Tuesday, May 02, 2006

African American Entrepreneurship

Here is an article from this week's National Dialogue on Entrepreneurship. Read the full newsletter here.

African American Business Booms

Last month we reported on the boom in Latino-owned business; this month it’s African-American owned firms. New data from the US Census Bureau shows that African Americans have the entrepreneurship bug. The latest data from the 2002 economic census finds that the number of black-owned firms grew by 45% between 1997 and 2002. (The total number of businesses in the US grew by 10% over this period). Meanwhile, the revenue of these firms grew by 25% over the same period. Overall, there are 1.2 million black-owned businesses in the US, accounting for roughly $88.8 billion in revenues. These impressive statistics also contain some more sobering notes. As with all types of businesses, most black-owned firms are small. Ninety-two percent were self-employment ventures. For all US firms, self-employment ventures account for ¾ of the total. So, while African-American entrepreneurship is booming, the future challenge ahead is to assist these new entrepreneurs in creating businesses that provide employment opportunities and generate new wealth in the community.

To access the April 2006 U.S. Census Bureau report, Black-Owned Firms: 2002, go here.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Deuteronomy 8:3 Café Books & Music

Restoration Source, Inc. Restorative Justice Initiative
At Deuteronomy 8:3 Cafe Books & Music

For Immediate Release
Contact Mittie Imani Jordan
(216) 376-9695
Covenant Conversation
Friday, May 19, 2006
8 - 11 p.m.
Reservations Requested

“Imprisonment is the new slavery for the black community. On average, states spend over three times as much per prisoner
as per public school pupil. What does that say about what we value?” excerpt The Covenant Statement of Purpose by Marian Wright Edleman, Executive Director, Children's Defense Fund

On Friday, May 19, 2006 beginning at 8:00 p.m., Deuteronomy 8:3 Café Books & Music proudly joins communities throughout the nation in celebration for the Covenant with Black America, by hosting a “Covenant Conversation” as a prelude to the second Thirteenth Amendment Conference Planning Team Summit to be follow on Saturday, May 20. The “Covenant Conversation” is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations are requested. Refreshments will be served. Please mark your calendars and pass this information on.

In response to Tavis Smiley’s designation of May 19-21, 2006 as Celebration Weekend, individuals, organizations and institutions are being asked to host “Covenant Conversations” throughout the nation focusing on the New York Times Bestseller, The Covenant with Black America. Mr. Smiley’s charge is for communities to come together in conversation around The Covenant, and to determine how they might implement recommendations therein. Ten sites will receive a call from Mr. Smiley during the “conversation party,” and one site will receive a visit by Mr. Smiley and Dr. Cornell West.

As the prelude to our second Thirteenth Amendment Conference Planning Team Summit to be held on Saturday, May, 20, 2006, our Covenant Conversation will focus on the III and IV Covenants entitled Correcting The System of Unequal Justice and Fostering Accountable Community-Centered Policing. Discussion guides will be announced at a later date.

In the introduction to the III Covenant, James Bell, Executive Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute in San Francisco, identifies a “cradle-to-prison superhighway (CPS) as a “network of legislation, policy practice and structural racism that has fostered blacks being incarcerated at unconscionable levels at increasingly younger ages for increasingly minor acts.” Unquestionably, all the data corroborates his claim. Indeed, the statistics are staggering:

910,000 of the 2.1 million adult inmates in state and federal prisons are African American; and “while African Americans represent 15 percent of those below the age of 18, they are 26 percent of all the youths arrested, 46 percent of those detained in juvenile jails, and 58 percent of all juveniles sent to adult prison.” (juvjustice.org) In order to achieve true equality in the judicial system, Mr. Bell challenges us to hold “every decision-maker responsible for fairness and dignity towards others with measurable actions.”

Persons interested in participating in the Conversation are asked to email us at deuteronomy8cafe@aol.com or phone us at (216) 376-9695. If you have not purchased your copy of The Covenant with Black America, ($12) and wish to reserve a copy at Deuteronomy 8:3, please do so by May 5, so that you can be prepared for the discussion.

Information regarding the May 20, 2006, all day Planning Team Summit will follow this email.

Deuteronomy 8:3 Cafe Books & Music occupies the ground floor of the Medical Associates Building at 1464 East 105th Street, between Ashbury and Wade Park Avenues, The Heart of the Historic Heritage Lane. Our routine business hours are: Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Wednesdays & Saturdays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information on programming call (216) 376-9695, or email us at Deuteronomy8Cafe@aol, or visit us on the web at www.Deuteronomy83Cafe.com

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

LIVE BLOG: NEO African American Cultural Center: A New Networked Hub of Collaboration

Dr. Michelle Spain, talks about the Myers University Minority Business Contractors Assistance Program available to entrepreneurs.

