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How to become a Harley-Davidson ‘logo’ – without really trying!

David-bigSwole-Rose-600It took Jerry West a dynamic career and years of basketball brilliance before it happened to him.

It took Michael Jordan less time (in his rookie year) and the marketing brilliance of Nike (1985) to make him into one.

David "Big Swole" Rose? Well, he did it with mind-blowing speed, going from relative obscurity to brand logo in just a matter of months. Rose did so by revealing and embodying the unique and significant connection (as well as potential) between African-American motorcycle riders and the Harley Davidson brand.

  • Written by Bernal E Smith II

Bernard Bronner is Loving This Life


    …. And why wouldn’t he? The 52-year- old head of one of the world’s most iconic black hair care businesses has wisely parlayed his time at the company’s helm into not only expanding the Bronner Bros. Inc. empire, but now he is an award-winning publisher, movie producer and true business mogul. Bernard Bronner is, as they say in the movies, “Laughing his way to the bank.”

     The enigmatic entrepreneur explained to Atlanta Daily World staff in a recent interview, why he doesn’t stop to rest on his laurels in light of all that he has accomplished and all that is left for him to accomplish.

     Bronner’s business sense

     I think it was my father and the previous generation of Bronners who trained me on how to be an entrepreneur. My father and the publisher of the Atlanta Daily World were like family. My father threw the Atlanta Daily World newspaper, and as soon as I was able to walk good, I had the Atlanta Daily World in my hand. When I was six and seven I was delivering the paper and by the time I was 12, I had a couple of my brothers working for me throwing the Atlanta Daily World.

     I use the same principles I learned from my father regarding how to start and cultivate a business and grow it into a major enterprise. … And not only have I built the hair show and the product line, I have added new things like Upscale magazine, a silverware line and now the movie, Laughing to the Bank.

     The second generation has been running the businesses for about 30 years and the first generation ran things for about 35 years. We are in year 66 now. The first generation sold products in the six southern states. The second generation, my generation, took the show nationwide and now global. We just did a hair show in Dubai …, We’ve done London shows now, and we have done all of the Caribbean. We do Baltimore, Dallas, Oakland and Chicago along with Atlanta here in the states.

Bronner on the basics …

     One of the basic business principles that I have learned is to start small and make that small thing a success. That has been the hardest thing for me to get into my head. When I got into the record business, industry experts told me that I needed to make it popular in small cities like Macon and Augusta, before bringing it to Atlanta. I wanted Dallas and Chicago and L.A. but those markets are so expensive and if it doesn’t sell in a small town…. So now I test everything through the small towns; that is something I learned from Walmart. They started in small towns and then when there was nowhere else to go, they moved into the big cities.

His newest venture …

     I started a new movie company, Make It Rain Films, and we are releasing our first major movie. We showed it to the public for the first time in Miami at the American Black Film Festival. We screened it there to an audience of about 300 movie industry people and they loved it and it was the talk of the ABFF.

     What makes Laughing to the Bank so significant is the fact that it is 100 percent black owned, black produced and black distributed. So the movie and our philosophy are about economic empowerment. The movie is a comedy about someone who has to raise the money to shoot a movie. It’ a comedy about the process of making a movie and the rejection of going to the studios it deals with all of the trials and tribulations of going to major studios and telling them that you have a film for black audiences and you want them to finance it. That’s why the movie is so funny … because the process is near impossible.

The movie industry …

     It was a terrible year for black actors and black actresses. I have seen us go form 15 black oriented films last year to just a few this year and Rainforest Films’ Think Like a Man, and Tyler Perry’s and another that didn’t do so well.

     The studios have not been willing to green light African-American themed projects. They know we spend a lot of money and they know we are good consumers. They still don’t respect our people. They have done all of these studies that say this, yet they refuse to do anything black. They refuse to advertise or attend black events. They refuse even though they have the statistics that say these are the people who are buying your product. In Hollywood only a few studios address our audience.

The great thing is that I have great friends like Steve Harvey, and Michael Baisden and Tom Joyner who have committed to promoting the movie.

What he is proudest of …

     My claim to fame will not be that I inherited my father’s company and bled it. My claim to fame will be that I inherited my father’s entrepreneurship abilities and I built many companies. Not only did I build them, but I trained and continue to train others to do the same thing. I work with partners to ensure that they experience the kind of success that I am having. I don’t know how a human being can enjoy himself any more than I am.

