Thought Leadership

Statement from Darrell Byers, CEO of Interise

Darrell Byers

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in colleges is a blow to efforts to address systemic inequities and the ambitions of young Americans hoping to better their lives through education. By dismantling affirmative action, the court has ensured that fewer minorities will have access to the education they need to excel—and potentially become the small business owners and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

That’s why, in light of this ruling, our mission here at Interise is more essential than ever. For almost two decades, we’ve offered bold programs providing minority business owners (MBEs) with the professional knowledge, management know-how, and networks they need to scale up their enterprises.

Supporting MBEs is not a charitable cause. Quite the opposite: economists have shown that a diverse business community benefits all parties.

  • The Hackett group has shown that companies with a “long-term supplier diversity program generate a 133% greater ROI than firms who look no further than the suppliers they traditionally rely upon” (source), in part because of the savings generated by a competitive supply chain.
  • Citi has reported that the United States has lost $16 trillion in GDP in the last twenty years because of discrimination in the economy. And they calculate that $5 trillion could be added to the GDP in the next five years if racial inequities were addressed today (source).

Our disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision is a reminder that more work needs to be done to advance opportunities for people of color, and that education is the ultimate source of our collective strength. We invite business leaders, politicians, and entrepreneurs to join us in our mission to create an inclusive economy that benefits all Americans.