Each year, BLACK ENTERPRISE ranks the largest black-owned businesses in the nation. While a monumental undertaking, it’s truly is a labor of love for us to report the state of black business in the U.S., highlighting the achievements of intrepid entrepreneurs at the helms of top-flight organizations and informing our readers exactly how these BE 100S CEOs and their teams build and maintain sustainable enterprises.
This year’s theme, Rethink Business is not just the banner for this issue’s package of articles—it’s a directive to current and future entrepreneurs. Little more than a decade into the new millennium and it’s clear that entrepreneurial success in the 21st century requires an entirely new approach. Things taken for granted—increasing real estate values, stability of established global financial institutions, and the unassailable automotive industry—can no longer be assumed.
The wayside is littered with the remnants of ventures whose management teams made fatal assumptions. Those that survived understood past performance is no guarantee of future success, and that as business conditions change and the economic climate shifts, so must their companies. And in the digital age, knowledge truly is power. This is one reason BLACK ENTERPRISE continues to chronicle the state of black-owned business and highlight the successes (and missteps) of their CEOs—to keep our audience informed of not only the business climate but also how companies are evolving to succeed within it.
Entrepreneurship has never been for the faint of heart—and that’s truer today than ever. Today’s leaders must be fearless, tenacious, and adaptable in the face of a changing environment. The entities that vaulted to Company of the Year status make a strong case why it’s important that you adopt a new approach to conducting business.