How Black Love Parallels Black Business Investment
I recently read an article on Forbes.com comparing finding the right investors to dating/relationships. Having gone through the process a few times myself, I would say that this is a good analogy and I’ve actually heard it made before. But when I read it this time, it made me realize something. If getting investment for your business is like dating, then I guess that explains why there’s so little investment dollars going to Black companies.
Despite all the ruckus caused by high-profile interracial celebrity couples and the stereotype of white women being the Black man’s kryptonite, most people actually prefer to date within their race. I personally don’t think this is either good or bad, it just is what it is. People generally tend to feel more comfortable spending time with other people that can relate to them, and you can’t force people to date someone they don’t want to (arranged marriages notwithstanding).
Investing in a company really is a serious commitment, like a relationship, and viewing it from that perspective, it’s understandable why many investors (who are mostly not Black) have problems investing in/committing to Black-owned businesses. They’re just not that into us. So I guess that means Black people are going to have to step up and invest in themselves rather than relying on other groups to commit to us. This means forming more investment clubs, events, websites and organizations that match up Black folk with more money than they know what to do with (e.g. athletes and entertainers, Iverson) and Black companies that know what to do with it. And most importantly, after we’ve started and invested in the best of these companies we need to at least be able to rely on Black consumers to buy their products and services and promote the ones that they like to their friends and family. Now if we can only get Black entertainers to name-drop Black-owned brands instead of Gucci, Prada, Michael Kors, Louboutin, and [insert overpriced-brand-owned-by-white-folks-that-care-nothing-about-Black-people here]…