Report: Gen Z, African Americans Buying Gifts Mostly for Themselves This Holiday


With the 2017 holiday shopping season approaching fast, the nation’s largest retail trade group is forecasting jolly sales for traditional retailers and online merchants.

(Image: iStock/Wavebreakmedia)


The National Retail Federation is anticipating sales for November and December at $678.75 billion to $682 billion, representing a gain of 3.6% to 4% from last year. The figures exclude sales from automobiles, gasoline, and restaurants.

African Americans More Likely to “Self-Gift”


The NRF also analyzes shopping trends from the previous year. If 2016 is any indicator, more African Americans and young people are splurging on themselves this holiday. read more

All Kinds of Minds Works with All Kinds of Learners to Foster Success

Over the summer I’d learned that Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron—once he and his mother moved to the White House this fall—would be attending an All Kinds of Minds-based private school.


(Image: iStock/Wavebreakmedia)


I’ve read several books by the AKOM founder, the late Mel Levine, and have come to admire the approach that works to demystify how children learn—all children, all people, really—not just those with special needs. By helping learners understand their own learning strengths and weaknesses, they can use their strengths to help them confront and manage any learning difficulties. read more

I Didn’t Know About Worker’s Comp Until a Lizard Bit Me

As summer gave way to fall, Wal-Mart transformed over the course of a few days. Beach towels and boogie boards gave way to pencils, folders and backpacks. Overnight, I got reassigned from the garden section to grocery. The change proved disastrous, or at least comical.


(Image: iStock/prill)


A mere 10 minutes into my shift, I reached under some shelving to grab a small piece of trash. All at once, a sharp pain ran through my hand, and the tip of my finger became numb. “Owww!” I yelped. Whipping my head around, I caught site of the culprit. A black-and-yellow lizard darted out of the risers. read more

Is Social Security an Asset?

Back in July 2016, I wrote an article in relation to the concept of “Financial Freedom,” which is the process of acquiring assets that produce cash flow, while simultaneously keeping your personal expenses low (or manageable) to where the cash flow from your assets can cover your personal expenses. But a major debate within personal finance circles centers around Social Security along with its sister program Medicare, in regards to if these programs are indeed “assets” or are they just another form of taxation that the government imposes on the American people to waste on fruitlessly. read more

5 Tried-and-True Steps to Building Great Business Relationships

Building business relationships that will propel your career does not come naturally to most. Face it: superficial networking leaves some professionals wondering what could be a better use of their time. What is required in building great business relationships is having great people skills.


(Image: iStock/mapodile)


Before you say to yourself, “I have that,” are you wondering what to do with all the business cards you’ve collected? Does LinkedIn still have you perplexed? Your people skills may need tweaking. According to a Harvard study, 85% of professional success comes from people skills. Plainly stated, professional success relies on your ability to build good relationships. read more

Black Students Need Financial Knowledge Now

Yesterday, I wrote about the distressing news that nearly half (49%) of all black borrowers default on their student loans within 12 years of entering college.

Unfortunately, even those who had earned a bachelor’s degree were more likely to default than degree holders of other races. According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, which for the first time examined long-term outcomes for student borrowers, and through a racial lens, only 9% of all borrowers who hold bachelor’s degrees default on their loans. However, a stunning 23% of black degree holders default. read more

How Better Cash Flow Management Is Helping This Babysitting Business Thrive

Hope Oriabure-King calls herself “mommy deluxe”—she’s a single mom of four and the owner of Black-Tie Babysitting Inc., a company that provides on-site childcare for special occasions and events like weddings and corporate functions. Over time, Oriabure-King has learned that cash flow management and a diversified revenue stream is core to her business’s success.

(Hope Oriabure King. Image: Black-Tie Babysitting/Facebook)


Why did you start your company?


I graduated from college with an undergraduate degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations. I had a young son at the time. Most of the jobs that were out there for PR were $28,000/year. I was like, “Wow, this isn’t going to be much of a life for me and my son.” So, I was offered a sales job at IBM for $38,500. Sales wasn’t the plan, but I got into sales and worked at IBM for a couple of years and did really well. I parted ways with IBM and decided to go into a different sales job and realized I could not sell. I had worked for a well-known company and that’s why people would take my calls. I enrolled in sales school and continued to do new business development for many years. read more

Ken Chenault to Retire From AmEx, Leaving Just 3 Black CEOs at Fortune 500 Companies

Kenneth Chenault

On Wednesday, Kenneth Chenault announced that he is retiring from American Express in February 2018 after serving as the company’s chief executive for the past 16 years. This leaves just three black executives leading America’s largest companies: Ken Frazier of Merck; Roger Ferguson of TIAA; and JCPenney’s Marvin Ellison.


