by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
Yesterday in New Jersey, the Obama administration hosted the Urban Entrepreneurship Summit at Rutgers University. The matter at hand was the devastating 16% unemployment rate of African Americans, and this event was held to talk of ways to help alleviate this predicament. People present included government officials, private and non-profit funders, and entrepreneurs. During discussions, the latter expressed their concerns, shared questions and information all in the name of figuring out how to provoke economic growth in urban areas.
Amongst the White House officials present was Don Graves,the executive director of the President’s Council on Jobs & Competitiveness. In the discussion, one of his objectives was to pin point the obstacles many small and minority-owned businesses are faced with. Some of those obstacles include needing access to credit, regulatory burdens, transportation options and location.
Although, the government has made this seemingly right step in the right direction, some people feel that Graves’ pin pointing was pointless. They do not believe that the government officials will really act upon their new-found information. A member of Concerned Citizen to Revitalize Communities stated, “All too often they have these [summits], but no blacks actually get access to capital. They’re not even going to help us find loans to improve our credit.” Hopefully the government will prover her wrong this go around. The black business community would surely be grateful.
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer degreed in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, email submissions to ayvaunnpennspokenword at gmail dot com.