Framework curated by Ameera Ladak and Stefan Palios in partnership with MindFrame Connect
Dr. LaTanya White of Concept Creative Group discusses her approach to advancing racial equity by focusing on dynastic wealth, with a focus on Black wealth.
Racial wealth inequality is significant in the US: the average white family's wealth of $171,000 was approximately ten times the wealth of the average Black family (only $17,150). As a result, Black families are at a significant economic disadvantage when it comes to building wealth. But Dr. White said the solution needs to be about more than simply money–it’s a dynastic path that requires grit and entrepreneurship to succeed.
Dr. White defines dynastic wealth as sharing resources down at least three generations. Building this type of wealth, she said, is critical to breaking the multi-generational, systemic oppression Black families have faced throughout history.
Dynastic wealth versus generational wealth: Dr. White explained that generational wealth is important, but limiting because it only focuses on money. Dynastic wealth, on the other hand, is about sharing money, knowledge, and other resources so future generations can not only sustain but grow their wealth. Dr. White said dynastic wealth asks, “how do we transfer the founders’ insight to the generation below?”
Dr. White proposes there are five forms of wealth held within dynastic wealth.
Further to this idea of psychological safety is creating psychologically safe spaces by looking at the policies, programs, and practices of key executives, as well as leaders and policymakers themselves. In psychologically safe spaces, people will feel like they belong and self-actualize so they perform at their highest levels.
In order for entrepreneurs to be able to successfully build dynastic wealth, they need to consider three main pillars for success:
Start with mindset:
Dr. White said preparing for success starts with your mindset. “There is so much fear, doubt, and insecurity in the entrepreneurial journey…specifically for Black and brown founders due to generational trauma.”
Look out for vacant self-esteem:
Vacant self-esteem refers to the idea that a person believes they lack worth. If someone has this mentality, Dr. White said they might not be willing to start a business or take the risks necessary to succeed. She stressed that if this isn’t addressed quickly, it’s harder for any mentorship programs to have a lasting impact.
Understand the impacts of low “pre-exposure”:
“In looking at how entrepreneurship affects the wealth narrative and access to opportunities,” Dr. White said there is a correlation between successful entrepreneurship and your pre-exposure to entrepreneurship because seeing it firsthand can set your expectations.
Plant a seed:
Wealth can take generations to build, and encouraging wealth-building requires young folks to understand they may be building something they might not benefit from. Founders who worked with Dr. White expressed that they were “planting a seed”, and they know that they “may never get the privilege of being around when the fruit bears.”
Bring lived experiences to the table:
When working with young entrepreneurs, Dr. White likes to ask “what were the experiences that informed and shaped their own approach to the entrepreneurial journey?” These folks are asked to consider if it was out of necessity because it was hard for their parents to make ends meet, or if it was solely out of an opportunity where they had the skills to get in front of a developing trend.
For communities of colour, entrepreneurship is often born out of necessity. Helping young people think about their lived experience, and how their work as an entrepreneur can create favourable conditions for someone down the line, can impact their decision to become an entrepreneur.
In the context of building dynastic wealth through entrepreneurship, Dr. White defines resilience as “entrepreneurial persistence” to move through the difficult times of building a business or building wealth. Unfortunately, though, this can be hard—she said social media and pop culture can make entrepreneurship look easy without showing the realities, adding “you don’t get to peek behind the curtain.” A solution to this is for leaders to build psychological safety for Black entrepreneurs. This ensures that young people will feel like they belong in a space, helping them self-actualize so they can perform at their highest levels.
We draw these best practices from the first-hand experience of program managers like you and our own expertise. This white paper is a comprehensive guide that will be your roadmap to building a world-class mentoring program.