Entrepreneurs Optimistic Despite Economic Trends
Today it’s not unusual to hear people discuss the “Changing Face of America” as it relates to diversity and longevity. According to Ron Crouch, Former Director of Research and Statistics for Kentucky , “We are experiencing two revolutions; as diversity growth is changing the future face of America and longevity is driving our population growth.”
Crouch goes on to say, “states like Kentucky and West Virginia are aging faster than the United States and are significantly less diverse, with declining populations of children and a younger workforce.” He further states, “we also need to make sure all of our population, regardless of their skin color, age or gender is educated, skilled and prepared for a new 21st century.”
It appears this message is being embraced even during slow economic growth. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. Yearly, over a three-week period, entrepreneurs gather in Louisville, Lexington and Hopkinsville to encourage, support, network and develop a more diverse and equitable business climate. Strong leadership is crucial in keeping these events relevant.
Louisville – Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council
Ty Gettis, President and CEO of the Tri-State Minority Supplier Development Council (TSMSDC), based in Louisville, is a regional council that serves Kentucky, West Virginia and South Central Indiana. I asked Mr. Gettis how does Tri-State help its members grow during a tough economy? He replied, “The economy has hurt everyone and has been challenging to all over the last few years. What we’ve done is beefed up supplier diversity training workshops. Every year we send MBE’s to the Tuck program at Dartmuth, the Kellog Program at Northwestern University, or the Minority business program at the University of Wisconsin. We implemented a center of excellence program for top performing MBE’s to give them resources as well as advocate joint ventures, acquisitions and strategic partnerships. We do all the things that any majority business would do to make sure that their businesses survive in a tight economy.”Continued on the next page