Posted by: Tony Selvaggio on Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Equality of opportunity is a subject I have been passionate about since I started my company. I have seen firsthand the infrastructure gap and disparity in access to basic human rights, not only here in the United States, but in other countries.

Having said this, history has shown us that the solution to a lot of the problems we are facing as a society is not related to a lack of capital to solve them, but a wrong approach and suboptimal use of resources.

As our economic systems evolve and the world becomes more connected every day,  one common thread among the solutions that will prevail is a strong partnership between the private and public sectors and a shift in perspective as to how we look at the people we all serve.

For companies, they are called clients and from a public perspective, they are called constituents. At the end of the day, we are talking about the exact same people with overlapping problems that need to be solved and solutions that require multiple entities to work together. From a capitalist perspective, you might say that the forces of the market are driving companies to pay close attention to the issues that are affecting the community of their target market. From a philosophical perspective, you might say that it's our moral duty and responsibility to play an active role in finding solutions for these problems, especially considering our privileged position among the majority of the world.

Grassroots work from organizations that are a staple in the community are needed because cookie-cutter solutions to social problems cannot be applied in a blanket approach. Each community is distinct in the challenges they face; this is why it's important for these institutions to remain connected to the people they serve. A perfect example of this is the Tampa Bay Chamber and their Minority Business Accelerator Program. An incredible initiative that has been put forth by the leadership of such an important institution in our community,aiming to bring together minority and diverse companies and act as the bridge to provide equality of opportunity needed to succeed.

Because of my background, I always gravitate towards initiatives that are directly related to the Hispanic community. As a recent immigrant from Venezuela, one of the first statistics I learned when I came to the United States (which blew my mind) was that Hispanic consumers in the U.S. control a total of $1.5 trillion in buying power.

My business growth has been directly related to my involvement within the community, and I see this as a great opportunity to capitalize on a growing market; the market of looking after the people you serve in the place where you work and live.

This month I have the honor of receiving the Hispanic Prestige Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay which is given to leaders who positively impact and have contributed to the efforts and wellbeing of the Hispanic community. I feel this is also a great opportunity to highlight the fact that ultimately, Equality of Opportunity rests on the shoulders of every one of us. It means what can we do to guarantee that every player in the game has access to the same opportunities as the rest? Whatever happens after that is the responsibility of the players, but it's our duty,-and opportunity, to create the infrastructure that allows that interaction to happen.