SPRINGFIELD, Mass., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and Black Enterprise -- a multiplatform media organization that reaches an audience of six million entrepreneurs and business professionals -- announced a collaborative relationship aimed at helping the exploding number of African-American business owners and their families make good financial decisions for a more secure future. MassMutual's continued focus on providing much-needed financial education to the African-American community will be bolstered by its relationship with Black Enterprise, a premier business, investing and wealth-building resource comprised of four content channels: publishing, digital, broadcast and events.
As a sponsor of the 17th annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo that took place in Chicago, Ill. May 23-26, 2012, MassMutual unveiled the findings of its national proprietary research that examines the state of small business owners' fiscal fitness. Although African-American-owned businesses grew by 60 percent to almost two million between 2002 and 2007*, MassMutual's study -- Business Owner Perspectives: 2011 Insights in an Uncertain Economy -- found significant gaps in the owners' fiscal knowledge and use of available tools to help them create a more solid future for themselves and their families:
- Sixty percent say they want to keep their key employees loyal to the company, but only 26% actually have benefit plans in place for key employees.
- Eighty-three percent indicated that they know whom they want to pass the business on to; only 30% have a succession plan in place, and in many cases those succession plans were created without the help of a financial expert.
- Two in three African-American business owners indicated that they plan to retire at the mean age of just over 67 years old, yet over half expressed strong concerns about funding their retirement years.
"The African-American community's steady growth, combined with the country's current economic climate, makes it critical for this community to work towards greater financial security for individuals, businesses and families," said Nicole Bremser, Director of Multicultural Market Development, MassMutual. "Black Enterprise is a natural ally for us, because it is in the front lines of providing African-American business owners, executives and their families with information and tools to affirm and achieve their aspirations."
"African-Americans continue to experience higher unemployment rates, inadequate job opportunities and remain more likely to have lower household incomes than other ethnic groups," said Derek T. Dingle, SVP/Editor-in-Chief, Black Enterprise magazine. "Given all this and coupled with our recent economic crisis, our core mission to encourage and promote minority entrepreneurship has never been more vital. We believe knowledge is power and are committed to providing our audience with the most vital information they need to ensure their financial futures. We are grateful that MassMutual chose to unveil its most recent study at our Entrepreneurs Conference in order to directly bolster our most essential mission."
In addition to sponsoring the Entrepreneurs Conference and unveiling its research study there, MassMutual also is maintaining an ad and editorial presence on BlackEnterprise.com and participating in several events throughout the year, including a recent invitation-only presentation at the Women of Power Summit in February.
The Black Enterprise sponsorship is a key component of MassMutual's African-American financial education initiative to help business owners and professionals improve their financial future outlook. The research unveiled at the Entrepreneur Conference represents its first comprehensive analysis of African-American business owners on a national level.
For more information on building a financial legacy, visit massmutual.com/africanamerican. Use this hyperlink to watch an overview of the Business Owner Perspectives Study results, and to review a more comprehensive report of the findings, see massmutual.com/smallbusiness.
*U.S. Census Survey of Business Owners 2007, non-farm businesses
About MassMutual's Business Owner Perspectives: 2011 Insights in an Uncertain Economy
The research was conducted by GfK Custom Research North America for MassMutual via telephone interviews administered to 916 general population business owners and 758 interviews with multicultural business owners of these types: African American (151), Asian Indian (150), Chinese (152), Hispanics (154), and Korean (151). Interviewing took place from March 28 – May 20, 2011. The interviews were conducted in the language of preference to the business owner for Chinese, Hispanic and Korean businesses.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyholders every year since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company's strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.
CONTACT: Karen Lavariere-Sanchez