There is much to be said about the role African-American owned businesses play in local communities. These businesses provide job opportunities, help lead community improvement projects, and contribute to philanthropic efforts. Often overlooked, are the owners who keep them running.
Three second-generation McDonald’s franchise owners in Southern California are building on the legacy started by their parents as small business owners and becoming active participants in community organizations, educational boards, and advocating on behalf of issues faced in the African-American community.
Nicole Enearu is the owner of two McDonald’s restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area. She also runs the operations for 13 restaurants, most of which are owned by her mother Patricia Williams, who first became an owner/operator in 1984. Enearu spent many years in the social services industry before she began working with her mother in 2002. When she had accomplished what she wanted on her own, she began thinking of the benefits that come with being an entrepreneur.
Between Williams and Enearu, the family owns every restaurant in the Compton community. “Our employees live in the neighborhoods we service,” said Enearu. “We want to give back to them by servicing things that are going on in the community where they live.”
The family gets involved in the local community by sponsoring the city’s Christmas Toy Drive, building relationships with local government agencies and city officials, and hosting in-store fundraisers for local schools known as McTeacher’s Night.
When asked about the importance of black businesses in the community, Enearu said she most enjoys the opportunity to talk with others about being business owners and having an entrepreneurial spirit. “In a city like Compton, that is predominately minority, it is important for people to see they too can be business owners and role models in their own community, “ said Enearu
Donald Bailey, Jr., who owns a restaurant in the Crenshaw community, also feels the need to be a visible staple in the community to show a younger generation of African-Americans that they too can be entrepreneurs. Bailey began working in his parents’ restaurants at the age of 12, but never planned to become an owner. He was nudged into the family business by his father while in college and fell in love with the business along the way. He was approved to be a next-generation owner/operator in 2003 and owned his first restaurant in 2005.
“I struggled quite a bit in college, but had professors who gave me a second chance,” said Bailey. “I feel the need to do the same and give back to those in the community who need help.”
Bailey has found a way to merge his background and interest in law with his role as a McDonald’s owner. In addition to being the director of operations for nine family restaurants, he is also affiliated with the Los Angeles Police Department Cadets Program, Community Police Advisory Board, and youth training camp Sarges Community Youth Program.
Source: The LA Sentinel