Leslie Giscombe, founder of African American Entrepreneur Club, is using his experience in both corporate America and entrepreneurship to support one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial demographic segments: African Americans.
"My Aha Moment came when I went to Entrepreneur Night in Palm Coast," he said. "I noticed that there were very few African Americans there. Out of 150 attendees, there might be 10 African Americans. Studies showing African Americans were the fastest growing entrepreneur population, but they weren't being represented there."
African American Entrepreneur Club supports its members with education, mentoring, group economics, a business directory and microfinancing. "I'm focusing on the areas where many African American entrepreneurs lack," Giscombe said. "Lots of business stats indicate African Americans are unfairly treated with regard to business loans and credit. We run into that wall even though we have adequate collateral and credit. Statistics show the average African American business lasts 18 months. Important reasons for that are lack of business education and suboptimal networks. We work to mix up our club in all those areas."
Giscombe's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to the point. "Be passionate about what you're doing," he said. "Education, network, market research, partnership and passion. The more partners you make, the better because you have additional soldiers out there aligning with your vision to promote your mission. "