Is social activism the only way to improve the situation for minorities in America? Alfredo Ortiz, the son of Mexican immigrants and the CEO of Job Creators Network, has a different take.
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I recently came across a book for grade-schoolers titled Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!
The moral of the story is this: minority kids should pursue social activism—actually, a revolution—to make America a better place.
That’s almost the conventional wisdom now. But it’s completely backwards.
If you want to make America a better place for everyone, especially for minorities, forget “social activism.”
Instead . . . start a business.
Starting a business is the real revolutionary act that minorities can take to empower themselves and their communities. Small business owners achieve something no “social activist,” “revolutionary,” or politician ever could . . . They create jobs—not only for themselves—but for millions of others.
The United States is home to 33 million small businesses. These businesses generate two-thirds of all new jobs—driving employment, innovation, and economic growth.
You could say that small business owners are modern-day alchemists. But unlike alchemists, (who tried to turn lead into gold), small business owners really do make something from nothing. They create value where it didn’t exist before. And the economic impact of this alchemy reverberates throughout their communities and beyond.
So who are these small business owners?
They are—disproportionately—minorities. In fact, relative to their population, minorities start businesses more often than their white counterparts.
And many are succeeding.
Take Carlton Guthrie, for example. Carlton and his brother are the owners of Detroit Chassis, a business that assembles frames for motorhomes and commercial trucks.
Carlton grew the company from a small metal-stamping shop into a major manufacturer. At present, it earns over $100 million a year in revenue and employs roughly 160 workers, most of whom, like the Guthrie brothers, are black.
We see the same trend with Hispanic entrepreneurs. The ratio between white and Hispanic household wealth declined from 8:1 in 2013 to 5:1 in 2019, as Hispanics became more entrepreneurial.
Carlos Gazitua, the Cuban American owner of Sergio’s Restaurant in Miami, understands the importance of minority entrepreneurship. He calls on minorities “to show their success.”
He wants the younger generation to know that business success is possible and that the system is not rigged against minorities.
“Entrepreneurship is the essence of the American Dream,” Carlos concludes.
He couldn’t be more right.
According to the Kauffman Foundation, 360 out of every 100,000 Americans start a business in any given month. Yet among Hispanics, this figure is 540 per 100,000—50 percent higher than the American average.
There are ten million minority-owned small businesses in America, generating $2 trillion of annual wealth and employing ten million people. Most of these businesses are located in minority communities where they employ minority workers.
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