Better succession planning could lead to more diverse entrepreneurs

Feb. 22, 2019

In the Chicagoland area, most owners of manufacturing companies are not only white, but also are retirement-age and lack a succession plan.

By Anne Field for Forbes

In the Chicagoland area, most owners of manufacturing companies are not only white, but also are retirement-age and lack a succession plan. Their kids don’t want to take over or they lack the skills to do so. The likeliest fate for those businesses is to be bought by private equity firms that fire the employees, sell off some assets and move on, meaning a huge loss of jobs and revenue in the region.

For Dan Swinney, founder of the 35 year-old Manufacturing Renaissance, a nonprofit aimed at reviving manufacturing in the Chicago area, this challenge also has a massive upside--especially for black, Latino and Latina entrepreneurs, who might be employees of the business or simply people interested in owning and running an existing company. With a group of like-minded partners, he wants to identify thousands of healthy companies in need of buyers, while building a pipeline of viable, potential purchasers.

“This crisis seemed like a great opportunity,” says Swinney, who is managing director of the project. “This is a way to keep industry here and do something about the virtual exclusion of black, Latino and Latina entrepreneurs from manufacturing.”

To learn more, read "Saving Manufacturing Jobs And Boosting Entrepreneurial Opportunity In Chicagoland" from Forbes.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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