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Youth Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurial Mindset
Our goal is to empower African American youth and young adults to become 21st century thinkers by awakening their entrepreneurial spirit, inspiring them to become the architects of their futures, and giving them the confidence to transform their world.
One of the most powerful agents in curtailing Black youth crime in major cities is the presence of Black business owners, according to Karen Parker, professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware. By her analysis, the positive influence of visible Black business owners seems to flow in two ways.
“First, minority-owned businesses, through the lives of their owners, employees, and families, can serve an important function – as role models to urban youth in the community,” she writes. “Business growth also means an inflow of resources into the community, reducing the level of economic disadvantage that has been linked to urban violence.”
Culturally, the presence of Black business owners in a community, particularly if there is poverty or other socioeconomic disadvantage, often raises morale and staves off the cynicism that social scientists have tied to high crime among youth. The study also asserts that Black business owners tend to be involved in maintaining other positive areas of their communities, such as schools, churches, and recreation centers.
Cultivating an entrepreneurial way of thinking in African American youth helps them focus on solutions, rather than the problem. The entrepreneurial mindset is an attitude, along with a set of skills and behaviors, that young people need to succeed academically, personally, and professionally. These include initiative and self-direction, risk-taking, flexibility, adaptability, creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving. According to the Black Enterprise magazine, “more and more people have embraced entrepreneurship as a means to build wealth.
Our program provides comprehensive solutions to achieve sustainable Socio-economic objectives. Our social entrepreneurship drives social innovation and transformation in economics, education, health, the local environment, and enterprise development.
WCWIO has created a series of “best-practice” training modules designed to accelerate the skills acquisition of aspiring youth and young adult entrepreneurs. These modules are based on lessons learned from past entrepreneurship training programs as well as input obtained from leading practitioners. As funding becomes available additional modules will be added.
The financial well-being of African Americans lags behind that of the U.S. population as a whole, and whites in particular. The reasons for this gap are complex, but one area of importance in addressing it is increased financial literacy.
Financial wellness depends in part on how well individuals navigate the myriad of financial decisions faced in the normal course of life. Financial literacy is knowledge and understanding that enable sound financial decision making and effective management of personal finances. As such, financial literacy contributes to financial well-being.
Millennials face financial pressures that will jeopardize and limit their economic opportunities. This, combined with a lack of financial aptitude and overconfidence in financial matters, can be a recipe for a grim financial future for the largest generation since the Baby Boomers.
18 to 29 year olds have the highest underemployment rate since World War II, and the number of college grads working minimum wage jobs is at its highest rate ever. (AP, US Census, BLS) “America’s unemployed youth will cost an estimated $4.7 trillion over their lifetimes in lost revenue, welfare, crime and health care expenditures.” (White House Council)
WCWIO is a community organization focused on breaking the cycle of poverty by educating youth and young adults, strengthening their families, and building a healthy community. We help people turn their business ideas into reality by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support network in Sacramento. Whether it’s our classes, networking events, mentorship, or connections to resources we’re here to provide a nurturing community that allows ideas to develop and flourish over time.
Using the BIZ-TRAIN ACADEMY (BTA) as a catalyst, WE CAN WORK IT OUT INC. (WCWIO) works collaboratively with entrepreneurs and corporations to address the economic inequality and wealth gap in urban communities across the Greater Sacramento area. Factors such as under-employment, lack of education, mass-incarceration, poor access to healthy foods, inadequate healthcare, poverty tax, and media misrepresentation inhibit the ability for urban communities to break through the economic glass ceiling. By focusing on the creation of generational wealth by way of entrepreneurship, the BIZ-TRAIN ACADEMY looks forward to helping reverse this trend. WCWIO hopes to not only build the next generation of young entrepreneurs through the BTA, but also to model the necessity of mentorship and giving back, both of which are essential to building wealth in under-served communities.
Heading into a presidential election year, we are a nation divided, looking for solutions. Kauffman's VP of Entrepreneurship Victor Hwang writes for PBS Newshour that some prioritize the protection of jobs from global competition, others talk about addressing income inequality, while others emphasize overall economic growth. Hiding in plain sight is a vast opportunity to unite our nation and grow our economy. However, few leaders on the national stage even mention the essential American calling of starting a business, and how it could change lives and communities for the better.
STARTUPS—THE MAIN DRIVERS OF JOB CREATION—ARE DYING.
Over 60% of all net new jobs come from startups, but only half as many businesses are being created today as a generation ago. (SBA, Kauffman Foundation) Increasing opportunities and exposure to innovation for poor, women, black, and Latino youth could quadruple the number of innovators in the US. (Equality of Opportunity Project)
Over 11 million young adults from underrepresented communities in the United States want to start a business but lack the support and resources to do so. (SBA, Kauffman Foundation) Over 10 million professionals want to volunteer their time and talents to help others succeed. (LinkedIn Research)
OUR THREE CORE SERVICES...
