin cathedral. Gliding through the Mediterranean on a private yacht with a chef from Tuscany. Elephant trekking through the mountains of Thailand or island hopping in the Seychelles.

Agents at the appropriately named Elite Luxury Travel specialize in these types of vacations. Their philosophy is that any time clients arrive at a hotel, they should be treated like royalty. That could mean champagne and chocolates waiting in your room or being greeted by the general manager upon your arrival.

“People want bragging rights when they come back, and now it’s much easier to travel around the world,” says Gregory Schwab, president of Elite.

Larry Martin, president of Food and Wine Trails, says his California-based company is the oldest of its kind in the country. For enthusiasts who want a trip off of the radar, Martin takes groups through the back hills of Côte de Provence in France for the “most incredible wineries and restaurants in Europe.”

When planning a trip around food and wine, he says, two things make a difference—experience and connections. His decades-long relationships with farmers, winemakers, and chefs give passionate travelers amazing access.

“I’ll take you to a winery on top of a hill in Tuscany or Napa with a winery owner pouring his best vintage and talking about his land,” Martin says. “This gives

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  • Robin Caldwell

    This article is precisely why I love BlackEnterprise.com and Black Enterprise mag. Inspiring and informative.

  • http://www.CakeFinancial.com Laurence @ CakeFinancial.com

    Thanks for the coverage of Cake Financial. We are very excited about what we have planned for 2009. As you note, our goal is to help investors become better at investing, and our goal is to significantly increase our users in 2009.

    I have been an avid reader of BE since my days at Hampton U. and always find relevant and inspiring information. In particular, BE does a great job of covering financial management and investing in an informative manner.