OIC invokes founder to the power of 10

Art Taylor, chair of OIC of America, had just spent the day meeting with young ex-offenders in Boston. Taylor was struck by their passion to become business owners.
“The interest is there, they just don’t know how to make it happen yet they understand they can’t make it any more with just a job,” reported Taylor.
He spoke during a national conference call Thursday which was intended to bring the 44-branch organization back to its roots, when Rev. Leon Sullivan pulled together small donations to buy and operate a shopping center in Philadelphia.
It was a launch for the Enterpreneurial Mindset Initiative, an effort to raise a $100 million endowment to support the development and growth of black businesses.
Howard Sullivan, OIC of America president and son of Rev. Sullivan, said the organization would marry new media and the founding vision expressed in the book Build Brother Build 40 years ago.
The core of the drive would be encouraging the use of mobile phones for 1 million supporters to text the word OIC to the number 41010, thereby making a $10 donation for the Enterpreneurial Mindset Initiative.
Stanley Greene, director of the EMI, said this long-term strategy would ease the reliance on single-year grants and contracts, and instill the self-help values of Rev. Sullivan, a force of nature who commanded major multinationals to follow his principles towards the end of apartheid in South Africa.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was among the first to sign up to the initiative by hoisting his phone and texting his contribution during a March press conference at the shopping center Sullivan bought.
“We need this now more than ever,” said Nutter. “Many people in the community want to start businesses.” Nutter has recently overhauled his office to support business development with a goal towards reaching 25 percent procurement. “Enterpreneurship and charity should start at home. If we can put Barack Obama in the White House, we can put more black folks in the corner office.”
For more information, visit oicofamerica.org.