Sunday, July 01, 2012

Do the Children of Black Baby Boomers Lack Motivation to Carry the Torch

This post was inspired by an article I read in the Buffalo News .

The article in the Buffalo News was titled: Black community suffers when no one steps up to keep businesses running. The article focused on a 71-year-old black man who cashed in his life savings to start his own business 41-years ago. Now he wants to retire but there's no one around to take over. His grown children, according to the article,are turned off by the long hours and the responsibilities so they don't want to carry the torch. The business owner now fears his worst nightmare: his business will fold.

The article further states the absence of succession plans to carry black-owned businesses into the next generation is a national problem with far-reaching implications. The phenomenon derails economic momentum, preventing a transfer and accumulation of wealth, and it can confine black communities to lingering poverty. It erodes the hard-fought gains of the previous generation, handicapping and forcing the next generation of entrepreneurs to start their ventures from scratch.

So what happened? Why is it that the children of black baby boomers lack the desire to follow in their parents footsteps---especially if their parents have laid out a clear path for them? Do the children of black boomers also feel a sense of entitlement as their white counter-parts?

Or perhaps it's OUR FAULT? According to the National Black Chamber of Commerce, only 15 percent of the nation's 2.1 million black-owned companies have identified and groomed successors. Have we not taught our children enough about the value of owning your own business and what it means to hand it down to the next generation?

Perhaps it's a combination of both.

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