This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Executive Producer TaQuoya Kennedy gets an insiders glimpse into Farrah Gray Publishing, the new book publishing venture of UBR contributor, author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray.
A best-selling author and motivational speaker, Gray made his first foray into entrepreneurship as a 6-year-old salesperson of home-made body lotion and book-ends made of hand-painted rocks. By the time he was 16, Gray had launched nearly a dozen small businesses and social enterprises, already gaining national media attention. Today, as CEO of Farrah Gray Publishing, he has a distribution deal with Health Communications Inc., publishers of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Books published by Gray’s company include Dear Dad by Ky-Mani Marley (son of reggae legend Bob Marley) and Why Do I Have to Think Like A Man?: How to Think Like A Lady and Still Get the Man by Shanae Hall.
As a BE Next generation entrepreneur, Gray has earned dozens of awards and recognitions, including a Young Entrepreneur Trumpet Award, an honorary doctorate degree of humane letters from Allen University and being named to The Network Journal‘s “Forty Under Forty” Achievement Awards and The Urban Business Roundtable‘s Top 40 Game Changers of Chicago.
Also on this week’s edition of The Urban Business Roundtable, contributor Renita Young speaks with Jamail Larkins, the 27-year-old founder and CEO of Ascension Aircraft, the 2010 BE Next Small Business of the Year Award recognizing entrepreneurs between the ages of 21 and 35.
At age 12, Larkins took his first flight lesson. Three years later, he started his own business, and by the age of 20, he became Federal Aviation Administration’s first official ambassador for aviation and space education. Today, Larkins is CEO of an Augusta, Ga.-based aircraft leasing, management, acquisition, sales and brokering firm that generated more than $8 million in revenue in 2009.
In my “Alfred’s Notepad” commentary, I explain why one of the best ways an entrepreneur can improve the prospects of success for his or her business is to help the entrepreneurs in their network to thrive. My point is this: a market can’t be fertile for you and a desert for everyone else. The better the businesses in proximity to yours are doing, the more likely it is that there are people and companies in your target market with the financial resources to spend money with you. This is the the business proposition represented by the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, scheduled for May 22-25, 2011 in Atlanta, the nation’s largest annual gathering of Black business owners. Registration is now open; you need to be there and encourage others in your network and business community to attend as well.
In addition, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from UBR contributor Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today Business Correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR Economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.
If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, send me an e-mail at email@example.com or connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.
Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each Wednesday for The UBR Morning Post, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.