By Todd Leverette and Philip Reeves
The murder of George Floyd and the heroic actions of movement organizers have once again exposed the social fragility created by this nation’s racist underpinnings. In an almost-poetic economic parallel, the Coronavirus pandemic has exposed decades of economic policy and investment practice that have left American workers, especially workers of color, with stagnant wages, declining wealth and little to no economic security.
As the government struggles to find a response, the philanthropic and impact investing communities have an opportunity to help rebuild our economy on principles of entrepreneurship, democracy, racial equity and shared prosperity. Now is the time to leverage our country’s various employee ownership models as time-tested solutions that can both save viable small businesses and contribute to closing the racial wealth gap. Employee ownership, an often ignored option for business transition and entrepreneurial opportunity, may be exactly the thing that saves us from this current economic crisis.
Todd and Philip also joined ImpactAlpha's Amy Cortese for an interview on the Impact Briefing podcast. Listen below as they delve deeper into the work DAWI and Apis & Heritage are leading through the Legacy Business Initiative. They also discuss the impact COVID-19 is having on black businesses, and the importance of focusing on black and brown business ownership in the current crisis. The interview begins at the 2:52 mark.