All Articles Tagged "business"
Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, especially when it comes to the web and the world of fashion. These 12 entrepreneurs have given back to the fashion, beauty and creative communities in major ways and we think they’re worth noting. Whether you’re looking for your next stroke of genius or hoping to change the game, take a cue from Tumblr founder David Karp who shows it’s never too early to get a head start!
Well it seems that if you are poor and black, your cousin CiCi and uncle Tookie might not be doing you any favors in helping you with your professional aspirations.
That’s according to Nancy Ditomaso, who writes for the New York Times that black unemployment, which is holding steady at over 13 percent, may have more to do with favoritism than actual racial discrimination. She writes:
“Favoritism is almost universal in today’s job market. In interviews with hundreds of people on this topic, I found that all but a handful used the help of family and friends to find 70 percent of the jobs they held over their lifetimes; they all used personal networks and insider information if it was available to them.
In this context of widespread networking, the idea that there is a job “market” based solely on skills, qualifications and merit is false. Whenever possible, Americans seeking jobs try to avoid market competition: they look for unequal rather than equal opportunity. In fact, the last thing job seekers want to face is equal opportunity; they want an advantage. They want to find ways to cut in line and get ahead.”
Ditomaso, then goes on to say that:
“The interviewees in my study who were most angry about affirmative action were those who had relatively fewer marketable skills — and were therefore most dependent on getting an inside edge for the best jobs. Whites who felt entitled to these positions believed that affirmative action was unfair because it blocked their own privileged access.”
And this is exactly why affirmative action is still necessary.
This is also the reason why networking is also important too. As Ditomaso points out in the piece when you are poor and black, you tend to only network with other poor and black folks, which means that the odds that your network would be able to connect you to the right opportunities, particularly ones that will enable you not to be poor anymore, are relatively slim. To Ditomaso’s point, connections are how most folks nowadays get jobs. That’s because the vast majority of job openings are not advertised – or at least not the good ones. And the only way to tap into the underground job market is if you, for the lack of a better term, have a hook-up.
For instance, the last job I held came about from responding to an advert for another position within the same company. When the interviewer called me, it was actually someone, who I had previously collaborated in a professional manner. Not only did she know me but was already familiar with my work and instead of the one position, which didn’t fit my qualifications exactly, she hipped me to another, more appropriate position, which hadn’t even been posted yet. Thinking back throughout my life, there are no shortage of opportunities, which I received from the assistance of my social network.
Even if you are not into those prefabricated and stuffy wine and cheese networking events, which I am certainly not into, folks should still be out there, meeting people. The last few opportunities I have received usually came by way of meeting people at events outside of the whole professional-building capacity. Like at art gallery exhibition openings; or book and panel discussions; or through volunteer opportunities. The point is that even if you were not born into more affluent social networks, you can obtain them by adopting a lifestyle in which you are open to new and diverse experiences. And I’m not talking interracial but also intra-racial as well.
I can say from personal experience that networking in circles outside of the ones in which I was raised has helped me tremendously when I was first started out in my professional career. It was my secondary network, which I begun to develop at Virginia Union University (an HBCU), which hipped me to the professional career fairs and opportunities. And it was the secondary network of black professionals, many alum and other VUU-connected folks, who just wanted to help me, which lead to my first official job interview post-graduation. Without the network outside of my family and friends, I doubt highly that those professional doors would have been open to me. Although I love my family to death, they just don’t have that sort of social capital.
With that said, it was my great-grandmother, who never finished high school, that gave me money towards outfits to wear for my job interviews. And it was my grandmother, a woman who worked in a candy factor for most of her career, that lent me her old beat-up Ford Focus to get myself around to these interviews. And it was my homie, a maintenance employee at one of the major hotel chains, who got me the friends and family “discount” on a room for those interviews that were far away from home. Even without having the appropriate connections to get me in the door, my network of family and friends were going to use whatever resources they had to ensure that I was well equipped when I walked through that door.