The hilarious comedy Laughing to the Bank will be in theaters on Aug. 23!

  • Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director

Entrepreneurship: Stepping out on faith

Monique Clark-300ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Stepping out on true faith, Monique Clark voluntarily left Corporate America to start her own company. In partnership with her husband, Kenneth, Mrs. Clark created Infinite Clean, a full service maintenance company with a concentration on public and private sector. Having been moved by the wisdom of their 11-year-old son, The Clarks have not looked back. Join us for a two part article as Monique shares her journey with us.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us about yourself.

Monique Clark: I am originally from Sacramento, Calif. I have been married to Mr. Kenneth B. Clark for 23 years. We have six children and six grandchildren. I moved to Memphis fifteen years ago to assist my husband in caring for his grandmother who was 88 years old at the time.

The ABCs of bonds

CharlesSimsJr-160MONEY MATTERS Bonds are issued by federal, state, and local governments; agencies of the U.S. government; and corporations. There are three basic types of bonds: U.S. Treasury, municipal, and corporate.

Treasury Securities

Bonds, bills, and notes issued by the U.S. government are generally called "Treasuries" and are the highest-quality securities available. They are issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the Bureau of Public Debt. All treasury securities are liquid and traded on the secondary market. They are differentiated by their maturity dates, which range from 30 days to 30 years. One major advantage of Treasuries is that the interest earned is exempt from state and local taxes. Treasuries are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest, so there is little risk of default.

Dessert bar owner hits home with entrée cupcakes

cupcakes-600Local food artisan and owner of Haute Monde dessert bar Fran'Kel Mosley showcased her modernized twist on simple finger food at a Groupon food tasting hosted at The New Tri-State Defender's office on Sunday, June 21st.

The hit of the afternoon came when Mosley introduced her new line of "savory" entrée cupcakes. Presented as a twist on the traditional American Sunday dinner, the guests quickly lined up for an imaginative way of enjoying meat loaf and mashed potatoes, chicken and dressing with sweet potatoes, and especially table favorite (and crowd pleaser), macaroni and cheese. Yep, homemade macaroni & cheese baked in a cupcake mold, as a side dish to the main courses.

  • Written by Tony Jones

Target-date funds keep retirement in sight

CharlesSimsJr-160MONEY MATTERS At the end of 2011, more than half of all recently hired 401(k) participants owned target-date mutual funds. When a worker is auto-enrolled, a target-date fund is often the default investment for retirement plan contributions.

Target-date funds are hybrid mutual funds that generally include a mix of assets (stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives) that automatically shifts as the account holder ages.

The target date is the approximate date when an investor plans to withdraw his or her money – typically the year when he or she expects to retire (such as 2030, 2040, or 2050). The further away the date is, the greater the risks that the target-date fund usually takes. The mix of investments generally becomes more conservative as the date grows closer. The "glide path" is a formula that determines how the asset mix will change over time.

Entrepreneurship: An upside to a downsize

CarleeMcCullough-160Layoffs, downsizing and restructuring have been felt by many nationwide. While the experience is rarely pleasant, the result can be life changing in a positive way if a successful, thriving business is the end product.

Across the country, entrepreneurs have taken lemons and made lemonade. From bed and breakfasts to cider companies, these former employees decided to become the employers in creative businesses that set them apart from others.

Our Town America

After working in corporate America for over 30 years, at 60 years old Su Hartung was laid off after a company buyout. Putting her experience in sales and marketing to great use, she purchased an Our Town America franchise in DeKalb, Ill. The franchise provides other businesses an avenue to market to new folks in the neighborhood.

State’s only MBDA Business Center celebrates first anniversary

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center kicks off the celebration of its first anniversary at 10 a.m. on Friday (July 19) and its operator – the Memphis Minority Business Council (MMBC) Continuum is signaling success.

The MBDA, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs. It does so by "promoting the growth and global competitiveness of minority businesses through access to capital, new markets, contracts and strategic business consulting." The Memphis Business center, located at 158 Madison Ave., Suite 101, was the first in the state.

The MMBC Continuum reports that over the past year (April 2012 to March 31, 2013) the MBDA center had 61 clients that produced $27.7 million dollars in contracts and created and retained 251 jobs.