The Andersons’ experiment has also paid off for the entrepreneurs whose stores they patronize. More and more people have started visiting the grocer, cleaners, and shoe store they mention in their blog: www.theempowermentexperiment.blogspot.com.
Those who don’t understand the Andersons’ aims often view it as discriminating against nonblack business owners. “We try to make it a point to explain that this experiment is an academic exercise. We are not being exclusionary and we are not advocating that all black people do this [forever],” says John, a Harvard University graduate with an M.B.A. from Northwestern University who works as a financial consultant at In Sight Financial Management in Oak Brook, Illinois.
“We do need the support of our communities in order to sustain [our businesses],” says Joslyn Slaughter, co-owner of Jordan’s Closets with her mother and 8-year-old daughter, Jordan. “There are some very viable black businesses in our communities, and we offer goods and services that can compete with other stores.”
WEALTH FOR LIFE PRINCIPLES
1. I Will Live Within My Means
2. I Will Maximize My Income Potential Through Education and Training
3. I Will Effectively Manage My Budget, Credit, Debt, and Tax Obligations
4. I Will Save At Least 10% of My Income
5. I Will Use Homeownership as a Foundation For Building Wealth
6. I Will Devise An Investment Plan For My Retirement Needs And Childrens’ Education
7. I Will Ensure That My Entire Family Adheres To Sensible Money Management Principles
8. I Will Support the Creation and Growth of Minority-Owned Businesses
9. I Will Guarantee My Wealth Is Passed On To Future Generations Through Proper Insurance And Estate Planning
10. I Will Strengthen My Community Through Philanthropy
This article originally appeared in the September 2009 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.