A new crowdfunding site, currently in beta, is focusing on getting funding and capital for African-American entrepreneurs. BlackStartup.com was started by a group of Morehouse College alumni, all Omega Psi Phi fraternity brothers, and is accepting applications from companies and organizations founded by African Americans.
The companies will use the site as a crowdfunding platform, and BlackStartup.com also has resources and a blog to support business owners. CEO Nate Bennett Fleming, who is an adjunct professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia’s School of Law, researched crowdfunding and African-American business, determining that while African Americans have a lot of business ideas, they often lack the access to capital to get the ideas off the ground.
“I wanted to create a solution to address that problem,” he said. “At this point, we do the crowdfunding and address increasing access to capital and as we expand, we’ll create partnerships with on-ground organizations that look to encouraging entrepreneurship and support entrepreneurs to help with mentoring.”
So far, the for-profit BlackStartup.com has received more than 10 applications over the past couple weeks from businesses ranging from technology companies to nonprofits to artistic endeavors.
Have you ever been in this situation? You go to work on your very first day, eager and mentally ready to finally conquer Excel. You get signed in by security and enter the elevator, maybe meeting a smiling face or two. You walk through the doors of your new job, greet the receptionist, get ushered in and quickly notice that mostly everyone around you is of the same racial or ethnic makeup.
It can be disheartening to work in a corporation that offers amazing benefits, but very little of diversity within. But we shouldn’t be too hard on HR; some businesses just may not understand the various ways in which diversity would truly benefit them beyond gaining Multicultural Excellence Awards for their advertising campaigns. Here are the top nine ways that diversity benefits businesses:
In just a few short years, Pinterest has become one of the top social media outlets generating more website referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn…combined. It boasts over 1.30 million unique users daily and has been giving search engine giants like Google a run for their money in the traffic source department.
More and more companies are turning to Pinterest as a means to site traffic and even selling product. Consumers are even spending more money on Pinterest than it’s popular counterpart, Facebook. This is major news as tons of businesses aren’t capitalizing on all of these advantages.
So while you may see Pinterest as a fun pastime to collage your wants and dreams, entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to generate new business.
Interested in pinning for your business? Here are some tips and tricks to make it beneficial .
Juggling babies and bills is hard work, especially for new moms in our current economy. Many businesses offer maternal leave to take care of your new arrival. Yet this time given in a new mom’s life is never enough to nurture a baby in the most important developmental years of their life. Must you quit your job to stay home and take care of your baby? Should you look for a better, more flexible new career that will put food in you and your new family’s bellies? Or will you climb back to your current job only to juggle both work responsibilities and new worries about childcare? If you are planning to have a baby in the near future while climbing up your own personal ladder of professional success, read on about these influential companies that are helping to alleviate the stresses of new motherhood and keeping up with your bills.
The newlywed and engaged couples of the 21st century are very different from the bride-and-groom of the last century. Who is the modern engaged or newlywed couple? We could picture them planning their wedding in between lunch breaks at the office, scheduling a honeymoon around their babysitters, and sharing a home before the nuptials.
The changes in the typical couple of today’s society is also reflected in the wedding style and even in the wedding registry. The traditional wedding registry usually consisted of the usual household items, like kitchenware, bedding, and home improvement tools. But as couples are getting married later in life and living together much sooner, the content in a wedding registry has been modernized as well.
MyRegistry.com, launched in 2007 by founder, Oded Berkowitz, realized what was needed for the modern couple looking to expand their wedding registry to meet their needs. Nancy Lee of MyRegistry.com explores the most popular wedding registry items for today’s newlywed couple, and how it differs from the traditional “toaster” items of yesterday.
Chris and Ada Ngoforo, a couple living in London are very serious when it comes to teaching their daughters about their Nigerian heritage. When they were unable to find dolls that looked like their daughters, the entrepreneurs launched an African-themed line of dolls called “Rooti Dolls,” reports CNN.
The couple became concerned because their three daughters did not speak Igbo, one of the ethnic languages spoken in Nigeria.
