A total 73 of the 5000 companies on Inc. magazine’s 2016 Inc.5000 list are owned by Black CEOs. Inc. 5000 companies “are the superheroes of the U.S. economy.” Per the publication, they are “America’s fastest-growing private companies [which] wield powers like strategy, service and innovation.”
Although 73 companies out of 5000 is only 1.5 percent, it’s a start. The companies were chosen based on revenue growth over the past three years. Rolling out caught up with Inc.5000 first timers OnceLogix. OnceLogix is a North Carolina web based solutions company that specializes in electronic healthcare records software. It ranked number 3719 on the list. CEO Trinity Manning, COO Rod Brown and CFO Ty McLaughlin of OnceLogix are deservedly ecstatic about their company’s spot on the list. Here is what they had to say about this coveted accomplishment.
What advice would you give African American entrepreneurs?
Manning: There’s so much advice I would give African American entrepreneurs. If I could only tell the entrepreneur one thing, it would be to not quit. There’s no such thing as a loser—just people that quit. I would tell them that you’ll be scared, tired, or overwhelmed, but keep going while scared, tired and overwhelmed. I’d tell them that they will look back and often times laugh at the sacrifices.
How has making the Inc.5000 List impacted your business?
McLaughlin: Making the Inc.5000 list has definitely given us more exposure and opportunities. What I believe it’s done the most, is shifted our mindsets about entrepreneurship and our mission beyond our business. It’s challenged us to impress upon our community the importance of being the best person, and business owner you can possibly be.
How does it feel to be one out of the 1.5 percent that made the Inc.5000 list?
Brown: It feels like we need to do something. Our experience during the Inc. 5000 conference was incredible. We had the chance to learn and network with some incredible entrepreneurs. The spirit of the conference was warm and inviting. I have yet to experience an event for entrepreneurs that matched the time I spent in San Antonio with Inc. and hundreds of rock star entrepreneurs. There was an obvious absence, the absence of black and brown entrepreneurs. Out of 5000 of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States, only 75 or so are African American. We want to help change that, and we will. We will help African American entrepreneurs increase their entrepreneur IQ, meet and network with successful African American entrepreneurs, and create tools to help make African American entrepreneurs’ lives better.
What are the pros and cons of being Black in business?
Brown: The life cycle of a business has ebbs and flows. Unforeseen challenges and tough times are typical prerequisites to success. Growing up in rough environments, having the unique experiences, and not having much is a common story for many African American entrepreneurs. Those conditions make you tough — the toughness you need to look a business problem dead in the face and overcome it. There are no cons.
To learn more about the Inc. 5000, visit www.inc.com/inc5000.