Jonathon Swift wrote that "vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." President Bush has a vision of an America where every citizen owns a home and controls his or her own retirement; he sees an America where every American, regardless of economic circumstance or skin color has the opportunity to dream big and, through hard work and perseverance, to achieve success and own a stake in the American dream. President Bush's domestic agenda is as visionary - and could be as transforming - as President Lincoln's Homestead Act and Franklin D. Roosevelt's FHA and VA home-mortgage guarantees.
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with Marc Morial, the new president of the Urban League and former mayor of New Orleans, who has mighty big shoes to fill as he follows the great work of former president Hugh Price. After our conversation, I am convinced that not only is Morial up to the job, his soon-to-be-launched National Entrepreneurial Centers demonstrate he is on the right track and the right issues.
The Entrepreneurial Centers are part of a new initiative to expand business ownership and entrepreneurship among minorities. As part of this initiative the administration will undertake a unique association with the National Urban League to create an entrepreneurship network. Supported by the Business Roundtable and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the NUL network will include one-stop centers for business training, counseling, financing and contracting.
These six centers, strategically located around the country, will be officially launched early next year. They are premised on the notion that access to capital and ownership are the twin linchpins of opportunity and prosperity in the African-American community - what George W. Bush suggests are a part of an ownership society not just for the growing black middle class but for those people of color left behind in the inner cities and the stagnant rural areas of America.
As Bush eloquently put it, "Our small business sector is vibrant and strong because of the dreamers who live here in America. And the job of government is to inspire and help." And that is what these entrepreneurial centers will do - inspire and help minority entrepreneurs, thus expanding job opportunities, as well.
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