By Sakina P. Spruell and Sonja Mack

Can you really mix business and social? Well, apparently yes. Social entrepreneurs Randal Pinkett, Lawrence Hibbert, Jeffrey Robinson and Dallas Grundy have been in business for 19 years with a continuous mission to have a positive impact on underserved communities.

As evidenced by the placement of their Newark-based firm, BCT Partners, on the 2019 BE100s—Black Enterprise’s annual list of the highest earning African American companies in the nation—these partners have proven that being social is a viable business model. The multimillion-dollar company’s focus has shifted from general information technology to business consulting over the years, but their mission to impact communities of color has
remained the same.

“We’ve embraced a willingness to evolve,” Hibbert says. “Believing that you
can create a single business idea and maintain it for 19 years is unrealistic. We’ve learned to be honest about what’s working and what’s not and be agile.” With clients ranging from several agencies within the United States government to Citigroup to RWJ Barnabas Health, BCT leverages technology to provide specialized expertise around topics such as unconscious bias and inclusive management. BCT Partners was hired to provide capacity building in underserved communities across the country as a prime contractor for the White House Neighborhood

Revitalization Initiative (NRI) under President Obama.

Currently, BCT is providing precision data insights for social programs to pinpoint what is working, why and for whom. Also, BCT co-launched Through My Eyes, the first virtual reality program designed to mitigate workplace discrimination. This product allows people to interact in actual situations where they have to confront obvious or hidden prejudices.

BCT was founded in 1999 by four friends, recent Rut-
gers graduates who each had a passion for creating a more
diverse and equitable society. CEO and managing partner Pinkett rose to prominence in 2005 as the winner of the fourth season of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice TV reality series. Also a Rhodes Scholar and MIT graduate, Pinkett joined forces with BCT co-founder Robinson to pen Black Faces in White Places, which was released in 2010.

“One of the keys to our success is a strong team,” says Pinkett about how the firm has stayed in business and survived the competition. “We established the company
as a team and couldn’t have built it into what it is today without each other.”