It’s no surprise that our society has many barriers still in place that maintain racial and ethnic inequities. At Meda, to unhinge some of those barriers, we’re using a straightforward approach: we help entrepreneurs of color succeed. Assisting successful entrepreneurs of color is one of the most practical, cost-effective ways to address the racial wealth gap in this country.
Furthermore, when entrepreneurs of color prosper, we find they can improve social and economic conditions in measurable ways for whole communities.
We can unpack the story of Meda’s tackling racial inequities by answering these questions:
What makes entrepreneurs successful?
Successful entrepreneurs combine hard work with initiative, melding their imagination of what could be with the tenacity to keep going when others would give up. This intense work ethic unites all successful entrepreneurs, regardless of color or class. Daily, we at Meda see entrepreneurs of color succeeding against the odds, making a big difference in their communities.
Why does the success of entrepreneurs of color matter?
The enormous capitalist engine that powers our economy relies on the input of big, medium, and small businesses. (Almost all large enterprises start small.) To keep our country’s economy healthy, we need entrepreneurs. The more businesses they add, especially in low-income communities, the stronger we all can become.
Courageous small business leaders have always formed the economic backbone of our society. In addition to playing a crucial part of that backbone, entrepreneurs of color – by hiring, training, offering services, paying taxes – are revving the engines of communities of color. Thereby, these hard-working leaders are effectively lessening the sometimes profound social and economic disparities in our society.
How has Meda helped entrepreneurs of color to succeed and community grow?
At Meda, we work to build sustainable businesses of color. Of the over $650 million in contracts that Meda helped small business clients secure in 2014, $224 million were for contracts awarded to businesses owned by people of color. We also helped over 55 minority-owned firms to secure more than $26 million in financial capital.
Meda’s work has contributed to the creation and retention of about 320 jobs with an average wage of $22 per hour. In addition, Meda supported ten new startup businesses that are offering decent jobs sorely needed in their communities.
What are Meda’s future plans?
We are proud of the work we did in 2014. However, our efforts, our excitement, and our momentum are definitely roaring past last year’s. In fact, Meda must keep growing to provide the services needed to sustain increasing numbers of entrepreneurs, particularly entrepreneurs of color. Today, we are hard at work to:
Meda is not doing this work alone: we are very grateful for the valuable time and resources committed by our corporate, philanthropic, governmental, and nonprofit partners.
How can you help?
One of the best, most promising parts of Meda’s future involves you: you, your friends, families, and colleagues.
Join us as we work to reduce growing racial inequities. Together we can use the principles of the free market to strengthen communities of color.
Reach out to us today using the contact information below. When we talk, you’ll realize how much your resources or entrepreneurial know-how can help us to adequately support entrepreneurs of color.
-Gary L. Cunningham