Discussion: Get people together around the idea of supporting many efforts to strengthen collaborative networks.

5:46 Nancy Johnson, Dir,. African American Museum, talks about the museum in Cleveland and other museums in Ohio. We also review the article about national museums and the challenges they face for support and funding. Do the challenges go back to segregation and lack of social connectivity? There are many different circles of support that need to be connected. The African American Museum is connected to many large institutions in University Circle. To be a stand alone is difficult. We need to develop new ways of supporting the African American Museum. This heritage is valuable to all generations. The Museum will develop a virtual presence. The walk and see tour is in the past for museums. It is going to talk much more: collaboration, forums, etc. We need to think smarter: it is more than just building a building. There is an accute competition for money and support dollars.

Question and answer for Nancy:

Is the Museum open only seasonally? The Museum is open seasonally. Hosted a Jazz Celebration last season.
Would UCI support a museum not in University Circle? The Health Museum is closing.
Is there an opportunity to talk with the owner of the Underground Museum?
Will the Museum post information about the Museum board?

Comment: The Pittsburgh Museum collaborated with many other organizations in that city. With 60% African American population in NEO there should be a leading organization cultivating history.

What is a vision of a Cleveland Cultural African American Center?
- Existing model
- Parameters
- Sustainability
- Local resources
- Collaborative actions
- Board og African American cultural organziations

How does the emerging African American entrepreneurial network connect with other parts of the community who can help them do what they need to do?
- through organizations such as CAAO, the univerisities, colleges and libraries
- articulating vision, focus
- showing that there is supportive collaboration. Build trust and respect.

What do you see as issues and opportunities around developing collaborations in the community?

- develop a clear and cohesive strategy
- assessment of capabilities and resources
- lack of an appreciation of a culture of achievement
- fragmented social, economic and education networks
- behave in ways that build trust and respect

- be more efficient with human/fiscal/material resources
- employ new economic models
- through networks, penetrate institutions and communities
- open new entrepreneurial opportunities
- expand geographical area to global connections
- diversity, multiculturalism, global citizenry

What have we learned? What is the value of designating a third party to identify the opportunities? What is the shared vision? What are the visions for technology, walkability, brand....

Can there by new models created to support museums and/or cultural centers?

Next forum in 6 weeks.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Midtown Wednesdays Agenda to Leverage New Tools for Economic Development

Build your networks! Pass this along to anyone you know who would be interested in strengthening our cultural and entrepreneurial networks in Midtown and Northeast Ohio.

Here is the agenda we will use for today's forum:

5:00 P.M. I-Open Welcome and Introductions


5:15 P.M. African American Museums: National Models and Our Current Situation

5:30 P.M. Open Space Session Round One:
"How does the emerging African American entrepreneurial network (in Midtown and NEO) connect with other parts of the community who can help them to do what they need to do?"

Report Out to Larger Group

6:00 P.M. Open Space Session Round Two:
"What do you see as issues and opportunities around the above question?"

Report Out to Larger Group

6:30 P.M. Round Three:
"What have we learned?"

Entire Group

6:40 P.M. Closing and Next Steps

We will work in small groups to envision solutions and next steps. Flip charts will capture information for break out groups. Select a scribe for each group. Information will be posted to the Djembe Project Blog here.

About Open Space:
Open Space Technology, created by Harrison Owen, is a self-organizing practice that releases the inherent creativity and leadership in people. By inviting people to take responsibility for what they care about, Open Space establishes a marketplace of inquiry, where people offer topics they care about, reflect and learn from one another, to accomplish meaningful work. It is recognized internationally as an innovative approach to creating whole systems change and inspiring the best in human performance. Read more here.

I-Open is applying new tools to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship and build prosperity. Other practices include social network mapping, network and systems theory, appreciative leadership, and strategy maps.

Questions were kindly prepared by Jack Ricchiuto partner to I-Open and thought leader in Appreciative Leadership.

We look forward to a constructive Midtown Wednesdays forum! Bring a friend!

NEO African American Cultural Center: A New Networked Hub of Collaboration

Date: Wednesday, April 12
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
3921 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH
Map Link

African American Museums across the country struggle to remain competitive for resources. Most of the museums have similar missions and broadening scopes. Read about the Greensboro International Civil Rights Center and Museum here, a typical story today. More here.

Organizations strive to be relevant to local economic and social growth. Our opportunity is to preserve history as well as strengthen social networks in the African American community. Regions that undertake these goals build innovation and accelerate entrepreneurship. This week we will begin by leveraging new open source economic development practices and tools.

