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African-Americans Want More Financial Education From Their Employers

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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“Across the board, African-Americans are more likely to say they are unprepared for retirement and feel less financially secure, but [they] are more open to education and financial guidance,” says Evan Taylor, head of MassMutual’s African American Markets.

His observations derive from a study by MassMutual that surveyed 492 African-Americans with an annual household income between $35,000 and $150,000. Forty-five percent of African-Americans who bring home $75,000 or more say they feel less than financially secure compared with just 28% of other Americans in the same income category.

African-Americans are more likely to say they are behind in saving for retirement, and 41% of survey respondents expressed concerns about making ends meet. Respondents also indicated a greater proclivity to making withdrawals or loans from their 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan compared with the general population—24% vs. 14%, respectively.

Middle-income African-Americans are more likely to report difficulty managing their household’s monthly finances than do others, the study notes. Thirty-six percent said they found managing finances “somewhat” or “very difficult” compared with 27% of the general population. Nearly half of African Americans with an annual household income below $45,000 find it “much more difficult” to manage their finances.

According to the study, the top financial issues African-Americans face are:

  • Debt – 28%;
  • Lack of income – 23%; and
  • Cost of living – 18%.

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5 Reasons Why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are Essential in the Cannabis Industry Business

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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The cannabis sector is one of America’s fastest growing industries. Thirty states have passed medical marijuana laws, and nine of those allow adult use. Nearly two-thirds of Americans support legalization. Despite the influx of consumer interest and cash, people of color are increasingly being left out of the green rush.

American attitudes about cannabis have transformed in a generation, yet echoes of the nation’s failed War on Drugs, implemented in the 1970s by President Richard Nixon and catapulted into a feverish storm during the Ronald Reagan Era, remain. Thiat federal call to action prompted all law enforcement to target people of color. Millions have been prosecuted and incarcerated, some with dubious connections to illegal drugs, particularly marijuana, which remains federally illegal. Meanwhile, minorities remained locked out of potentially the biggest economic boom of our lifetimes. According to a study done by Marijuana Business Daily, more than 80 percent of cannabis businesses are owned by whites, compared to that of less than 5 percent of African Americans and less than 6 percent Hispanic.

Read more by Dasheeda Dawson at Entrpreneur HERE

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Will Smith and Kevin Durant are reportedly backing a brand-new Andreeseen Horowitz fund aimed at black celebrities

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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  • Andreessen Horowitz is launching a new $15 million venture fund backed by black celebrities, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Will Smith, Kevin Durant, and Sundial Brands CEO Richelieu Dennis have reportedly already signed on as limited partners to the fund.
  • Andreeseen Horowitz will reportedly donate investment returns toward nonprofits that aim to spur the black community’s engagement in tech.

Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz has launched a new fund that will partner exclusively with black celebrities, athletes, and media figures, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Already, the firm has secured high-profile backing from actor Will Smith, NBA star Kevin Durant, and the founder of beauty line Sundial Richelieu Dennis, the Journal reports.

The $15 million fund, which will reportedly operate alongside Andreessen Horowitz’s $1.5 billion fund, won’t function like a traditional venture fund; instead, investment returns will go towards nonprofits that aim to spur the black community’s engagement in tech.

Read more HERE

 

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45 GREAT MOMENTS IN BLACK BUSINESS – NO. 5: BET SELLS FOR $3 BILLION CREATING AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK BILLIONAIRE

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s most successful black businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestone moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

2000: Robert Johnson, sells BET for $3 billion to media giant Viacom, making him the nation’s first black billionaire.

In clinching a deal that made him America’s first black billionaire, entrepreneur Robert Johnson led the sale of the nation’s largest black-owned cable channel to media conglomerate Viacom Inc. The transaction came with Viacom’s purchase of BET Holdings II Inc., the owner of Black Entertainment Television. The deal was announced in 2000 and closed a year later, valued at around $3 billion.

The pact made BET Founder Robert Johnson the nation’s richest black man and a household name. An astute executive, entrepreneur, and wealth builder, Bob Johnson made business history in 1991 by taking BET public. It became the first company ever traded on the New York Stock Exchange with majority ownership controlled by African Americans.

Not pleased with BET’s stock market performance, Johnson teamed with Liberty Media Group in 1998 to buy private ownership of the company and reorganized it as BET Holdings II Inc. When Viacom acquired BET Holdings II, it resulted into $2.4 billion in Viacom stock options for Johnson, who accepted a five-year contract with Viacom to continue leading BET. A former cable-industry lobbyist, Johnson and his wife at the time, Sheila, founded BET in 1980, with $500,000 in funding and a $15,000 bank loan.

Read more @ Black Enterprise

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