9. Manna Inc.

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Despite the current economic climate, fast food franchisee Manna Inc. remains one of the largest black-owned companies and top employment leaders in the U.S.

Founded by former NBA player Ulysses Bridgeman in 1987, the Louisville, Kentucky-based company is one of the nation’s largest Wendy’s franchisees with 160 outlets throughout Kentucky, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, and Florida. In 2007, Bridgeman sold 15 of its restaurants for $11.5 million to GE Capital Solutions Franchise Finance.

Manna Inc. also operates 103 Chili’s restaurants in seven states.