Join us for an open space session to explore new and different ways to strengthen cultural museums and historical organizations in Northeast Ohio. Together we will envision new models and discover what a Northeast Ohio African American Cultural Center could provide to regional prosperity.

Stay informed about new opportunities in the Midtown Innovation Zone. Read the Midtown Wednesdays Blog here.

Leaders: Eugene Cranford, Community leaders

In Transforming our Regional Economy: Action Plan 2006 led by the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners, innovation zones are one of five transformative initiatives designed to create focus and bring to scale grass roots initiatives to transform Northeast Ohio.

Join us and discover your opportunities as we build innovation zones around our colleges, universities and libraries in Brainpower, Dialogue and Inclusion, Innovation Networks, Marketing and Branding and Quality, Connected Places.

We're building the network! Join us for Midtown Mornings, a fresh new networking breakfast hosted by Nead Brand Partners. Download the beautiful brochure here.

Date: Friday, April 14
Time:7:30-8:30 A.M.
Place: Nead Brand Partners
3635 Perkins Avenue, Suite 6a
Map Link.

Coming Up: Midtown Wednesdays, April 19: E-City: Building New Models for Education
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
Cleveland, OH 4411
Map Link

Questions? Contact:
Betsey Merkel,Network Development
The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)
Cleveland MidTown Innovation Center
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 310
Cleveland, OH 44103 USA
Tel. 216-246-2447

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Marketing and Branding Innovation Zones: Telling the MidTown Story

Join us for New Approaches to Economic Development

Dates: Monday, March 27 & Tuesday, March 28
Time: 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Place: Baldwin Wallace College

Open Source Economic Development is a new approach to economic development that shows you how to develop the open networks that drive innovation. Register here for this new curriculum.

The City of Cleveland and Myers University generously support Midtown Wednesdays and the development of an innovation corridor along Euclid Avenue.

Marketing and Branding Innovation Zones: Telling the MidTown Story

Date: Wednesday, March 22
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
3921 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, OH
Map Link

What does it take to make the MidTown Innovation Zone a Quality, Connected Place?

Beautiful streetscapes, renewable energy sources, arts & culture festivals, ethnic food restaurants, city side gardens, interesting cafes, public WiFi, public art, entrepreneurial incubators and labs humming with activity...

We'll learn the Midtown story from Nead Brand Partners , the firm who developed the initial research and branded messages for Midtown in 2003 with the MidTown Development Corp.

Fuel this week's dialogue with your ideas, questions and what-if stories building next steps and initiatives to bring the Nead Brand Partners vision to life.

Be a part of the networked hub of innovation in MidTown. Join us to create new MidTown opportunities in the arts, technology and education.


Mark Nead and Mark Zust, principals and growth partners, Nead Brand Partners

Visit the Midtown Wednesdays Blog to learn about marketing and branding innovation in the Second Curve.

Coming up: Wednesday, March 29: Criteria for Innovation Zones

Time: 5:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
Place: Myers University, Chester Campus
Cleveland, OH 44114

Questions? Contact:

Betsey Merkel, Network Development
The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)
Cleveland MidTown Innovation Center
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 310
Cleveland, OH 44103 USA
Tel. 216-246-2447

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I-Open: An Invitation to Learn

New Approaches to Economic Development

Date: Monday, March 27 and Tuesday, March 28
Time: 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Place: Baldwin Wallace College
275 Eastland Rd. Berea, Ohio 44017-2088
Register here.

Learn the latest approaches to building an innovation economy in your region

Innovation drives regional economies forward, but how do economic developers promote innovation?

The traditional tools of economic development are inadequate to the task. We need new models, new tools, and new approaches to economic development leadership.

Join us on March 27 and 28 for the first two day workshop on Open Source Economic Development. This new approach to economic development shows you how to develop the open networks that drive innovation.

This workshop is designed for economic development professionals looking for practical, new approaches to building prosperity in their communities and regions.

You can learn more and register here.

Questions? Contact:
Betsey Merkel, Network Development
The Institute for Open Economic Networks (I-Open)
Cleveland Midtown Innovation Center
4415 Euclid Ave., Suite 310 Cleveland, OH 44103 USA
Tel: 216-246-2447

I-Open is presenting this workshop in partnership with Executive Education at Baldwin Wallace College

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Funding Opportunity to Explore

William Holdipp, Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO), has offered this valuable suggestion:

"Last night I was reading the March issue of Black Enterprise Magazine and found an article about a company called Capri Capital Advisors who have $287.5 million fund that is being targeted towards Urban Commercial Development. This may be something the parties involved in the African American Cultural Center can utilize. The article is on the bottom part of page 28."

Read more here.