Empowerment Experiment Shines Light on Black Business Blight - Page 3 of 3 - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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Maggie says black businesses have suffered because the fiscal benefits of integration were one-sided.

“Integration made sure that other [ethnic businesses] had the opportunity to flourish and prosper in our community and take that money back out,” says Maggie, a stay-at-home mother who has a law degree and an MBA from the University of Chicago. “Black business owners were not welcomed to go into a white, Korean, Asian, or an Arabic community and start building up black businesses there. Our money just kept going out and it wasn’t reciprocated.”

“The fact that certain people would choose culturally to pick a group of their own to purchase their services and products happens all of the time,” says Michelle Collins, owner of a Chicago-based business and financial advisory firm that serves lower middle-market companies. “For African Americans it is a little challenging because they don’t have a particular geographic community. The Andersons are going about it in a different way, but it is a natural outcome from any group.”

In addition to Rogers, a professor of entrepreneurship at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, the Andersons enlisted scholarly help from Georgetown professor and critically acclaimed author Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D., and Michael Bennett, Ph.D., an associate professor and the executive director of DePaul University’s Egan Urban Economic Development Center.

“Black businesses get rejected for business loans at a higher rate than any other ethnic group,” says Rogers, adding that black business owners have difficulty obtaining access to capital to start and grow businesses. Rogers believes that the black community has always been brand loyal and sensitive to marketing and in many instances black companies do not have brand recognition and can not afford to build it.

John Anderson, a financial consultant with AXA Advisors, suggests that an underlying premise by black people that black products and services are inferior is the most detrimental problem to growing the black business community. “That is a psychological problem that [blacks] have. If we have that belief we won’t be inclined to support a black business in a black community,” he says.

The Anderson’s have planned to complete a study. Everything the family does in finding and purchasing products will be monitored and recorded and eventually take the form of a book that will chronicle their experience. Their goal is to turn this experiment into a movement that will connect and mobilize the black community.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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