Training: young adult-adapted entrepreneurship learning pathways by content area, industry, stage, etc.
Advising & Mentoring: we recruit, screen, train, match, and support young entrepreneurs & volunteers in one-on-one, flexible, and meaningful engagements.
Funding: risk-tolerant startup grants for young entrepreneurs (under development in 2020).
Skills Development: hard & soft skills, mindset development, confidence, awareness, and knowledge.
Opportunity: sales opportunities, business resources, connections, and capital.
LEADING TO IMPACT
New businesses and jobs created by underrepresented young entrepreneurs in underserved communities.
Employability and life outcomes improved through practical business experiences and increased social capital.
While many brick-and-mortar entrepreneurship programs exist for kids or the general adult population, we are the only local program focused on the unique needs of underrepresented youth and young adult entrepreneurs.
Identifying and nurturing entrepreneurial potential among African American youth can have long-term implications for African American economic empowerment. Prior research has not addressed whether education and enterprise experience will affect the development of entrepreneurial talent prior to the collegiate level. Our research concludes that entrepreneurship education and enterprise experience can affect characteristics commonly associated with entrepreneurs among intermediate level students. Students who get education and training in entrepreneurship have greater overall entrepreneurial characteristics, higher achievement motivation, more personal control, and greater self-esteem than a comparable cohort. Students who participate in enterprise activities have greater overall entrepreneurial characteristics, more personal control, greater self-esteem and more innovation than a comparable associate.
The Effects of Education and Enterprise Experience
The development of entrepreneurial talent is important to sustaining a competitive advantage in a global economy that is catalyzed by innovation. The role of quality entrepreneurship education and training in identifying and nurturing this entrepreneurial potential among youth is becoming apparent to students, policy makers, and educators. According to a recent Gallup poll of American high school students (as cited in Kourilsky & Carlson, 1997), 85% reported they knew little about business; 80% of high school students think that more entrepreneurship should be taught while 68% indicated a desire to learn more about entrepreneurship. The recent introduction of the Future Entrepreneurs of America Act by Congress provides further evidence of the need for youth and family economic empowerment and self-employment as a viable career option for young people.
Prior research suggests that identifying and nurturing potential entrepreneurs throughout the education process could produce many long-term economic benefits (McClelland & Winter, 1969; Hatten & Ruhland, 1995 & Hansemark, 1998). Specifically, a venture support system based on entrepreneurship education designed to stimulate and facilitate entrepreneurial activities, could result in a lower unemployment rate, increased establishment of new companies, and fewer failures of existing businesses. Entrepreneurship education can also be an important component of economic strategies for fostering job creation (McMullan, Long, & Graham, 1987). More specifically, effective youth entrepreneurship education prepares young people to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities (Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education).
Summary of PowerNomics® The concept of PowerNomics® was created by Dr. Claud Anderson and is described in his book PowerNomics®: The National Plan to Empower Black America (www.powernomics.com). The PowerNomics® concept and plan teaches Blacks how to pool resources and aspects of power so that they can produce, distribute and consume in a way that creates goods and wealth. Black Americans made extraordinary contributions to American society despite the astonishing, unusual and unconscionable treatment they have endured in America. Blacks were the engines that drove the political-economic development of this nation for centuries. They should, therefore, value their exceptionality and let that sense of worth, guide their group behavior. They should require that any business, political party or political candidate who seeks or benefits from Black support, always identify Blacks by name, commit and in reciprocity, deliver tangible, measurable benefits to Black Americans. They should never allow themselves to be grouped with or equated to broad and ambiguous classes such as minorities, immigrants, people of color, diversity, poor people or similar defining terms. The nation is indebted to Blacks and equating them to fabricated classes adds insult to injury, hides their special history and promotes the myth that all people have been created and treated equally and that all groups have contributed equally to the building of the nation. Nothing is further from the truth. The purpose of PowerNomics® is to guide native Blacks from their position of powerlessness to one of group competitiveness and self-sufficiency.
