Inspiring Woman Advocates for Minority Businesses
By George Anderson
Essence magazine included her among its “50 of the Most Inspiring African-Americans.”
Valerie Daniels-Carter is hoping that her example will inspire women and minorities to reach for their goals, and the owner of one of Burger King’s largest minority-owned franchisees is hoping the company’s planned initial public offering will provide added opportunities to advance diversity initiatives.
Ms. Daniels-Carter, who runs V&J Holding Cos., told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “We’re not looking at the IPO only in terms of how many more restaurants a vendor can get. I’m looking at it as an opportunity for Burger King to broaden the horizon of opportunities that traditionally aren’t afforded to firms of color. It’s about expanding ways for other people of color to reach their goals.”
A past president of the Minority Franchise Association of Burger King and a current member of its Diversity Action Council, Ms. Daniels-Carter has found corporate executives receptive to her message as her firm has opened up new markets for the fast food chain.
Clyde Rucker, a senior vice president of Burger King, said Ms. Daniels-Carter is a forceful advocate that has results to back up her recommendations. “In her business, she has, in the past, set her sights on what she wants to do and she accomplishes her goals,” he said.
Today, V&J Holding Cos. is the largest minority run fast food franchisee in the country, operating about 130 Burger King and Pizza Hut locations.
Ms. Daniels-Carter started the business along with her brother with a single Burger King location in Milwaukee in 1984.
Vanessa Bush, executive editor of Essence, said, “It’s important that African-American women interested in entrepreneurship see examples of someone who clearly did all the right things from raising the seed money to purchase her first franchise to making it grow. Everyday women need to see that it can be done.”
Moderator’s Comment: How important are the examples of people such as Valerie Daniels-Carter in opening up opportunities for minorities and inspiring
members of those communities to become entrepreneurs? –
George Anderson – Moderator