This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Renita D. Young speaks with Charles S. Sanders, the founder and CEO of Urban Lending Solutions, about the keys to building a successful business. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the banking industry business services company earned revenues of $127 million in 2010 to land at No. 28 on the Black Enterprise 100s list of the nation’s largest Black-owned industrial/service companies.
Sanders went from being a running back with his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers to starting his own company when he founded Urban Settlement Services in 1999. Today, the company, now known as Urban Lending Solutions (ULS), is one the most highly-rated privately held vendor management companies and a certified minority business enterprise providing real estate information products to the mortgage industry.
Under Sanders’ leadership, during the past decade, ULS has seen exceptional growth, becoming a Tier 1 vendor for the nation’s top lenders and earning recognition as a Supplier of the Year by the National Minority Supplier Development Council. Sanders joins the Roundtable to share the challenges and triumphs of building a successful business.
Also, UBR Contributor Samantha Pass talks with speaker and financial journalist Kelvin Boston, author of Who’s Afraid to Be A Millionaire: Mastering Financial and Emotional Success (Wiley) and the host of Moneywise with Kelvin Boston, which airs on PBS stations and is distributed to more than 83 million households nationwide. Bostons sits down with Pass to share how to overcome fears while managing financial success.
In my “Alfred’s Notepad” segment, I remind entrepreneurs that classes are still in session at Small Business University (SBU), a free online video course at BlackEnterprise.com offering expert advice to entrepreneurs looking to start and grow profitable small businesses. This week’s session is “Technology,” taught by digital/lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong, who provides a guide to tech gadgets for your business and which software and hardware tools will get your business to the next level. Coming up next week: “Marketing,” which will focus on how to connect with customers, use social media and boost the visability of your enterprise. SBU, powered by Dell, also includes custom gamification features that allow registrants to compete for more than $50,000 in cash and prizes, including a grand prize package that includes $5,000 in cash, a $10,000 Dell Office Setup, a free one-on-one consultation with a small business expert, and a profile in Black Enterprise magazine. Go to http://dev.blackenterprise.com/sbu to register and learn more.
And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.
If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.
Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of the Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.
Small business is BIG BUSINESS at the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 23-26, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel in Chicago, IL. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. To register and find out more, visit dev.blackenterprise.com/ec/