In an article earlier this year in Brand Week, Pepper Miller, founder of the Hunter-Miller Group, a research and consulting firm specializing in marketing to African-Americans, stated that self-segregation exists in the social media space, and has a huge impact on advertisers. “You really have to understand who you are talking to,” she told Brand week in a recent interview. Miller also discussed why engagement is a huge part of reaching black consumers, and she offered examples of some successful [and not so successful] ads targeting African-Americans.The buying power of African-Americans is huge and powerful indeed. For example, African-Americans will command $1.1 trillion in buying power by 2011, according to the Packaged Facts reports, “The African American market in the US.” Moreover, affluent African-Americans control a disproportionate share of spending. There are currently 2.4 million African-American homes with annual incomes of $75,000 or more. Though they comprise only 17% of the African-American population, they account for 45% of total African-American spending power.Affluent African-Americans have a greater propensity than other affluent to buy expensive luxury items. The African-American cohort continues to be a significant consumer segment that in some ways exercises more economic clout than the ever – popular Hispanic one, comments Tatjana Meerman, Publisher of Packaged Facts.An article published by Multi-channel News echoed the same thoughts and stated that African-Americans purchasing behaviors differ in various ways, and ranges from what they buy at the grocery store to clothing style and magazine preferences. A study by BET (Black Entertainment Television) found that theU.S. African American population is expanding both in pure numbers and in buying power and has major influence on technological and media trends.Moreover, according to “African Americans Revealed” – a study of more than 80,000 African-American consumers over 18-month span broken down into several individual research reports — African Americans in 2008 accounted for a 10% increase in population from 2008 versus 2000, while African-American buying power increased more than 55% during the same period to $913 billion. Perhaps the most exciting news, for those serial entrepreneurs researching products and the markets to focus on, this news should be exciting indeed, because by the year 2013 black buying power will reach $1.2 trillion dollars, a whopping 35% increase versus 2008, according to survey and study conducted by Black Entertainment Television Network, better known as BET.As the economy has ruin dreams of many, and hopes have dashed for others, I fully contend with you that it might be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps you have dreamed of owning your own business for some time now, but never had the guts to leave your day job, for fear of the unknown. This is a normal reaction for many people, and certainly understandable, especially now in this uncertain economic climate. But that is precisely why it’s the best time, and the right time for you to start that new business, and or create that product idea you’ve had for many years, the same idea that friends and family have told you would do well on the market.As you read this article, I’m in hopes you will gain new insight, and find new hope, joy and fulfillment of that dream that you had, and or have, and step out on your faith, armed in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and insight as to how you’re going to make your dream a reality.My articles, and all that I bring forth is to encourage and enlighten those who are seeking ideas for new products, starting a new business, building and enhancing a brand, or for those who prefer, find the perfect job.For my parting words allow me to leave you with this amazing thought that if embraced can help turn our economy around once again.Succeeding in any business one must first be a cheerful giver, but not everyone is so cheerful when giving unto to others. While the real foundation to any good business is hidden in their giving, more people will give with regret in their heart. Because of this attitude, economies all over the world are suffering. Givers can be divided into three types: the flint, the sponge and the honeycomb. Some givers are like a piece of flint – to get anything out of it you must hammer it, and even then you only get chips and sparks. Others are like a sponge – to get anything out of a sponge you must squeeze it and squeeze it hard, because the more you squeeze a sponge, the more you get. But others are like a honeycomb – which just overflows with its own sweetness.As described in the above paragraph, I’ve tried to point out the three types of consumers and entrepreneurs we have in today’s economy. Some people are flints; others are like a sponge, and other people are like the honeycomb. Which one are you?