‘Show Mem The Money’ Panel Focuses On Building Wealth In Minority Communities

By Daniel Connolly
The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Carolyn Hardy spoke on a panel in Memphis Monday night dubbed “Show Mem the Money” that focused on ways to build wealth in minority communities. Some of the suggestions, like relationship-building, focused on what minority and women entrepreneurs can do to help themselves.

The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

Carolyn Hardy said that many years ago, a white businessman did her a favor and said, “If you ever make a profit, you can pay me.”

She told an audience Monday night that after a time, she was able to pay the businessman back. And she said it’s an example of the type of strong relationship that can help African-American owned businesses like hers succeed.

“Relationships are everything,” said Hardy, who for years ran the beverage company Hardy Bottling. She currently leads a logistics business and also chairs the Greater Memphis Chamber board.

Hardy spoke on a panel at Clayborn Temple in Downtown on Monday night dubbed “Show Mem the Money” that focused on ways to build wealth in minority communities. Some of the suggestions, like relationship-building, focused on what minority and women entrepreneurs can do to help themselves.

For instance, Alex Matlock of ContigoCreative, a Hispanic marketing and advertising agency, said the community should help minority and women-owned businesses go through the formal certification process that can help them apply for government contracts.

Jozelle Luster Bookersaid entrepreneurs can gain this certification through her organization, the Mid-South Minority Business Council Continuum.

Other suggestions focused on how minority-owned companies can lobby for a bigger share of contracts, particularly from governments.

And Floyd Tyler, head of the investment firm Preserver Partners, said people can pressure politicians to do more to support minority business or risk losing their seats.

“You have to create a cost to the injustice,” he said.

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