I had the pleasure of speaking at length recently with African-American entrepreneur Robert Blackwell, Founder and CEO of EKI-Digital in Chicago. This discussion came in the middle of the social upheaval that is shaking our country’s foundations.
His ideas regarding race and commerce are refreshing and effective.
I like people that are effective, instead of those who want to take and not make.
Mr. Blackwell is one of those individuals who knows how to get things done for the black community and in-turn, for America.
Sitting on the U.S. Black Business Participation Task Force, which works hand-in-hand with the U.S. Congress regarding economic issues, Blackwell can influence policy.
We hope policymakers listen to his suggestions.
The U.S. Black Business Participation Taskforce (BBPT) is a non-partisan taskforce that advocates for black American business participation in the modern parts of the U.S. economy through the voluntary cooperation of Americans of good will that believe that it is time for us to prove that the free enterprise system works for everyone. The pathway that leads to community well-being starts with entrepreneurial-led economic activity which leads to the appreciation of education and social capital. Social capital creates opportunity and aspiration so that young people and their families know where to place their bets.
Blackwell spoke of his lead partner program, set up to simply do business with qualified black companies in a meaningful, non-pass through way.
‘With a clear value proposition, in exchange for the opportunity, and incurring a responsibility to bring others forward, we should ask American businesses to just do business with black-owned firms as a prime contractor, not as a sub. In turn black businesses should mentor and bring up protégés, to increase wealth for all.
“We have a community enrichment responsibility, to start small black IT companies, mowers and blowers, microfinancing to take care of grass and snow.
“Another idea is a ‘housing for tutoring exchange’ – a place to live, with mentoring for elementary and high school kids.
“We need our own Moon mission, people of good will for free enterprise that works for everyone.
“India, China, prepared their citizens for markets, then the U.S. started doing business. We can do the same in black communities.
“How to get from poverty to prosperity? Entrepreneurial activity leads to social capital, an aspirational road map. Sports and entertainment are not the only thing.
“Today Democrats have no better idea than send a check.
“People of good will can work together, black and white, towards a common outcome. You can love your own people and not hate everyone else.”
We sincerely hope Mr. Blackwell is successful in his efforts.