Entrepreneur, philanthropist and author appears at book signing sponsored by Regions and Protective Life to discuss How the Poor Can Save Capitalism.
REGIONS BANK NEWS
That motivation? Guilt.
“I wrote this book because I thought I failed,” Bryant said.
The solution, he said before a capacity Birmingham audience, is outlined in his new book. A successful entrepreneur, author and philanthropist, the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation Hope first found success at age 10, selling candy to classmates heading to school. As he built on his successes, however, Bryant said America’s middle and economic lower classes struggled.
“We’ve tried everything else,” Bryant said. “We’ve never tried free enterprise and capitalism to lift people up.”
Bryant’s philanthropic focus is on making financial education available to everyone.
He also believes a key to changing attitudes is providing better role models. As a child, his parents were his role models, and he wanted to be a businessman like his dad.
As an elementary school student, he attended a financial education class taught by a “banker in a blue suit, red tie and white shirt” who also served as a role model.
Unfortunately, Bryant said, role models today are in short supply. For instance, to many in lower income neighborhoods, the only role models are “athletes, rappers and drug dealers.” That must change, Bryant said.
At a July 9 book signing hosted by Regions, Protective Life and Birmingham Mayor William Bell at Protective Life headquarters, Bryant provided a glimpse into his background, his motivation and his intentions in a question-and-answer session.
Bryant said the American economy — one spurred by everyday transactions in neighborhoods across the nation, not by big business or government — still remains full of untapped potential, provided all Americans have access to financial education and opportunity.