UBS Executive Sheila Simmons – Advice for Black Entrepreneurs to Help Close the Wealth Gap and Exit Planning – Black Enterprise

Since the two very tragic killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the world has fully embraced the celebration of Juneteenth, which is “an annual federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States,” said the New York Times. At this time, it’s important to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and their many contributions to our society, especially in business. However, it’s also an important moment to address the paramount issue that African American families have faced since emancipation — closing the wealth gap that has remained stagnant for over 70 years.

According to MSNBC, “the average Black family’s wealth in the United States is only one-tenth of that of a white family.” The problem also has its roots in Black entrepreneurship, which is a key vehicle for closing the wealth gap as ownership is critical to the upward mobility of this community. For minority business owners, specifically those who are Black, having access to resources and exit planning advice are integral to building a successful business.

Taking the first step — obtaining your Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) status

As part of the fight to close the wealth gap, organizations like the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), have a myriad of programs available to its members to help drive revenue growth and strategic partnerships.

Becoming MBE certified has countless benefits, and the following are a few important ones to consider:

– Access and networking — MBEs have exposure to 13,000 other MBEs to engage in business opportunities and the ability to form partnering relationships, strategic alliances or joint ventures for success.

– Business opportunity fairs — The largest U.S. conferences focused on minority business development, MBEs present themselves to hundreds of prospective buyers, government agencies and procurement professionals in a single setting.

– Contract Opportunities — NMSDC facilitates business connections between buying agencies and MBEs, which sets the foundation for future partnering and business opportunities.

Start thinking about your exit early

It may seem counterintuitive to consider exit planning when you’re starting your business. However, it’s highly recommended that when a business owner starts their business, they should do so with the end in mind. Engaging Certified Exit Planning Advisors (CEPA) can help you early in your business cycle to establish a well thought out exit strategy — a blueprint for selling your company for maximum benefit — while also taking advantage of potential opportunities along the way.

For example, while obtaining MBE status is great for growing the business, it does add complexity when it’…….