To coincide with the new year, Earl G. Graves, Publisher and CEO of BLACK ENTERPRISE Magazine, announced the formation of Black Enterprise Unlimited, a new division of Earl G. Graves, Ltd. The mission of B.E. Unlimited is to create products and services that address the business, financial and lifestyle needs of the magazine’s subscribers. The 3.1 million monthly readers of B.E. have long looked to the magazine for advice on careers, investments, technology, consumer products and entrepreneurship, just to name a few areas. Now the company will provide the tools that can empower its readership to employ the vast information in the pages of B.E.
Many of the B.E. Unlimited’s early products predated the creation of this new division. Indeed, the B.E./NationsBank Entrepreneurs Conference, Kidpreneurs and the B.E./Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge have each been around for at least two years. And the B.E. 100s Initiative and B.E. Newsletters were both launched in the last year. However, Mr. Graves saw a need to formalize the process by which new elements of the division would be developed. “While we have enjoyed a great deal of success in creating individual produces and services for our readers over the past several years, I wanted the company to develop a mission statement and business plan that would ensure a consistency of quality and intent as we address the needs of African American business people well into the next century. Through this new entity, I believe that we will do just that.”
Heading this new division is John C. Graves, Senior Vice President of Black Enterprise Unlimited. In addition to being General Counsel for Earl G. Graves, Ltd., John has actually been working on new product development since he joined the company. He certainly shares the Publisher’s enthusiasm for the future. “In the past five years we have created a number of properties which have been very well-received by our audience. Through these successes, we recognized that we needed to be able to more quickly develop products and services that would allow us to keep up with the continued demands of our readers. B.E. Unlimited is the tool through which we will meet – and exceed those demands.” In pursuit of this goal, the division has more than doubled its staff in recent months. The various managers and coordinators who form B.E. Unlimited’s brain trust bring a diversity of experience and perspective to the company.
Although many of B.E. Unlimited’s efforts will focus on traditional business services, don’t be surprised to see the division branch out into a number of new directions in the coming years. “B.E. enjoys a unique relationship with the upscale African American community,” states Patricia Ann Crocker, Director of Product Development & Strategic Planning for B.E. Unlimited. “For too long this market has been under-served in terms of recreational, social and general lifestyle choices. We intend to help fill that void.” Events such as the Golf & Tennis Challenge, and the newly announced Ski Challenge, provide the readers of B.E. with the opportunity to