Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Plan the Work, Work the Plan- Be an Africana Entrepreneur

What it means
to be an
Africana Entrepreneur......

Entrepreneurship is one of the fundamental components to any society. It is the same no matter where you are on earth. People in nations all over the world (past and present) have always found innovative ways to both serve and ...... the communities and families where they live. The philosophy of social entrepreneurship involves people working (either for profit or not for profit) for the benefit of humanity or a chosen group of people. In most cases, social entrepreneurs focus on helping people from which they originate. In other words, Asians help Asians, Europeans help Europeans, and well, Africans (on the continent and in the Diaspora) should be helping other Africans. Because there is such a great need for business innovation that suits the needs of the African/Black community in the Americas, on the continent of Africa, and everywhere else where African descendants are found, there is a great need for the proper educating and training of those same people in order to help uplift one another. One of the biggest concerns amongst people who want to help is 'idealism'. We all wonder- can I really make a difference based on my ideals? The answer is yes. And you can make profits too. And if you choose not to make profits, you can make enough finances to sustain whatever quality of life you choose to live.

Africana Entrepreneur is a term that I coined after recent studies of social entrepreneurship.

An Africana Entrepreneur finds practical business solutions to serve, to network, and to create industrious solutions for the problems that are a hindrance to the progress and development of African/Black people. This means those still on the continent and those who are in the African Diaspora. An Africana Entrepreneur seeks to rebuild and restore African/Black people back to a place of self determination and self reliance and understands the necessity of such in order for the optimal achievement and success of Black people now and in the future.

Some examples of Africana Entrepreneurship can be:
1) Technology & Information
2) Income Generation or Community Banks
3)Poverty Alleviation Programs
4)Conscious Consumerism Programs
5) Conflict Resolution Programs(Neighborhood Gangs)

These are only a few of many more examples to come on this blog. These are business opportunities that are implemented in many other places all over the world including the U.S. People are using programs like these to create business opportunities that serve the immediate need of their own communities, nations, cultural groups, and even religious groups. This can also be done with an emphasis on the progress and restructuring of the descendants of Africa the world over. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! Working to improve the quality of life for your own people does not make you a racist or separatist (don't believe the hype). And as a wise elder woman told me a long time ago, "it makes no sense to go to someone else's house and clean their kitchen, when back home yours is filthy and needs cleaning". I will never forget those words and I can see exactly how that applies to the current conditions of Black people in the U.S. and all over the world.

My own company Zeniam Publications is now in the process of switching from a for profit independent publishing company to a non for profit publishing company that services the educational sector(s). I have had entrepreneurial ambitions for all of my life and I was raised in a family full of entrepreneurs. My immediate family still owns profitable businesses right now today. Over time I have tried to find ways to supply the African Diasporic community with the tools necessary for empowerment and I was able to discover this with the use of learning tools that my company produces and publishes. I discovered that in additional to everyday necessities, African/Black families and students need the nourishment of an inclusive form of education that highlights their entire historical contribution to the world. This is important because it works as an impetus for motivation and dedication to forward movement and progress. Being deprogrammed and then reprogrammed allows for African/Black people to be able to reflect on the events and participants of the past, while understanding their current condition and placing it in the proper context for the 21st century.

Three things that you can begin to do to get on the path towards Africana Entrepreneurship are:

1) Find a problem that plagues the African/Black global community or family (this should be very easy since they are innumerous)

2) Write your plans out. Start small and as time progresses, build on those plans and add details later of exactly how you plan to resolve the problem. (there are enough things written that speak to what the problems are, now we can write down solutions and ACT on them). Then find a team of like minds or at least one other person and find out if you can build with them.

3) Execute. Written plans and ideas about African/Black people are no good if they are only written and not ACTED upon. We need to act. Sacrifice and dedicate yourself to the greater good of African/Black people in your community and all over the world no matter where they are or what language they speak.