The Miami Herald asked local Black business people what they think is needed to create a more supportive environment for Black businesses and professionals and to encourage greater success for future generations. Here’s what they had to say:
Brian Brackeen, general partner, Lightship Capital:
I think corporations and foundations are too focused on poverty work versus job creation through entrepreneurship. Jobs and wealth creation are the only ways to truly prevent poverty. Yet foundations and charities are only focused on dealing with the symptoms of poverty versus the root cause. That said, charity work is important work, but if you don’t invest in people, and their businesses, then it’s hard to break the cycle. That’s why we are trying to bring [an] accelerator to Miami for minorities. We want to train, and more importantly invest in, founders of color in Miami.
As a community, we need to adopt a common definition of what a supportive environment for Black business and professionals looks like. And I don’t mean an aspirational statement, but a Black experience-centered framework that is anchored by accountability, investment and measurable outcomes. This won’t be an easy task given that Black leaders are woefully underrepresented in board or executive leadership positions within a majority of our local institutions of power — including large corporations, foundations, and financial institutions, in particular our community banks. Yet, I believe we have no choice but to do the work.
Yve-Car Momperousse, co-founder and CEO of Kreyòl Essence:
“I think one of the things the city could do better is provide more incentives. Right now we’re looking for warehouse space, but it’s been extremely difficult. There’s supposed to be incentives in Little Haiti and Magic City, but the price range is not realistic. Triple-net terms are not what you want to do when you want to spur small business. I’ve been a bit disappointed in what we found there.”