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There’s no denying job growth and wealth creation are important topics for our people. Unfortunately, we don’t talk enough about how jobs are grown nor how wealth is created in the 21st century, which has a distinctly different economy than the 20th century. In other words, we are not only behind the times, we don’t even know the times have changed.
- Consider that White wealth is 20 times Black wealth (and the gap is growing wider).
- Consider that ALL net new jobs in America since 1980 are due to fast-growing startup companies five years old and younger. (Not Black-owned companies)
- Consider that risk capital investing fuels the “innovation” economic engine, represented by fast-growing companies that generate job growth and wealth creation.
- Consider that NONE of that job growth and wealth creation is occurring in Black America.
- Consider that Black Americans don’t talk about the Innovation Economy, don’t have much knowledge of the Innovation Economy and yet live right next to numerous examples of wealth being created by the Innovation Economy … meanwhile, we are so disconnected from it we don’t recognize it when we see it, we don’t discuss it, we don’t participate in it; and we are not competitive in anything wherein we are not participants.
- Consider that we are not competitive in STEM education (core foundation of knowledge that provides entry into the Innovation Economy)
- Consider that we are not competitive in high-growth and tech entrepreneurship (the platform upon which net new job growth occurs in the Innovation Economy)
- Consider that we are not participating to any appreciable degree in the risk capital investment industry (angel and venture capital), which creates wealth for the wealthy and supports the rapid pace of the Innovation Economy.
Outside of A21, there is nowhere in Black America where Black Americans are engaged in in-depth discussions and understanding of the Innovation Economy. Yet, the Innovation Economy is the focus of White America, from the White House to universities to business accelerators and incubators, to startup weekends to social activities in bars and restaurants where entrepreneurs and investors routinely meet. The activity of pitch competitions, business presentations, networking, etc. is happening all around us while we are disconnected even from the knowledge of such activity.
Unemployment rates are dipping … but the jobless rate remains extraordinarily high in Black America. That isn’t ever going to change until we learn to get in the game. The game is the Innovation Economy. Participating isn’t the first step. Knowledge of and widespread discussions of the Innovation Economy leads to participation and ultimately competing. And wherever and whenever we compete, we win.
By Mike Green–The America21 Project (A21)