The BE 100s—Black Enterprise‘s rankings of the nation’s largest businesses—turned 45 this year. As our CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. wrote in his “Executive Memo” column on the mission behind the development of our exclusive roster: “We found that it was equally important to produce an annual barometer of black business as it was to tell the monthly stories of founders who demonstrated tenacity, acumen, and ingenuity to grow their companies—despite racial discrimination and diminished access to capital and business opportunities.”
Not only are our editors celebrating this anniversary marked by audacious action and monumental achievements, we have decided to share with you the defining moments of black business over the past four decades. Over 45 days, we reveal a milestone event each day that has had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry.
Some may take these stories of entrepreneurial derring-do as history lessons. However, I believe they represent much more. Each story is a master class on either business strategy, organizational management, or innovative ideation, among other areas, that can be useful for established business owners, newly-minted disruptors or those operating a venture at any stage of development.
Weekly Wrap-Up of “45 Greatest Moment in Black Business History” Nos. 45-39
So for those who missed our first week of great moments, here’s your opportunity to binge:
No. 45 -#BankBlack: #Bank Black strengthens BE 100s’ mission of entrepreneurship and empowerment: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-moments-that-changed-black-business-bankblack-strengthens-be-100s-banks-mission-of-entrepreneurship-and-empowerment/(Image: Instagram/killermike)
No. 44 – The Summit Held by President Jimmy Carter: Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. President to gather black business leaders at the white house: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-moments-that-changed-black-business-no-44-summit-at-the-carter-white-house/(Image: File)
No. 43-Jesse Jackson’s Wall Street Project: Rev. Jackson said access to capital is the fourth stage of the civil rights movement: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-moments-changed-black-business-wall-street-project/
No. 42-Black Insurers Write New Life Policies: Many black fortunes have been made through insurance, despite industry’s turbulence: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-moments-that-changed-black-business-no-42-black-insurers-write-new-life-policies/(Alonzo Franklin Herndon. Image: File)
No. 41- The legacy of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown: His tragic death rocked the political and business world, yet, his legacy lives on: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-great-moments-in-black-business-no-41-the-legacy-of-commerce-secretary-ron-brown/
No. 40-The Auto Dealer That Broke the Billion-Dollar Barrier: His is one of the few black businesses to reach $1 billion in revenue http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-great-moments-in-black-business-no-40-the-auto-dealer-that-broke-the-billion-dollar-barrier/(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; June 2005)
No. 39-Ronald Blaylock Seals $150 Million Deal: It was unprecedented—a black firm negotiated a multimillion-dollar deal with Texaco: http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/45-moments-that-changed-black-business-no-39-changing-the-corporate-underwriting-game/(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; June 1998)
Access the entire digital version of the 2017 May/June issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE featuring our 2017 BE 100s report and subscribe to Black Enterprise Magazine here.