“We thought amongst ourselves what we can do to actually help them to learn Igbo more,” said Chris Ngoforo.
Although the designing of the dolls began as a simple way for the Ngoforo’s to bridge the gap between their daughters and their Nigerian culture, they quickly realized that they had a fantastic business opportunity in front of them.
The dolls are programmed to speak in a variety of Africa’s native languages and are said to promote positive self-image in young girls.
“We observed that over 90% of children born or living in the diaspora and millions in Africa do not speak or understand their mother tongues. Our research made us understand that the reason for this is not because our children don’t want to learn their mother tongues, but more because there are not many essential tools that can easily be both educational and fun at the same time,” said Ngoforo.
So far the line has produced 12 dolls. Each of them are from a different country in Africa, speak multiple languages and comes with her own interesting backstory. As if that isn’t amazing enough, Ngoforo revealed that he and his wife were sure to create the dolls with varying shades of skin color in an effort to do away with inaccurate representations of Black people.
“Over the years my wife and I have found it extremely hard finding real black dolls that can truly connect with our little daughters. The dolls out there in the market are nothing close to the real image of a black child in terms of features and other attributes — they are either too thin, too light or chiseled-faced, and even the complexions of most of the dolls are kind of whitewashed,” he said.
“The unfortunate effect of this stereotypical misrepresentation is a case of low self-esteem among black children who have been directly or indirectly made to believe less in themselves as a black child. They have been made to believe that you have to look like a white doll to be accepted as beautiful or even good,” he continued.
Skip to the next page for more photos of the Rooti Dolls.
As South By Southwest takes over Austin through March 17, the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce (CCAACC) in the city is promoting its new Black Technology Council, launched last month.
“Austin is becoming more of a technology epicenter in the US and it was important to me that the organization is aligned with the highest growth industry of the city, which is technology,” said Natalie Madeira Cofield, president and CEO for the CCAACC in Austin. “The Council was developed with the mission to accelerate engagement in entrepreneurship, identify and share best practices, and encourage inclusivity.”
The group launched in February, when they hosted an event featuring a live-stream of a TED Talk, and the Council also hosted a welcome event for black creatives who would be in Austin for SXSW. So far, companies including Google, Dell, Samsung, HP, and smaller tech startups have officially joined the CCAACC and its Black Technology Council, Cofield said, and the organization was featured on the cover of Black Enterprise’s March 2013 issue.
Lola Bakare, a co-chair of the Black Technology Council and the chief of staff/strategy innovation for Dell’s commercial business located in Austin, told MadameNoire that the city has a bit of a leakage problem, as blacks often move to New York, San Francisco, and other larger cities, and that Austin has a slightly smaller percentage of African-Americans compared to the national average.
“It’s critical for us to cultivate that same level of excitement and vibrancy in our city so we don’t have that brain drain and so we can attract people so we can continue to build,” she said. “The council is for everyone who is passionate about ensuring that people of color become a part of this community.”
Cofield added: “We aspire to have this council serve as a way to help Austin recognize its potential as a mecca for black tech talent.”
Well it’s here! The Network Journal announces its 15th annual list of the 25 Most Influential Women in Business. These 25 women were selected to be recognized amongst hundreds of nominees including professionals and entrepreneurs.
If you’re not familiar with it, The Network Journal is a black business magazine published six times each year, with each publication providing news and commentary that addresses the growth of entrepreneurship and the advancement of professionals in the workplace. Most of its readers are black professionals, corporate executives and small business owners.
The select group of women are profiled in the March issue of the magazine and will also be honored during Women History Month at the 15th Annual 25 Influential Black Women in Business Awards Luncheon on Thursday March 21st. The Mistress of Ceremonies for the event will be CBS correspondent Michelle Miller, who is also the recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Award of Excellence.
If you are an influential woman in your own right, or aspiring to be one and want to rub elbows with these powerful women, you can purchase tickets for $300 before March 15th or $350.00 thereafter. The event will be held at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City Thursday March 21st from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
View TNJ’s list of extraordinary women here.