In our December 2008 issue, we published a special editorial package, “The Next Big Thing,” in which our editors pledged to connect our audience with the latest trends that could advance their business and financial lives. Throughout this past year, one such frontier has become an expansive part of our content: global business.
Our intrepid content team has embraced this mandate with the same fervor in which they develop print and online features, television segments, and event sessions on wealth-building, small business, and career development. Our readers gained exposure to the international arena in a series of articles that highlighted offshore business opportunities (“The New Caribbean Economy,” February 2009); business practices overseas (“The New Demand for Executives,” Workplace, February 2009); and the next generation of high-powered British professionals and entrepreneurs (“Black Power in Great Britain,” Diversity Watch, September 2009)––and that doesn’t include stories in our magazine’s Lifestyle section that show how successful businesspeople operate worldwide, from Johannesburg to Munich. You can also visit BlackEnterprise.com to view Black Enterprise Business Report segments featuring exclusive interviews with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and this year’s BE Corporate Executive of the Year Candace Matthews, Amway International’s Global Chief Marketing Officer. We continued to press the value of offshore entrepreneurship with the session “Going Global: Finding Fortune Beyond Our Borders,” at our 2009 Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo in Detroit.
So why have we decided to devote so much of our content to this subject? We strongly believe African Americans should view themselves as businesspeople of the world, targeting commercial opportunities that span the globe. Too often, our editors have found that professionals and entrepreneurs have stymied growth and development due to a form to domestic myopia. In an era in which our nation has embraced a spirit of global engagement and dialogue, there has never been a better time to explore international prospects.
In this issue, we have done just that. Our cover package, “Beyond Our Borders,” reveals the exciting and unique professional and personal journeys made by three African Americans in pursuit of business success. For example, cover subject Briggette Harrington, managing director of Golf World Ltd. in Tema, Ghana, has an extensive professional background in global business. An entrepreneur since the age of 5, she’s always possessed a strong desire to live abroad, demonstrating that fear has never been a part of her vocabulary. Finding a void in the Ghanaian marketplace, she developed three professional shops to serve golf courses and tournaments across the continent. (In fact, Harrington sought to bridge the cultural divide this year by bringing a group of Ghanaian businesspeople to the 2009 Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge in Orlando, Florida.) Another subject, Robert Spencer, a vice president of Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, says his professional transition wasn’t difficult, but moving to a foreign country without family and friends has been challenging. Careers Editor Annya M. Lott, who lived and worked in South Africa in 2002 and 2007, is well aware of the challenging dynamics overseas and says, “What’s inspiring about each of the professionals profiled is that they faced their individual challenges head-on with the determination to succeed and, as a result, reaped significant rewards.”
More African Americans need to be made aware of the business potential in global markets. We believe this story––and our ongoing coverage––will inspire you to take a look at the world of possibilities beyond American shores.