There's a prevailing narrative in America that free markets are an equal opportunity employer--that with the right amount of grit, determination and entrepreneurial spirit, anyone can make it. But how equal is the opportunity out there, really? And for those Black men and women who have made it, and now lead successful multimillion dollar enterprises, what structural and systemic obstacles did they overcome to get there?
Ariane Kirkpatrick built AKA Team from a small cleaning company to a successful construction management firm working as part of the group building the convention center and Eaton's headquarters. Today, she's the sole Black female owner of company licensed to grow and dispense cannabis in Ohio.
In 1993, Warren Anderson bought a company supplying product to McDonald's restaurants around the state. Today, Anderson-Dubose is one of the largest minority-owned businesses in the nation. Anderson's journey offers lessons, both for entrepreneurs and for those committed to removing structural barriers to equity.
In a conversation moderated by Michael Jeans, founding president of Growth Opportunity Partners, Kirkpatrick and Anderson will share stories from their careers and lessons for creating a more just economy.
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Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with Ideastream Public Media is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.