Magazine article Black Enterprise

A World of Opportunity

Magazine article Black Enterprise

A World of Opportunity

Article excerpt

Not so long ago, doing business internationally was the exclusive domain of the largest and most aggressive multinational corporations. For African American enterprises, doing business nationally--outside the immediate neighborhood, municipality or region was impressive in and of itself. Large-scale business in international markets was simply beyond the reach of even the most aggressive black entrepreneur.

Much of this has changed, particularly during the past decade. Countries from Eastern Europe to Southern Africa are now embracing capitalism as the key to their economic futures. And more black-owned companies, like much of American business, have discovered that to grow, they must seek opportunities beyond our nation's shores. This reality was a primary consideration in my participation in Egoli Beverages LP, which owns New Age Beverages Ltd., a Pepsi-Cola bottling franchise, in partnership with black South Africans.

Indeed, African American businesses, from BE 100s companies such as TLC Beatrice International Holdings to the growing number of individual black entrepreneurs in import/export, have established a global presence. However, this reality presents a stark contrast to the most recent numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau measuring the growth and impact of black-owned businesses. While the Census acknowledges the rapid growth in the number of our businesses (46%, from 422,1155 in 1987 to 620,912 in 1992), because of a gap in its surveying procedures, it severely distorts and underestimates the economic impact of black-owned enterprises, in terms of both sales and employment. …

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