Written by – Leonard Webb, Publisher
Imagine for a minute Black Business Owners doing business with other Black Business Owners and watching Black entrepreneurs thrive as their products and services are having a major impact on society, while along the way making money and improving their quality of life!
Does that sound like a pipe dream or wishful thinking to you? Well I’d like to introduce you to the Black Business Alliance, a nonprofit organization helping small black and minority business owners and entrepreneurs meet their dreams and goals and in many cases exceed them. I had a chance to sit down with Co-founder and President of the Black Business Alliance Frank Dixon to learn more about the mission of the Black Business Alliance and found this interview to be inspiring, motivational and very educational, which all happens to be core-values of Ethnic Online.
LW – Frank what was the motive or impetus behind starting the Black Business Alliance?
FD – It was very apparent to me and no secret, that black business owners are hungry to own their business and have a strong desire to shop and do business with each other. With that being said our 3 core pillars and mission of the BBA is to provide (1) – Economic Development, by helping business owners gain access to capital and the needed resources. (2) Business Sustainability – Teaching business owners and entrepreneurs how to KEEP their business’s afloat. Having an idea and having passion is great and where it all starts, but how do you grow your business and keep it relevant? (3) Community Engagement – Once you become a business owner it’s important to give back by sharing your knowledge and experience to the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners.
LW – What do you see as some of the major flaws or road blocks that are preventing black business owners and entrepreneurs from becoming successful?
FD – In a lot of cases it’s a mindset, deep rooted thoughts and in a lot of cases just plain lack of knowledge. For example in the 1920s- 1940’s blacks and black business owners almost exclusively did business with each other and were very successful. But as fate would have it and what I call the Jim Crow effect, the government started getting involved and purposely tried to disrupt the progress and growth of blacks, from creating housing laws which in affect said the value of your home will go down if there are too many blacks living in a certain neighborhood, or implementing economic systems designed to control the growth of blacks and cap off or limit their economic growth. These all became major barriers and stumbling blocks for many black business owners and within time a number of them couldn’t sustain and had to close their business. Another big issue is children or offspring’s were never taught the importance of being an entrepreneur or the value of owning their own business so it wasn’t a part of their core value system.
LW – So now enter the Black Business Alliance, who can benefit and from this organization and how does it work?
FD – The BBA is a member organization with multiple levels of membership from general membership with access to monthly newsletters and workshops to advance memberships, which include private business consultation, connecting you with major corporations and like-minded business relationships and so much more. The members include corporate executives who are managing their business units, Non-Profit directors, college students and a special component customized for millennials. So as you can you see there is a vast and variety of members and business owners trying to get to the next level. With offices in Hartford, New Haven and Norwalk CT, the BBA is well equipped to provide you with the resources to succeed.
LW – Tell me a little about your background and experiences that qualify you to be Co-founder and President of the BBA?
I actually grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, both parents owned their own business when we were young, my dad had his own general contracting business and my mom owned three hair salons, so I would always hear and listen by default about the importance of having a good team, having capital and the importance of growing their respective business’s if they wanted to sustain their life styles. I attended an HBCU, Fayetteville State University in North Carolina majoring in Business Administration, I’ve been very fortunate for the past 20 years to have worked and lead projects in multi-million dollar organizations in the US as well as around the world. With my military background in radar, electronics and logistics, I’ve served as an Army Air Defense leader and with multiple combat deployments I’ve spent several years at Sikorsky Aircraft overseeing
a more than a BILLION DOLLARS in business development and aftermarket contracts and other fortune 100 companies. I started the Dixon Business Group soon after because it allowed me to branch off and have more of direct impact s on helping small business owners. I’ve always wanted to share my experiences and resources because I knew they were out there and know how to gain access to them and now with the Black Business Alliance, it allows me to share the wealth of resources that are available to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Since its inception in 2014, the BBA has since garnered state and private grants, established a relationship with the Connecticut Minority Business Initiative, and several corporate partners have led to help small business owners and entrepreneurs to resources and access to capital in the thousands. With a robust board of directors made up small business owners, corporate executives and community leaders, the BBA is your resource to take your business to the next level.
For more information on the BBA and how to become a member log on to www.bbusinessalliance.org
Thank you Frank Dixon and the BBA for strengthening small Black Business’s to be relevant by providing them with the resources to succeed