America’s Answer to South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE)

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA): America’s Answer to South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE)

We at Stuff Black People Don’t Like can barely watch the cable news networks anymore. CNN dedicates hours of programing to programs on Black in America, Debt and Black America and Race and Rage: The Rodney King Story 20 years later.

Will whites be part of this in 2050?

MSNBC just aired “A Stronger America: The Black Agenda.” Considering that the Black community is falling apart before our eyes, one would surmise that the Black agenda – whatever it is – isn’t going to build a stronger America.

But Black Run America (BRA) will do everything possible to build a stronger Black America, even if that means tearing apart opportunities for white Americans in the process.

Reading a recent issue of The Economist enlightened us on this story from South Africa:

BORN in a black township in 1952, Cyril Ramaphosa rose to become South Africa’s leading trade unionist, switching to politics and then to business after the end of apartheid. He became one of the country’s richest men, and is still occasionally mentioned as a possible future president. Now he is the face of McDonald’s in Africa’s biggest economy.

Mr Ramaphosa, who once said his favourite meal was fish with salad, will own and run all the American burger giant’s operations in the country, including 132 outlets. He will have a 20-year franchise and a mandate to “turbocharge” growth. The price of the deal has not been revealed. Since opening its first restaurant in South Africa in 1995, McDonald’s has struggled against fierce home-grown competition. Famous Brands, its main rival, has more than 1,100 outlets, operating under such names as Steers, Wimpy and Mugg & Bean.

Mr Ramaphosa, a lawyer by training, founded the National Union of Mineworkers, building it up to become South Africa’s most powerful union. He helped bring about apartheid’s peaceful end as one of the African National Congress’s main negotiators. By the time he was elected to parliament in the country’s first fully democratic elections in 1994 he was already being tipped as Nelson Mandela’s likely successor, but he lost out to Thabo Mbeki.

He promptly resigned his political posts and went into business. With his formidable connections, negotiating skills and charm, he took to it like a duck to water. He was one of the first to benefit from the ANC government’s black economic empowerment (BEE) policies, building an empire in mining, energy, property, banking, insurance and telecoms. With investments said to be worth 1.55 billion rand ($224m), Mr Ramaphosa has joined the 31-strong club of rand billionaires. His wife is the sister of Patrice Motsepe, another BEE tycoon and the country’s first black dollar billionaire.

Deals like the McDonald’s one seem to fall into Mr Ramaphosa’s lap. As well as serving as executive chairman of his own Shanduka group, he has a string of non-executive chairmanships and directorships of some of the country’s biggest and best-known companies, including Bidvest, a giant food-service and distribution business. He is also a member of Coca-Cola’s international advisory board. Both positions should serve him in good stead in his new job. Although South Africa’s media continue to talk up his presidential prospects, he says he has no interest in returning to politics.

Wait, what is the black economic empowerment (BEE) policy that the ANC enacted that allowed Ramaphosa to become so wealthy?:

Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) is a program launched by the South African government to redress the inequalities of Apartheid by giving previously disadvantaged groups (black Africans, Coloureds, Indians and some Chinese[1]–who are SA citizens) economic opportunities previously not available to them. It includes measures such as Employment Equity, skills development, ownership, management, socioeconomic development and preferential procurement.

The end of Apartheid saw control of big business rest in the hands of white individuals mainly. BEE intended to transform the economy to be representative of the demographics (specifically race demographics) of the country.

Successful implementers of BEE also see it as a means to create economic growth in South Africa, and as vital to their corporate strategy.

In response to criticism, the South African Government launched Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment which is the current gazetted framework for addressing Black Empowerment beyond enriching a few.

BEE has also been criticized for creating a brain drain, where the qualified white expertise is leaving for areas where they would not be discriminated against. Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi is a strong critic of BEE and supports this view. He has stated that “the government’s reckless implementation of the affirmative action policy is forcing many white people to leave the country, creating a skills shortage crisis”.[9] Archbishop Desmond Tutu has warned that South Africa is sitting on a “powder keg” because millions are living in “dehumanising poverty” stating that Black Economic Empowerment only serves an elite few.[10]

The South African government has passed an economic redistribution of opportunity rule in the BEE, as a way of addressing past discrimination by the small white minority there. In the United States, we have something similar — though not as a big, yet, or as sinisterly named — called the Minority Business Development Agency:

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. MBDA is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America.

MBDA is an entrepreneurially focused organization committed to wealth creation in minority communities. The Agency’s mission is to actively promote the growth and competitiveness of large, medium and small minority business enterprises (MBEs).

MBDA actively coordinates and leverages public and private-sector resources that facilitate strategic alliances in support of its mission. The vision is to function as an entrepreneurial organization serving entrepreneurs.

MBDA Helps Grow Minority Businesses

MBDA provides funding for a network of Minority business centers located throughout the Nation. The Centers provide minority entrepreneurs with one-on-one assistance in writing business plans, marketing, management and technical assistance and financial planning to assure adequate financing for business ventures.

The Centers are staffed by business specialists who have the knowledge and practical experience needed to run successful and profitable businesses. Business referral services are provided free of charge. However, the network generally charges nominal fees for specific management and technical assistance services.

MBDA Has Over 40 Business Development Centers

The Centers are located in areas with the largest concentration of minority populations and the largest number of minority businesses. Locate a center near you.

The Obama Administration has sought to enlarge this program. How many major cities have contracts (or steer new business) where only majority-minority owned firms are allowed to bid on projects? Look at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport to see an example of this.

The United States of America already has a government program similar to the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) of South Africa. It’s been around since 1969 and has helped an untold amount of people — on the taxpayers dime — excel in business. The majority of those people people have been Black (no word on if immigrants — legal or illegal — have benefited from this program).

MSNBC didn’t need to air the panel discussion on the Black Agenda today. The Black Agenda is already the agenda of America, as Black Run America (BRA) seeks to better Black life at the expense of everyone else.

At some point soon, a major franchise in America will mandate that only Black entrepreneurs can become owners of new stores. We bet that it will be McDonald’s. Trained through the MBDA, these individuals will be touted as testaments to capitalism and examples of innovation in the Black community.

Just like any economic success in South Africa, it is all manufactured. Black Run America in action…

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