Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Driving Force

A Driving Force

This is a great article written by Ronda Racha Penrice for Black Enterprise showing the collective power that entrepreneurs have in the United States. I feel that entrepreneurs of small businesses have a lot to offer the public and are a driving force of the American economy. The success of Tyler Perry is a testament to the hard work and dedication that many urban entrepreneurs have. Perry is an example of someone having a vision and the determination to see things through until completion. In the article, Penrice writes about how two-thirds, or 66%, of all businesses in the United States are small businesses.  Also, 75% of the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is generated in cities. This is the essence of what it means to be an urban professional. Urban professionals are those people that are actively making things happen in their communities. With 84% of the country’s population in urbanized areas, there is an endless amount of talent that is waiting to be tapped in to. Urban professionals are a force to be reckoned with.

For African Americans, it seems like the city of Atlanta, Georgia is the place to be if you are trying to start up a business in an attempt to attain some level of success. I think the city of Atlanta provides an ideal climate for people of all ages that look to start their own business. Atlanta is a progressive city and has initiatives in place that can be used by many to eventually turn their ideas into small businesses, thus, allowing it to be a hub for many urban entrepreneurs. The growth that Atlanta has seen among businesses run by African Americans over the past few years is reason enough why it is central to the driving force by urban professionals.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Black Women and The Recession

The recession has hit everybody hard. The effect that it is having on the urban community has been seldom documented and this article here begins to shed some light on the issue. Black women, in comparison to Black men, have been acutely affected by the struggling economy. In recent years, circumstances have caused Black women to be the breadwinners and heads of households in increased numbers. This article struck me as particularly interesting because of the sheer numbers involved and the dynamics at play. Looking at the data it is shocking to see the stark reality that Black women face. In a two-year span, Black women have lost nearly 258,000 jobs. This number appears larger when we take into consideration that many Black families depend on the mother as a provider of income due to the absence of a father. The predicament is worse for the fact that Black women make 53.4% of the Black workforce and they are hard-pressed to find new jobs. These figures indicate just how important Black women are to the business world. Their impact is felt both at home and in the workforce. Women in general have been disproportionately affected by the recent economic downturn and the trend looks like it will last as long as the recession continues. There are a number of initiatives established aimed at assisting minorities find jobs, but there are relatively few that specifically focus on the needs of Black women.

For a real economic recovery for the United States of America, all professional demographics, including Black women, will need to be re-employed in the jobs that were lost during the recession. With cuts and programs being eliminated, the jobs available for Black women are becoming scarcer and the hope and opportunity for new jobs more grim. Maybe when the recession ends we will see a reversal in this trend and all professional demographics will be constructive in the workforce.