BLACK BUSINESS — The Little Engine That Could Change America

Phil Andrews

Black Business is certainly the Small engine that could change America”. As I write this article, the story of John H. Johnson Founder of Jet and Ebony Magazine served as a fantastic inspiration for writing “The Little Engine that could Change America” article today.

In a book about the life of Mr. John H. Johnson, titled Succeeding Against the Odds, I learned that if you develop people self-interest they will develop your self-interest. He inspired me to a life of service to others, and I am forever grateful of his impact on my life.

Mr. John H. Johnson life served as a fantastic inspiration to not only to Blacks, but to all Americans. He was a man of humble beginnings that borrowed $ 500.00 dollars from his mother to start a 500 Million Dollar business empire, at a time when conditions were harsh for Black Americans.

Madame C. Walker gave us a glimpse in how to get started on our path to financial empowerment when she stated we often get our best start when we push ourselves, and a start is often is what is needed to get us on the road to financial achievement.

S. B. Fuller is another financial giant that who became a millionaire in the height of segregation. He once said that his mother told him that they lacked what they needed because his father did not have the desire for achievement.

He learned a valuable lesson which is known as the Secret of the Ages – when you have desire, you are not starting with nothing. Desire is that starting point of all achievement. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing, but with desire you already have riches with your reach if only you learn to turn your desire into a magnificent passion.

Blacks in America have a tremendous amount of persistence and resiliency. We are one of the most educated people of the world and our earning power is greater than some countries in the world.

I have made a determination to focus my life in the area helping Blacks advance in the area of Economic Empowerment. I stand on the shoulders of such fantastic business tycoons such as Mr. John H. Johnson, Reginald Lewis, Earl Graves, Robert Johnson, A. G. Gaston, Madame C. J. Walker, and S. B. Fuller, just to name a few.

I was inspired by another fantastic businessman Mr. Percy Sutton. He stated that the reason for lack of business development was that many blacks did not grow up in a culture of business.

I am grateful for the gains that we are achieving in the area of business development, and I believe that future generations will benefit from the life work of these and the untold heroes that are advocates for Black Business Development. I was inspired by Mr. Percy Sutton quote: “I believe that anything is possible if one has access to people of ability and capital. All of his life he had been exposed to people of ability, but sometimes lacked the capital.

His quote inspired me to go into the Haircut Barbershop Franchise by finding people of ability to work together, and combining capital.

The Corporation we formed Nguzo Saba Inc. went on to open multiple Haircut Hut Barbershop Franchises for well over a decade. I am indebted to Mr. Percy Sutton for the wisdom that he imparted in one page in a book written by Mr. Robert H. Adams titled 15 Years of Minority Business Development.

I also give thanks to Mr. Robert H. Adams, Publisher of Economic Forum Minority Business Review for featuring me in the same book along with such giants as Mr. Percy Sutton.

With the proper utilization of such websites as Black Americans increase their capacity to be the Large Engine could transform America through tapping into their unused potential. We have many African American leading Fortune 500 companies and they are training the next generation of leaders to continue to build on the economic gains we have made in America.

Black Power will continue to grow to new heights and levels in the years to come in America. I am excited to be witness such gains, and remain steadfast in doing my part to change the economic landscape of America.

Mr. Phil Andrews is the Co-Host of Networking in the Hub and Owner of the Power Networking Business Seminar Series.

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