25 Aug 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
Special to the Tri-State Defender
How many opportunities go unrecognized or un-pursued once we grow accustomed or jaded to a certain predicament?
It has been known for quite some time that the largest remaining untapped goldmine in America is the under-invested urban communities across this nation. Social scientists know this, political scientists know this, demographers know this, traffic planners know this, market analysts know this, and many of the individuals caught up in (or sensitive to) this reality know this. Which begs this question: Why aren’t all the overstocked capitalists depositing investment dollars in these areas?
One possible answer is the lack of structure, in terms of a proven delivery system. There is no “pipeline” for funneling dollars into the inner-ring of most urban communities. Many of the organizations that have community development as a mission in such areas must accept the tag of non-profit when they target these communities. In a capitalistic system, big dollars will only come when the profit incentive is present. Because “money capital” must come from the outside, the profit incentive must be packaged and branded from the inside (or agents representing the inside) as a prior condition for attracting investors.
So as not to limit the application of this premise to a brick-and-mortar aspect of this development, it should be noted that there are basic principles that apply whether the goal is a tangible building or an intangible mindset. Many of the required components are the same. Having gone almost full circle, the component ascribed in capturing the notion of intellectual capital must be elevated in value to meet or exceed the value of the outside resource, “money capital.”
While it is commonly understood that investment follows ideas, agents of the under-invested environments have been either unable or unmotivated to development profitable solutions (ideas) to the problems (opportunities). This continues to exist even while the rest of America has moved on to the excesses of throw-away shopping centers, throw-away neighborhoods, disbanded “advances” that become obsolete in the time it takes to get them to market, and other excesses that reflect the reality of excess capital chasing shortages of profitable ideas.
The intellectual capital component should be collected, organized, packaged, and branded as an equity commodity to negotiate money capital. The value of intellectual capital should be set at levels sufficient to address the problems/opportunities at the very levels they exist. Money is not in short supply under the capitalistic model. A small group (initially) should be brought together from the inside to develop a strategic basis. The sooner it starts, the better. It is not too late if we start today!
(Tyrone Moore does business as Trademarker’s Enterprises. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org)