Requirements for Economic Empowerment
Economics in Service of Culture
The purpose of an economy is to advance a society and that society's culture, not simply to create efficient methods of managing supply and demand. Everything from deciding what African language will be the official language of Africa for business and government, to developing African-centered education institutions, and strengthening the Diaspora's role in the African Union, has to do with using economic forces to advance a cultural agenda. For too long, African wealth has been used to advance non-African cultures.
Organizing Human Capital
People power an economy. To truly achieve maximum potential a society must organize it's people to achieve general and specific economic goals. The Black community has been economically disorganized since integration virtually destroyed the Black business community. Large Black organizations (non-profits, churches, fraternities/sororities, professional associations, etc.) already have the human capital we need to implement a sound economic strategy, they just need the leadership to focus the resources at their disposal more effectively.
Organizing Financial Capital
The statistic about the Black community having over $1 trillion in buying power is used often, but not enough attention is focused on how to organize this potential source of wealth beyond simply "buying Black." How specifically do we redirect a majority of those dollars into Black businesses and the Black community? This takes an organized, coordinated effort and visionaries with the knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual maturity to lead the charge.
Using Economic Power to Gain Political Power
Politics is a form of economics, deciding how to divide and control a society's resources. Gaining economic power gives a group access to real political power, which, once gained, can help reinforce and support the economic power base. There are plenty of examples of previously marginalized groups using economic power to gain political power. Domestic and international strategies are needed in a truly Pan-African effort .
Funding African Centered Education
Ironically, I doubt anyone writes a book about Black economic development actually expecting the book to be economically successful. However, a portion of any profits, however meager, that are made from the sale of this book or any consulting work that comes from it will go towards The Black Travel Foundation, an African Centered non-profit that helps reconnect Black youth to their African roots through cultural immersion and rights of passage programs in Africa and the Caribbean.
About the Author
Tre Baker is a Black Empowerment Engineer who started his first company at the age of 19 and has built a diverse array of entrepreneurial and corporate experience throughout his professional career. His corporate experience includes various roles at Brown-Forman, and renewable energy commercialization at General Electric. As an entrepreneur, he has founded/operated several companies in consulting, retail/e-commerce, entertainment, and blockchain. He is currently engaged in business development consulting and investment management services targeted at startup companies and small businesses, through which he has worked in the e-commerce, telecom, biofuels, mobile/web apps, automotive, real estate, cryptocurrency, and commodities trading industries.
Tre holds a degree from Vanderbilt University in Engineering Science, Management of Technology, with minors in Finance and Corporate Strategy and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the Emerging 100 of Atlanta, Inc. Tre was born and raised in Kentucky, and currently resides in Atlanta, GA, when he isn't traveling the world.