This is the second of several articles I am writing for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. My spotlight this month will be on Vincent Adams and Invinceable Adams, Inc. Again my objective is simple: Showcase minority entrepreneurs and provide creative solutions to help find your way out of this economic crisis.
Approximately 13 million people in the United States own a business; that equates to roughly about one in 10 workers. Unfortunately, African American-owned businesses tend to have lower sales, fewer employees and smaller payrolls, lower profits and higher closure rates. The primary reason is a lack of startup capital for Black businesses. Nearly half of all Black families have less than $6,000 in total wealth, which contributes to their relative lack of success.
African Americans (AAs) who own businesses tend to have lower education levels in comparison to their Asian and White counterparts. By not having parents or relatives who own businesses, Black startups lack the fundamental pre-business work experience that comes from working in family businesses.
Another noticeable contributing factor is simply making poor choices. For example, one research study showed AAs spent $184 million on telephone services, both home and cell phone services, in comparison to only $127 million on education, books, computers, sports and recreational equipment combined.
In Memphis, Tennessee alone, African Americans spent $66 million on alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and smoking supplies in comparison to only $3 million on books. Now here is the kicker — with $9.9 billion being generated in annual income by the Black population, only seven percent is spent within the African American community. Only seven percent. Do you see a problem here?
‘Today’s Entrepreneur’ spotlights Vincent Adams
Company: Invinceable Adams, Inc., P.O. Box 4244, Virginia Beach, VA 23454
As a gourmet chef, Vincent loved to create flavors. He started out mixing fruits in Florida and it grew from there. As a gourmet chef, he patented a product (a bottled barbecue sauce) and started working on his recipes. Vince now has multiple products he will be bringing to market. Like most entrepreneurs, Vince is self-funded.
With the help of a local entrepreneur, he built his company, including his website at www.invinceableadams.com. With that said, Vince did not stop there. The COO developed his business plan and they branched out into Effie’s Barbecue Seafood Catering Service and The Antonio Adams Foundation. Both of these sites are currently being developed.
Currently, the company is contacting various equity and consultant partners such as colleges and manufacturers. Vince went through Invent Help to patent his product and worked with a very good attorney. With a 14-year patent, he can earn royalties or simply manufacture the product himself just on one product.
To date, the corporation is comparing offers from multiple manufacturers. They are negotiating distribution and marketing options as well. Vince has a great support team and business partners, which make it easier for him to focus on the creation of new products versus doing the day-to-day business operations.
As a family-owned business, Vince is supported by his brother and sister who both had notable careers in the U.S. Air Force and the Army, respectively. With Effie’s Barbecue Seafood Catering, Inc., Vince is able to serve any size group from corporate events to families, formal or informal catering affairs. His first event this year will be a wedding for 200 people.
Strengths: The strengths of this corporation are the people, their products, and patents. Vince was invited to the Houston Space Center to work on a PIT Crew and helped feed 5,000 returning troops from the Iraq war. He has owned multiple restaurants, and he understands how to sell. He has global contacts for distribution. As a gourmet chef, Vince can create anything he wants, and the company Invinceable Adams, Inc. can market it. With multiple lines of products, this company is in it for the long run.
Weaknesses: Like most minority businesses, startup capital was a problem. However, Vince has worked that out and he is on his way to great things. He and his company are always open to listen to potential equity partners if the terms are agreeable to both parties.
Who loses: This is one opportunity that got away from local investors. They did not want to work with Vince because he moved from Richfield, MN to Hampton Roads, VA. Too bad for them. This company will do multiple seven-to-nine figures in revenue easily.
Financials: In addition to their own resources, Vince’s brother has military contacts and is a product rep in Italy. Vince’s products will soon be in the Military PXs and commissaries.
Conclusions: Buy the product! Support African American enterprises.
Ste Brown, M.S., is a corporate consultant who welcomes reader responses to sgbro@com cast.net.