Monday, November 13, 2006

A New Push for Minority Entrepreneurs

Civil rights activist and Baptist minister Rev. Jesse Jackson (pictured) has long played a vocal role in American politics and social advocacy. In 1971, he founded the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to fight for social change, and he was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. Now he has announced another initiative, the Small Business Institute. Expected to launch in January in New York with satellites across the country to follow, Jackson's newest initiative will focus on giving entrepreneurial training to youth, immigrants, and minorities and help them access capital for their businesses.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Q: What about the recent approaches that have taken advantage of the growth and potential of minority-owned small businesses? For instance, 10 years ago Wells Fargo (WFC) recognized the growing financial needs of women entrepreneurs and set up its Women's Service Division, and has since given out $19 billion in loans. Last year, a group of Latino investors with $20 million capitalization announced a new California bank focusing on Latino family businesses that generate $1 million to $10 million in revenue.

A: Affirmative action has opened up the women's market. Women and people of color are a majority, not a minority. There are more skilled women [and] higher volumes [of them are] consumers. [But] many women were not on track for community loans -- now Wells Fargo sensed that and invested in them and the Hispanic and African American market. We want the Small Business Institute to combine this research and together search for the best practices. We need not be original with the idea.

Read more here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 5
Eleanor of Aquitaine

"I thought that I had married a king, but I find that I have married a monk." ~ Eleanor of Aquitaine and of her husband, Louis VII

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