The top 100 African-American industrial/service companies – the core of Black Enterprise's 2013 report – collectively grossed more than $19.1 billion in 2012, a 2 percent increase over the previous year.
The BE 100s industrial/service companies employed 53,866 people in 2012, a 3 percent reduction from 2011.
The 60 largest black-owned auto dealers generated an additional $7.2 billion in revenues and employed 8,415 people in 2012. Despite the rebound of the domestic auto industry, the number of black-owned auto dealerships has yet to return to the levels prior to the beginning of the 2008 recession, when Black Enterprise ranked the top 100 largest dealerships.
ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Recently I tasted a sauce that was so good that I wanted to put it on everything. Already I have tried it on tacos, fish, steak, barbecue, hamburgers, chicken, lamb and French fries. The true treat was getting to know James Pitchford, who has taken the family sauce and perfected it. He started the Pitchford Sauce Company, LLC and this is his story.
Carlee McCullough: Tell me about yourself.
James Pitchford: In the past, my life has been one of struggle like so many others. With God I was able to persevere and overcome. I am steadily evolving as a person and as a business person. As it relates to my professional life, I have done heating, air conditioning, ventilation (HVAC) and plumbing in many capacities and for many clients. But as of recently, I am the founder and creator of Oo! D...Good Sauce®.
Radio personality and "What's Happening Myron" entertainment columnist Myron Mays is now an App. Well, more precisely, Mays has just released the WHM Mobile App.
"It's a pretty good tool if you want to be connected to what's happening in Memphis," said Mays.
"I just added a Black Business directory to it and starting this Friday (Aug. 16), I will also have a small business resource feature as well. You can of course keep up with the Book Club happenings, listen to all of my radio shows and access all of the latest concerts and events."
From March 2009 – when the stock market hit bottom during the financial crisis – through December 2012, investors withdrew almost $400 billion more from equity mutual funds than they added to them. During the same period, the S&P 500 gained more than 100 percent, leaving many frustrated investors in its wake.
The flight from stocks during the depths of the recession was not surprising, but 2012 saw the biggest migration from stock funds during the last five years. Yet the average equity fund, with reinvestment of dividends, gained 14.6 percent in 2012. Of course, past performance does not guarantee future results.
The tide seems to be turning in 2013, with net investment of almost $20 billion in domestic equity funds during the first two months. Perhaps it's a good time to examine the role of stocks or stock funds in your portfolio.
Dynamic by any standard, an unconventional path towards success has defined and opened doors for Aaron Arnold – the under-30 CEO who will keynote this weekend's Memphis Urban League Young Professionals Empowerment Conference.
For those in need of a snapshot, consider this description: a young millennial innovator, risk taker, CEO, MC and party host, producer, trendsetter, inspirational speaker, entrepreneur and lifestyle expert.
Some might have called him crazy a few years back when he left a well-paying executive position with one of the top five PR firms in the world to work for free as an intern at Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Records. Feeling burned out and dissatisfied with his career and having a burning passion for music, the Chicago (south side) native embraced the demanding task of working with "Mr. Combs" (as he respectfully refers to the hip hop mogul). And in the words of Robert Frost, "that has made all the difference."
It 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.
ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Over the years I have come across some pretty unique products invented by folks eager to earn a profit from their product development of prototypes, samples and/or creations. From cookies to generators and sauce to hair products, the ideas are plentiful. But it takes a team and a plan to truly succeed on a large scale.
Now there is a difference between having your product placed in a few "mom and pop" stores and having them in Wal-Mart stores across the country. Let's discuss what it takes to bring your product to "retail ready."
An organized plan makes the process much easier to accomplish. The plan is the map to introduce the product and/or brand to retail. Decide early on if the plan is to "go small" or "go big" box retail. But either way, a plan is needed. Consider starting small, which may include flea markets, farmer's markets and smaller retail stores. Once you have a track record and a sales record, larger stores may gain interest.