The number of U.S. Small Business Administration loans to Black business owners in New Jersey increased more than 40 percent from a year ago, the agency’s New Jersey District Office says. The office approved 61 loans to Black small business owners from October through January, for a total of $8.6 million, compared with 43 loans totaling $4.6 million during the same period the year before. The average loan was $141,000, up from the previous year’s average of $111,900. About $1.2 million of the money loaned went to limited-service restaurants, $640,000 to beauty salons and $261,000 to child care services.
Wells Fargo Lending
Wells Fargo & Co. said it passed the midpoint of its goal to loan $1 billion to African-American business owners. More than $500 million has been lent through Wells Fargo’s African American Business Services program since its inception in 1998. The program promotes outreach and education along with access to capital, and provides comprehensive business products and services that help business owners succeed financially. The program also established a public lending goal of $1 billion over 12 years to African- American business owners.
New Student AIDS Organization
The Black AIDS Institute and the Magic Johnson Foundation formed L.I.F.E. AIDS (Leaders in the Fight to Eradicate AIDS, www.LIFE @ Blackaids.org) to educate and mobilize Black college students around the devastating effects of H.I.V./AIDS on Black communities. About half of all new H.I.V. infections occur among teenagers and young adults aged 25 years and younger, and Black youth represent 65 percent of H.I.V./AIDS cases among American youth aged 13-19. L.I.F.E. AIDS will publish Ledge, a national magazine written, edited and published by students on Historically Black Colleges and Universities campuses.
Africa Gets Its MTV
MTV Networks launched MTV Base, the company’s first pan-African music television channel. MTV Base is programmed to appeal to Africans aged 15-34. The 24-hour music channel will broadcast “urban” genre music created by artists from the entire African continent, as well as by artists from around the world. Long-form programming strands will be broadcast in English, but videos will be broadcast in Swahili, English, French and Portuguese. At launch, MTV Base reached approximately 1.3 million households in 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa via multichannel operators DStv, Trend TV, CTL and FSTV.
Black Advertising Association
Black advertising agencies and marketing communications companies formed the Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies Inc. (ABAA). Black-owned ad agencies and marketing communications firms have annual billings of more than $1 billion. ABAA’s founding members are Anderson Communications, E. Morris Communications, Equals Three Communications, Fuse Advertising, Lattimer Moffitt Com-munications, Matlock Advertising & Public Relations, Muse Communica-tions, Prime Access, R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations and SWG&M Advertising.
Graduate School Enrollment
In 2002, the latest year for which statistics are available, 170,241 African-Americans—70.5 percent of them women—were enrolled in degree-granting graduate schools, an all-time high, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports. Blacks were 8.4 percent of the total enrollments in U.S. graduate schools. Nearly 58 percent of all Blacks who were enrolled in graduate school in 2002 attended state-run institutions, compared to 61.4 percent of whites. In 2002, less than 39 percent of all Black graduate school students and 39.8 percent of whites were enrolled full-time, the Journal says.
Ivy League Freshman Enrollment
Blacks made up 9.3 percent of fall 2004 first-year students at Yale University, the highest rate in the Ivy League, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports. Black freshmen at Harvard numbered 145, or 8.9 percent of the first-year class. At the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Dartmouth College, Blacks made up slightly more than 7 percent of the freshman class, while at Columbia and Brown, Blacks were 6.8 percent of the freshman class. As has been the case for the past 13 years, Cornell, with 4.7 percent, had the smallest percentage of Blacks in its entering class.
Black Business Professionals and Entrepreneurs, a global network of business owners and professionals, launched a Collegiate Entrepreneurs Series (CES) program to provide entrepreneurship training, development and mentorship to high-achieving students ages 18-24 and currently enrolled in an accredited college or university. The CES program will be facilitated from June 22-25, 2005, at Savannah State University, Savannah, Ga. Interested students can request to participate in the program, as well as apply for admission, through the George and Diane Yarbrough Scholarship Fund.
Black farmers left out of a landmark civil rights case are pressing for congressional legislation as their last hope to get compensation for years of being denied loans by the government. In the 1999 case, the U.S. Agriculture Department agreed to pay $50,000 or more to each farmer who filed for compensation within six months. About 13,500 people have qualified for more than $830 million under this settlement, but the Environmental Working Group and the National Black Farmers Association say as many as 66,000 Black farmers missed out because they were improperly notified of the settlement and thus filed late claims.
First Black Saint
The Vatican is reviewing 2,000 pages of documentation to determine whether Haitian immigrant Elizabeth Clarisse, called Mother Mary Lange, will become America’s first Black saint. Lange (1784-1882) founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence, America’s first community of Black nuns, in Baltimore in 1829, and established St. Frances Academy, the country’s oldest continuing Catholic school for Black children, in 1828. Within nine months, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints is expected to determine whether Lange’s case is worthy of consideration. If it does, and if proof of a miracle is then found, the church would beatify Lange. With evidence of a second miracle, she would be named a saint.
A study, “Taxes and Entrepreneur-ial Activity: An Empirical Investiga- tion Using Longitudinal Tax Return Data,” by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administra-tion says a reduction rate of 1 percent on entrepreneurial income increases the probability of entrepreneurial entry by 1.42 percent for single filers and 2.0 percent for married filers. A reduction rate of 1 percent on entrepreneurial income decreased the probability of exiting entrepreneurial activity by 17.32 percent for single filers and by 7.81 percent for married filers, and a reduction rate of 1 percent on entrepreneurial income lengthens the duration of entrepreneurial activity by 32.5 percent for single filers and 44.8 percent for married filers.