The New Entrepreneurs
By Joe C. Hopkins, Journal Publisher
For years, I have kept a couple of photos of young gifted Black entrepreneurs as a reminder of what we, as a people, should be concentrating on. One of the pictures is from a news magazine, Black Enterprise, and features a young lady who, with her parents’ approval and support, took a school bus, gutted it and made it into a dance studio; she traveled and taught modern dance to kids who did not have the opportunity to learn it otherwise. Word is, she is now a medical doctor. The second picture is of a young Black child helping to paint a small building with her grandfather. Today she is a graduate of Cal State University, living independently and working on her Master’s degree. She also opened a summer gift shop featuring works by local artisans. Both these young women have a life plan have gained their parents and family’s support.
These two examples of entrepreneurship are what I think the future should look like. At present, times have changed. It looks like computers and robots are the future, with the exception of jobs in the service industry, such as medical, cleaning services, beauty industry, firefighters, police and law enforcement, sports and news reporters, auto mechanics or those working in the trades, such as plumbers and electricians.
Technology has replaced grocery checkers, receptionists, switchboard operators (remember them?), store clerks, bank tellers and gas station attendants (remember them?). All used to do their jobs based on personal knowledge and personal service.
Today these positions and their works are still important career opportunities and the more creative people are, the more likely they are guaranteed a career. Entrepreneurs should be encouraged to fi ll the positions and functions that have been left lacking or empty.
There are people with hidden talents who could share those talents with others, by starting schools or training institutes. They could teach music, reading, song writing, production and other parts of the music business. Ray Charles sold 20,000,000, records of, “I can’t stop loving you”. That is 20 MILLION people singing a song that has to be sung, not computerized. Patsy Cline’s “Crazy“ by Willie Nelson is another example of longevity. Although she died in a plane crash with Randy Hughes and other Grand Ole Opry stars, her voice lives on.
Entrepreneurship leads to the introduction of new systems and new ways of getting things done. These should be encouraged as a way forward.