Ken Chenault (Image: Ken Chenault)


Back in 2007, there were seven black CEOs heading Fortune 500 companies. But by 2016, there were only five following the departure of Ursula Burns from Xerox. She was the first and last African American woman to be appointed as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. read more

Black-Owned Firm Will Manage Multimillion-Dollar Construction Projects for Texas A&M

For the third time in five years, an African American-owned project management consulting firm has landed a major deal with Texas A&M University.


A Black Enterprise Small Business Award Winner


The contract awarded this month to Houston-based Taylor Construction Management (TCM) means the firm will manage the development of capital improvement work across the university’s 11 campuses in Texas. TCM will supervise more than 1 million square feet of new and renovated real estate with total construction costs of $500 million.

(Kelley and Troi Taylor, Owners of Taylor Construction Management (Image: PRNewsfoto/Taylor Construction Management) read more

Black Female Crowdfunding Executive On Opportunities for Black Founders

truCrowd Illinois CEO Florence Hardy - Equity Crowdfunding

Florence Hardy is CEO of truCrowd Illinois, a state-level equity crowdfunding platform allowing Illinois residents to invest in startups. She is also COO of Fundanna-an equity crowdfunding platform for the cannabis industry, and truCrowd’s national equity crowdfunding platform.


(Florence Hardy in a picture from her website,


Hardy is one of the only black, brown, or female executives in the equity crowdfunding arena.

After interviewing black entrepreneurs running equity crowdfunding campaigns, including WhoseYourLandlord and Jetpack, Black Enterprise contributor Brandon Andrews sat down with Florence to get the perspective of an executive in the space. She shares her thoughts on equity crowdfunding and the opportunities for black founders and investors. read more

Former Prudential Diversity Officer Michele Meyer-Shipp Joins Leading Law Firm

Michele Meyer-Shipp

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm with offices around the world, has hired Michele Meyer-Shipp as its first chief diversity and inclusion officer. Previously, Meyer-Shipp served as vice president and chief diversity officer at Prudential Financial. She has also been repeatedly named on Black Enterprise’s annual list of Top Executives in Corporate Diversity.


Michele Meyer-Shipp Michele Meyer-Shipp


Founded in 1945, Akin Gump now has over 900 lawyers around the world, including the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Civil rights icon and business leader Vernon E. Jordan Jr. currently serves as senior counsel. read more

Black Women Beauty Company Co-Founders Score $1 Million in Funding

K.J. Miller and Amanda E. Johnson, the founders of Mented—a cosmetics brand for diverse beauty—just became the 15th and 16th, respectively, African American women to ever raise $1 million in capital for their business, according to an emailed press release.


(Mented co-founders; K.J. Miller, left; and Amanda Johnson, right. Image: Mented)


The two Harvard Business School grads launched the business in March of this year. They were inspired after they could not find makeup suitable for their complexions. read more

Damon Dash Creates the Dash Diabetes Network

Damon Dash (Image: Dash Diabetes Network)

Most people know Damon Dash for his partnership with Jay-Z and the creation of Roc-A-Fella Records, or his famed relationship with the late R&B/pop artist Aaliyah Haughton. But what people may not know is that in recent months, Dash has re-emerged on the scene as a tech entrepreneur, founding an ultra-informative platform called the Dash Diabetes Network.

Black Enterprise recently caught up with Dash to discuss his media tech transition, why he went this route, and where he ultimately sees the business going. read more

If You Connect Your Home or Business to Wi-Fi, You Must Deal With This Threat Now

Researchers have discovered a flaw in the security mechanism used to secure just about every Wi-Fi router out there. The vulnerabilities are in the encryption protocols that routers and other wireless devices use: WPA and WPA2. WPA2 is the newer protocol and the security encryption most home and business routers and devices are using. The newly found vulnerability has been dubbed the “Krack Attack.”

(Image: iStock/4×6)


So what can a hacker exploiting the found vulnerability in wireless security do? According to the International Consortium for Advancement of Cybersecurity on the Internet (ICASI), hackers could potentially seize control of the affected device, inject malware, and wreak all sorts of havoc on a Wi-Fi network. read more

This Entrepreneur Grew a 7-Figure Beauty Business with No Prior Experience

In 2010, Vivian Kaye was looking to solve a common problem faced by many women within the natural hair community: How to do protective style options such as weave and wig options that match kinky, curly, and Afro-textured hair.

Today, she is the founder of KinkyCurlyYaki, a natural hair extension brand, featuring six textures ranging from sleek to straight to kinky and tight curl patterns. The Canada-based company sells wigs, wefted hair for sew-ins, clip-in extensions, frontals, closures, Ghanaian head wraps, and they also create custom products for clients. read more

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