Tim Lampkin Hopes to Close Gap for Black Business Owners in Mississippi Delta Through His Nonprofit Higher Purpose

Black-owned businesses are a minority in the Mississippi Delta, even with a population in some areas that’s more than 70% African American. Tim Lampkin wanted to close that gap and help business owners.

“The majority of the businesses I was seeing were White-owned and the math just didn’t add up to me,” Lampkin, the cofounder and CEO of nonprofit Higher Purpose, told CBS News. “So I figured there was a resource gap.”

Lampkin saw the region increasingly distressed and the wealth gap growing when he quit a big city job to return to his Delta home. The state has the nation’s highest poverty rate of almost 20%, but in parts of the Delta the rate is 30% to 43%.

“The first thing I thought was, ‘How am I going to be a part of the solution?’ I never think about things from a deficit mindset. It’s always optimistic,” he said.

Lampkin started Higher Purpose to provide mentors and connect lenders to Black entrepreneurs like Kenesha Lewis, who had trouble getting a loan.

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SOURCE: CBS News, Janet Shamlian