A Rise In Black Entrepreneurship

I think this will do more to end racism than the civil rights movement ever could.

Today Terrell, 46, says he feels as if he's contributing more to the civil rights movement as a private businessman running Provender, which now has $145 million under management, than he ever did as a member of the Los Angeles government. After all, the more African American-run venture capital firms there are, the less likely it is that other black entrepreneurs will have to overcome the traditional racist hurdles when they apply for financing. Or, put another way, the more likely it becomes that businesspeople will be judged not by the color of their skin but on the content of their business plans. Terrell's tactics may not be as splashy as a 1960s-style protest march, but they are still making a significant impact. And who knows what the future will bring? "We are babes in this industry," Terrell says. "But we are changing the world in our own small way."

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