Sharon K. Williams is among those Pittsburgh business and civic leaders who lead the charge on behalf of the regions minority- and women-owned businesses.
And without question, she has her work cut out for her.
Did you know that there are only 1,127 African-American businesses in the city of Pittsburgh, and 2,023 in Allegheny County, accounting for less than 1 percent of gross receipts? she asks in a letter she published on the Minority Enterprise Corp. of Southwestern Pennsylvanias Web site. Or that minority-owned businesses employ an 80 percent minority work force, while majority firms employ only 11 percent minorities?
Williams, who is the nonprofit organizations president and CEO, clearly and adamantly wants to change that. And therein lies her lifes work.
It is statistics such as these that are the driving force behind not only my dedication, but my staffs dedication as well, to the mission and vision of the Minority Enterprise Corp., she continues. Our vision is a revitalized regional economy that includes parity for all residents. And quite frankly, we, as a community, have our work cut out for us, as the statistics I mentioned indicate.
The M.E.C. provides business training and development, technical assistance and loan packaging services, among other forms of assistance for minority and women entrepreneurs.