Building Neighborhood Economies From Within

Phillip Blog post

NDC Staff member Phillip Porter recently reflected on the Star Tribune article reporting that Black household income has plunged in Minnesota. This report states that the one-year drop puts Minnesota behind Mississippi for median Black household earnings.

Phillip, who grew up in Kansas City but moved to Minnesota in 1978 is a NDC Loan Officer and Business Entrepreneur Trainer. Regarding this article, Phillip reflected, “As an African American, this article was very surprising to African Americans in my community who moved here from the south 20+ years ago. Some of the reasons many African Americans moved to Minnesota from the south was for a better paying job, better and faster job promotions, better education, less racism, etc. Now, after living in Minnesota for over 20 years, you read this article and in your mind it translates into the uneasiness that you may have made the biggest mistake of your life by moving to Minnesota. Plus 20 years later you now have kids and you are wondering if you should strongly encourage them to move south once they get their college degree.”

Phillip explains that many African Americans would love to change this trend but they feel powerless on many levels to change this huge gap in Minnesota. He states the following reasons for why it’s difficult for African Americans in Minnesota to help change this trend:

  1. Some lack the educational know-how
  2. Most lack the economic power to make change (discretionary income)
  3. Many lack a personal network
  4. Most lack media resources to bring attention to this
  5. People don’t want to lose their job trying to make changes
  6. Many people are just too busy working their job and taking care of their family to address these concerns.
  7. Some people leave it to African American leadership organizations such as the Urban League, NAACP, etc. While many organizations are working on this issue and making progress, their success is rarely heard from mainstream media.

When asked what Phillip cites as some of the reasons that he suspects the disparity is widening, he said, “From a very high level, I contribute the widening of the disparity to four areas of concern.”

  1. There are no large African American owned businesses or colleges/universities that will hire large numbers of African Americans and purchases product and services from small African American businesses. None of the top 25 largest African American businesses are headquartered in Minnesota. See here.
  1. There is a limited representation of African Americans in top leadership (decision making) positions in all areas including education, teachers, business owners, coaches, E-Suite Executives, politicians, nonprofits, mega churches, etc.
  1. There is no formal network to connect wealthy African Americans in Minnesota with aspiring middle or low-income African American entrepreneurs in Minnesota that have great business ideas.
  1. There are no banks in Minnesota that are owned by Black people that specialize in servicing the black community by offering home mortgages, business loans, jobs, etc.

In our next post, Phillip will discuss solutions and suggestions for this statewide problem that must be addressed.

Accessing-Capital for blog

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Event Details

Minneapolis Urban League

2100 Plymouth Ave. N.

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November 19, 2015


See the full agenda and how to register here.


The Pacific Standard came out with a great article last week. “The Problem With Cereal” dives into the issue of how food (grocery, restaurants, cafés, etc.) is used to create gentrification. Much like real estate and jobs, access to food, particularly trendy food, can force out ethnic communities or communities of color. As the author astutely notes,”when a cereal café moves into a traditionally poor or minority community, the problem isn’t necessarily that locals will suddenly begin eating Froot Loops for dinner, but instead that these places work to slowly fragment the local culture, to replace tradition with privilege, to create a new norm.” We encourage you to read the full article here.

At NDC, we believe that creating strong communities comes from those who actually live and work in their community. As we see the rise of new stadiums, it is important to remain aware of what and who are influencing your neighborhood. Is there affordable housing? Are there local entrepreneurs running businesses? Is there access to affordable, healthy food? Together, we can continue to strengthen our communities.


Ever since kindergarten, KC Kye knew he had a knack for business. He excelled at trading sports cards with his friends and eventually obtained not one, but two Michael Jordan rookie-of-the-year cards. KC fondly looks back at this time as an introduction to his understanding of how to do business, and aspired to work at a reputable marketing and advertising firm in New York City as a leading partner. However, he saw many friends obtain such careers and lack purpose in continuing to work in their field.

“I grew up with a ‘profit-at-all-costs’ mentality, but after encountering a community that was extraordinarily generous with me, it completely changed my business philosophy.” – KC Kye, Owner of K-Mama Sauce

KC found his way to Church of All Nations in Minnesota after graduating from seminary and after completing an internship with the church, he began to realize that for him, church should direclty impact one’s understanding of the economy. This is the primary reason he began K-Mama Sauce, to play an impact in the community’s life and to be able to give abundantly.

KC’s pastor and mentor who is like a father to him pushed him to create a business where he could make Korean gochujang sauce. Gochujang is the famous Korean ingredient that is at the foundation of K-Mama Sauce and the delicious flavor. There are books written about gochujang, popular movies and TV shows that highlight it, and many grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Costco that carry Korean food products, making K-mama Sauce the perfect compliment to many Korean-themed meals.

To read more about KC’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur and what he’s looking forward to in the future, read below.

NDC: How has NDC helped you?
KC:I graduated from the Entrepreneur Training Program, which helped me with getting oriented with starting a business in Minnesota. I took various free workshops, I have worked with the Business Lab for help with a design for our business, and I have also spoken with the lending department. All have proven to be very helpful resources.”

NDC: How would you like to see your business grow?
KC: “I would like to see our sauce on shelves at co-ops, specialty shops, and grocery stores in Minnesota and nationwide.”

NDC: What is your business’ biggest accomplishment to date?
KC: “Since March, we have sold over 2000 bottles. More importantly, our fans are telling their family and friends about it so they are becoming our regulars as well. We used to have to fight to get into farmers markets, and were always a bit too slow on the uptake in applying to events but now we are receiving invitations almost every week. We have also partnered with The Kenwood (Minneapolis) and Brasa (St. Paul) who loves using our sauce.”

“I love Korean food and I also love sharing it with people who are interested in Korean food and culture.” – KC Kye, Owner of K-Mama Sauce

Contact K-Mama Sauce:
4301 Benjamin St NE Minneapolis, MN 55421

PDF version


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month to educate the public and business owners about cybersecurity. As a small business owner, now is the time to take stock of your cybersecurity health, including the importance of securing information through best cybersecurity practices; identifying your risk and the types of cyberthreats; and learning best practices for guarding against cyberthreats. Read the full article and access tools here.