Thursday, February 24, 2011

SPEAK THE TRUTH: A Live Exchange With C/ Dwayne West

The business community is flourishing as far as start-up goes. The economy has forced people everywhere to think about investing in themselves and not depending solely on finding jobs. In a recently published report, Black businesses are being started at a rapid pace and Chicago has seen significant growth over the last five years.

Angela - Chicago, IL: What is the current state of the business community in Chicago?

§ CDW: There are so many small, mid-size and micro-businesses struggling to maintain and create products that can attract consumers and investors. The future is bleak in some cases and prosperous in many areas. It really depends on the type of existing businesses and businesses being started.

David - Blue Island, IL: How do you feel about business leadership in your generation locally and nationally?

§ CDW: Business leadership is sort of invisible today. But there are many people who've been engaged and awakened over the years based on their own experiences starting a business or operating an existing enterprise. The next generation of business leaders emerging world - wide will have to demand their place at the table and not just create great products, but find ways to market and advertise their services to starving consumers.

Bernard - Bronzeville, IL: What areas can be improved in business relationships or partnerships?

§ CDW: After talking via phone with Bob Johnson recently, and hearing him firmly discuss how accomplished Black companies need to invest in other minority companies was refreshing. He sayed this is an area where Black business people fail - "They don't understand how important it is to build those alliances with people who look like them in establishing community growth. Minority business people think it’s a win to partner with white companies, but miss that business next door to them", states Johnson. And as a business owner for over ten years, I can contest to that. Business people pat me on the back and say good job, but never ask what can we do to assure growth or be involved to generate additional revenue streams for you and ourselves?

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