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The Next Black Power Movement The boom in African-American entrepreneurship isn't just a business story. It's also a logical extension of the civil rights struggle. Here's why. - May 1, 2003
By David J. Dent
May 1, 2003

"I tell my students, 'I'd rather you be a capitalist pig than a Senator,'" says John Butler, a professor of business at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Entrepreneurship and Self-Help Among African Americans: A Reconsideration of Race and Economics. ...Fred Terrell, founder of New York City venture capital firm Provender Capital, thinks that entrepreneurship isn't just a symbol of the accomplishments of the civil rights movement. It is, he says, a way of continuing to advance that movement. Growing up in Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s, Terrell hoped to become a lawyer and then a Congressman. Things didn't quite work out that way. He spent a few years working for the city of Los Angeles, but soon left government for a Yale MBA after he fell under the mid-1980s lure of the private sector.

Today Terrell, 46, says he feels as if he's contributing more to the civil rights movement as a private businessman running Provender, which now has $145 million under management, than he ever did as a member of the Los Angeles government. After all, the more African American--run venture capital firms there are, the less likely it is that other black entrepreneurs will have to overcome the traditional racist hurdles when they apply for financing. Or, put another way, the more likely it becomes that businesspeople will be judged not by the color of their skin but on the content of their business plans.
African-Americans  entrepreneurship  Kauffman_Foundation  books  Yale  self-employment  venture_capital  vc  Black_Power  black-owned 
august 2012 by jerryking
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