UBR Spotlight: Search Is On For America’s Best Small Businesses

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Renita D. Young speaks with Harvey Mason Jr., who has written and produced a string of hits for some of the music industry’s biggest stars, including Whitney Houston, Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Aretha Franklin and the late Luther Vandross. In 2008, Mason launched Harvey Mason Media, a company that does music and film production, music publishing and Website ventures.

Mason scored his first box office success with the feature film More Than A Game, chronicling the rise of NBA superstar LeBron James, earning runner-up honors at the Toronto Film Festival. Among Mason’s other accomplishments is his production of the music soundtrack for the motion picture Dreamgirls, for which he won the 2007 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Movie Soundtrack. He’s also been a key creative force behind the hit televised talent competition American Idol, writing hits for nearly every winner of each season of the show. Mason joins Montiehl at the Roundtable to talk about his journey to success and why he is still reaching for greatness.

Also, UBR Contributor Samantha Pass talks with Jesse Brown, the author of Pay Yourself First: The African American Guide to Financial Success and Security (Wiley). Brown, the CEO of Krystal Investments money management firm, was named Investment Advisor of the Year by Putnam Investment Mutual Funds.

In addition, in my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, I issue an all-points bulletin for entrepreneurs of excellence! Nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Black Enterprise Small Business Awards, a national campaign to recognize America’s best small businesses and the entrepreneurs who lead them. Black Enterprise is looking for great enterprises in four categories:

  • The Teenpreneur Award celebrates entrepreneurs ages 19 and younger who embody the future of business leadership.
  • The BE Next Award recognizes visionary entrepreneurs between the ages of 20 and 35, who have launched successful enterprises.
  • The Innovator of the Year Award honors outstanding business owners breaking ground in new industries or with new technologies.
  • The Small Business of the Year Award celebrates the exceptional entrepreneurs leading America’s best small businesses to impressive levels of growth and performance.

The finalists for all four awards will be recognized, and the winners announced, at a special awards luncheon at the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, to be held May 23-26 in Chicago at the Hilton Chicago. For information or to nominate yourself or outstanding entrepreneurs in your network, go to https://blackenterprise.com/ec.

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah 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, 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 week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.