MBEs Rock!For over 30 years, we’ve been touting this to the world and every so often it echoes back. I say echoes because we only seem to hear it loud and clear from our own small corner of the business world. And yet, it is true for just about every corner of the world—business or otherwise.
This issue features some pretty awe-inspiring guys who are among the best of us. They are unsung heroes. They don’t shout from the rooftop about their greatness but they should. They are not looking for just the next dollar; they want to make a difference. That takes more than the next dollar. It takes vision, commitment, ingenuity, setbacks, faith, and a LOT of work (sometimes more of one than the other).
We all have struggles. It can be deep and abiding. But, for those of us with little to no resources, it can be near impossible to overcome. Poverty did not stop Robert Wallace, it inspired him. How many of us can say we were inspired to become who we are, the fighters that we are?
I come from a country of fighters. In Jamaica, we like to say, “Wi likkl but witalawah!” (Translation: We are small but we are strong.) How do you explain a country, roughly a quarter the size of California, becoming the powerhouse of the track and field world? Some of us are descendants of the great Maroons who fought the British and won their sovereignty, and all are recipients of that bounty.
Minority businesses are growing by leaps and bounds according to preliminary statistics from the 2012 U.S. Census due out (finally) this December. Unfortunately, while there appears to be many resources, it is not enough to keep up with the growing demand of the disenfranchised. Many non-profit organizations, the primary source of help, have seen significant decline in monetary support since the Great Recession. Universities and colleges have taken up the call to offer entrepreneurial education but they only have so much space with which to work.
This is why we need those with deep pockets to give a hand up by investing more in the education of communities of color. I don’t advocate that the access must always be free. After all, we all must put skin in the game if we want to play. Instead, let’s look to build better-funded resources that don’t take away from our bottom lines each time we reach out for that hand up. This way we have a chance to grow and thrive and contribute to the greater good.
We may be “talawah”, but for us to beat the odds, everyone will need to go all in.
P.S. We will be Rockin’ the Red Carpet with a few more of our MBEs Who Rock! awardees at the NMSDC Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange in San Diego on Monday, October 19. We hope you will stop by Booth 2413 to say hello.
MBE's Business Opportunities resource covers business-related financing, consulting, and programs available for the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs. Updated monthly.
MBE's M/WBE Resource Directory is a comprehensive list of resource organizations (including links) that support the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs.
Refer to MBE's Acronyms & Terminology list for frequently used acronyms and terminology and an overview of the major organizations supporting the Supplier Diversity community.
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