Scholars who study the wealth gap say that efforts to bring minorities into franchising are well-intentioned, but fail to acknowledge a Catch-22: in order to create wealth, a person must already have some.
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Growing up, all Ronald Smothers ever wanted was to own his own business. In the mid-’70s, armed with a degree from UCLA, he chose a career in franchise restaurants, opening a Burger King in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw neighborhood. He saw that times were changing and believed fast food was one way to fill a growing gap.