Dr. Claud Anderson Calls for a National Black Holiday: Harvest Festival Day Dr. Claud Anderson has issued a call for his PowerNomics® supporters to take action. He calls on them to take local initiative to support a national Harvest Festival Day by organizing events in their own neighborhoods this August 10.. The purpose is to generate a national Black social cohesiveness and sense of community that inspires all Americans to recognize and appreciate the unique role that Black Americans played as the socioeconomic engine that drove the building of this nation, but instead of being recognized have been discarded. The unique contributions and achievements of Native Black Americans unify them. They deserve an annual, special festive day just like Jews have Passover, Hispanics have a Cinco de Mayo, the Irish have St. Patrick’s Day, White Americans have Fourth of July, gays have Pride Day, and Germanic immigrants have Oktoberfest. An annual Harvest Festival Day would represent the positive, the exceptionality of Black Americans and serve as a platform to rediscover who they are, where they are and where they ought to be headed. Local Black communities could renew their faith and trust in each other, build and support their own businesses, and become politically and economically competitive in our competitive society. It is now harvest time for an abandoned labor class whose members were denied their freedom, humanity, just compensation for their labor, but worse, were even denied the right to enjoy the benefits that their suffering and labor produced. Harvest is from the Old English word, meaning ‘autumn,’ a season for reaping and gathering the yield from one’s labor. Five hundred years of institutionalized slavery, Jim Crow Segregation, and integration, made Black Americans the stepping stone to the American Dream for others. An endless flow of immigrants have entered this nation seeking unearned economic benefits, rights and privileges long denied a subordinated Black under-class. There is no better time, than the autumn of 2020, for Black Americans to come together and claim the results of their labor, suffering and accomplishments that others have long enjoyed. Black Americans need a Harvest Festival Day, in which they can gather with family and friends, rebuild their physical and business communities and schools, learn new codes of appropriate group-based behavior and accountability, begin practicing group-based economics and politics, celebrate their sports/entertainment accomplishments, and generate new pride in their own racial identity. Dr. Anderson proposes that Harvest Festival Day be an annual event celebrated at the beginning of the harvesting season, nationally and in local communities on the Second Saturday in August, regardless of the calendar date. Local organizing committees should seek the participation of all Black businesses, civil rights organizations, political entities, schools and community organizations. Black Americans must regain a sense of social cohesiveness that was stripped from them during the 500 years of slavery and Jim Crow semi-slavery. To aid in popularizing this annual Harvest Festival Day, specific goals and suggested local festival activities will be spelled out on Dr. Anderson’s up-coming YouTube channel, entitled, “Dr. Claud Anderson,” Dr. Boyce Watkins’ regular Business School Webinars, and Carl Nelson’s Daily radio program, on National Radio Network. We're excited about it.
While most entrepreneurs are motivated by the potential to earn a profit, the profit motive does not prevent the ordinary entrepreneur from having a positive impact on society. As Adam Smith explained in The Wealth of Nations (1776), "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest." Smith believed that when individuals pursued their own best interests, they would be guided toward decisions that benefited others. The baker, for example, wants to earn a living to support his family. To accomplish this, he produces a product, bread, which feeds and nourishes hundreds of people.
Examples of social entrepreneurship include microfinance institutions, educational programs, providing banking services in underserved areas and helping children orphaned by epidemic disease. Their efforts are connected to a notion of addressing unmet needs within communities that have been overlooked or not granted access to services, products, or base essentials available in more developed communities.
We Can Work It Out/BIZ-TRAIN Academy entrepreneurship education and training program empowers our participants with critical skills and ignites community involvement. Skills learned here support a student's future in career and/or college-readiness. WCWIO is an example of social entrepreneurship. If you’re looking for high quality and personal service, you’ve come to the right place. Our innovative teaching solutions will give participants the attention and personal service you’ll come to expect and enjoy. We offer the best in training and training materials.
Social entrepreneurs are unique in that they see a problem in society, and use entrepreneurial means to create a business that will help bring social change. Social entrepreneurs take many forms. Some founders want to give a portion of their proceeds to their favorite charity or a certain cause, while the main focus of others' ventures is to create change for those in need.
Henry Hawthorne - Executive Director We Can Work It Out Inc. (WCWIO)
Two factors have been deemed essential to a successful business launch and a firm’s ultimate longevity: access to human capital and financial capital. Human capital refers to the personal characteristics that facilitate an individual’s economic advancement, such as education and work experience. While financial capital represents formal and informal monetary resources that support the establishment and sustainability of a business, another form of business capital that has been examined as an ancillary resource is that of social capital. Social capital refers to the networks and relationships that individuals form in a given society that aid in effective functioning or norms of reciprocity.
The most comprehensive measure we have of human capital is that of educational attainment. Studies have shown that the educational level of the business owner is a significant determinant of business success. Moreover, with sixty percent of businesses failing within five years of establishment, education and training have become increasingly important to increasing business success and survival rates.
"Black entrepreneurs may struggle with challenges that are both common to small-business owners—access to capital and contracts, finding reliable employees—and unique, due to racial and socioeconomic barriers. And while more than 2.5 million businesses are owned and operated by African-Americans, according to the Census' most recent survey of business owners, only 109,137 (or 4 percent) had paid employees—a data point that highlights just how many black entrepreneurs are trying to run a business entirely by themselves. (For comparison, there are 21.5 million businesses owned by white entrepreneurs, and 4.4 million—20 percent—have paid employees.)"