When Black baseball players weren’t allowed access to the white leagues, they created the Negro Leagues. When Blacks were not allowed to attend state universities — which we paid taxes to fund — we created HBCUs. Today Black entrepreneurs often struggle to raise capital to launch or grow their businesses. Most urgently, Black entrepreneurs (me included) simply don’t have a marketing budget to compete with their counterparts. As it was in the past, Black people find themselves locked out of opportunity and so it’s time for us to be our own marketing agency — social media gives us the platforms to do so.
Black people can make anyone rich and we just proved it. Yes, Black entrepreneurs are kept in business today largely because of Black consumers but we can go further than “keeping them in business.” We can make our entrepreneurs rich. Thanks largely to Black people, Popeye’s received a marketing campaign of roughly $24 million, completely free of charge. That’s the power of social media. If a $24 million advertising budget was split among 100 Black businesses, each would have $240,000 worth of free advertising. I assure you, the average Black business doesn’t spend that much in advertising over a 5 year period. In fact, my company spends roughly $3,000 annually on advertising. Are you starting to get the picture?
It’s time for action. It’s time to replace one thing with another. It’s time to reinvest our energy into our own. We could legitimately make 100 Black millionaires before 2020. Black entrepreneurs make the most of scraps each day; imagine what they could do with a serious marketing budget. The time for talk is over — it’s time for action. Let’s commit to using our voices to make Black millionaires. We don’t have millions in capital for advertising so let’s become our own marketing apparatus. We’ve used our personal platforms over and over to make others wealthy, why not ourselves? It’s time to go hard for Black businesses. If anyone should reap riches from our social media platforms, it should be us. We’ve always reacted to being locked out of opportunity, let’s keep that same energy.