For decades, a wealth gap has persisted between blacks and whites. The racial wealth gap has grown in recent years, with white Americans having 12 times the wealth of black Americans. While a quick fix to trim the gap remains absent, a new report suggests black entrepreneurship perhaps is the answer.
African-Americans are looking for opportunities to start and build businesses in the consumer markets they are part of — opportunities that satisfy their particular economic, family and social needs. However, fear of being declined is a big reason why African American business owners do not seek credit. According to statistics, compared to white business owners, black business owners are three times more likely to be afraid their loan application will be declined.
In 2012, Black women-owned firms employed 300,000 people in addition to the owners, generating $21.5 billion in receipts and paying their employees $7.7 billion (a 38% increase since 2007). We also know that 59% of black-owned firms are owned by black women, and black women represent the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States.
Black-owned businesses are the greatest private employer of African Americans in the United States, but they only receive 2% of the buying power of African American consumers. Between 2007 and 2012, small businesses overall grew 3% while Black-owned small businesses grew 34%. More than half of Oakland’s businesses are owned by people of color, and between 2007-2012, both Latino-owned and Black-owned businesses in Oakland grew by 50%. These numbers represent a lot of people creating opportunities for themselves and for others while investing in our neighborhoods.
Main Street Launch is proud to support small businesses in our hometown of Oakland since 1979. This Black History Month, we encourage everyone to #buyblack and support your neighborhood African American-owned small businesses. Local businesses employ local people, and local businesses also do business with other local businesses, keeping more of the dollars spent in the community, you are also investing in your neighborhood!
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