As the only female African American public utility owner in the nation, who built my first company to $36million and my second to over $2.5 million in less than 5 months, I used to be overwhelmed at why my Black customers would be taken aback at the fact that I was the owner. For the first 5 years of owning my business I decided to hide the fact that I was the owner. I even, would say that I was the receptionist in order to make sure that the Black customers would not be so judgemental and continue to support my business. Do you think I was crazy?

I finally decided that I would just come out and be proud. After completing an informal survey, I can share with you what I discovered from their answers on my free webinar on Tuesday.

Why Black Businesses Are Struggling?
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Free Lunch & Learn Webinar: Discover the Top 5 Reasons Why Blacks Don't Support Your Black Owned Business

Title: Why Black Businesses Are Struggling?

Date: Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST

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Black people have a hard time seeing others become successful. It seems to be a reminder of what they have not accomplished for themselves. We have very little confidence in each other. The "crabs in a barrel mentality" keeps us divided. This type of self hatred is ingrained in us historically because of the suffering of our ancestors and the brainwashing through generations that we are not good enough.

We are good enough and it is time to wake up to a new "World View" about our global contribution to the economy and society in general.

My business is young. I can't wait to become more successful to support the wonderful businesses I have seen on BBWO. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work for myself because I worked so hard for my employers when I had a job and I still did not receive any additional compensation for working any harder. I want to see all women of color become successful and independent. Women are very conscious of the state of the economy because we make the financial decisions for our families.

Omitunde, Publisher of African American Family Connection
An online magazine about African American Family values and community.
Visit AAFC for the latest issue each month and a copy of "The Ripple Effect".
Richelle so many of us are still living in the residue of slavery. Physically we are free yet we continue to experience mentacide which was once from our caucasion brothas and sisters but now its us doing it to each other . Omitunde said it best when she said, Its a reminder of what we have not accomplished. The irony is if we do not support each other we actually do not support ourselves and aid in our own goals and desire for progress and a better life. Envy and jealousy is a rampade disease which is killing us from the inside out.

I am pleased that you have decided to let the world know that you are the owner of YOUR business, God would not want anything less, its sad when we work hard for something and feel uncomfortable about the success of it. Keep doing what you are doing sis, keep exceeding the limits in business and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Always remember, When you get, Give, When you learn, Teach ! Peace, Life & Infinite Blessings !
My business can only grow so much because not a lot of black women wear their hair naturally. The numbers are growing, but we still live in a world in which the beauty of white women is sought.

Thank you,
Carmen of Tomoka's Twists
Thank you Richelle for sharing your valuable information.

I would like to challenge the thousands of ladies here. In order to get something different, you have to do something different! We are the black community and change has to start with us!

1. Who does your taxes? It is the beginning of the season for personal and business taxes. Find a tax professional here and use her. You can ask others for references. If you don't use an African American for your tax business ask yourself, why not?

2. Where are you getting your new holiday outfit and jewelry? Find a fashion/jewelry shop here and use them. You can ask others for references. If you don't use an African American boutique this season, ask yourself, why not?

3. Where are you doing your christmas shopping? We are spending billions in the last months of the year. Find a business here and use them. You can ask others for references. If you don't use an African American business this holiday season, ask yourself, why not?

I will stop here but you get the message. Everything we need is right here!

Do something different, shop among ourselves and share the information with families and friends! This should be the best months in business because we are apart of this network!

God Bless and Much Success
I truly, want to thank Richelle for this statement. Selling to my people, my people, has been one of the most difficult task I have ever had to take on. Its just incredible how they will spend with the others. I've advertised in local newspapers. I've given out fliers in my area. Still no response. What do we, as a people need to do. To convince our folks that were in business too. If anyone has any answers please drop me a line. It saddens me.
Happy Holidays Everyone!
Hello I just want to give you your KOODLES on striving and are an inspiration. I 've always been business minded and I am with AmeriplanUSA( and I also have a cleaning service. Yet things are slow I still have that mustard seed faith and I was reading your page and you have given me a renewed since of urgency..telling me that I must not stop I must keep on Keeping on and I thankyou for that my sista!.. I love to see Women.African American women get and have something for themselves thats their own. I appreciate you and your dedication.

Since everyone can identify with the lack of support of black businesses, please stop by the Etsy Artists of Color Street Team blog to see the many handcrafted items we have to offer. I am having a contest for one of sets right now on the blog. We intend to have more contests and give-aways in efforts to bring people to our site.

Please come by and leave a comment even if you do not enter. Just saying, 'hello' is more encouraging than nothing being said at all.

Thank you,
Carmen - Etsy Artists of Color Street Team - Blog
I am a firm believer is supporting a good business, but if that business happens to be black then great! I think it is important to be mindful of what companies you give your money to. I supported a "black" hair business. I won't give the name, but the service was horrible and so was the quality of the product. I went out of my way to support this sister (because I could have gone done to the korean store and got the same thing for much cheaper) but she let me and quite a few other customers down. While I love to support my black business, quality and good customer service is the basis for who I support.


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