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According to an article on the Black Enterprise Magazine’s website blackenterprise.com, Black women are starting up businesses at a rate 6 times the national average; in fact the number of businesses owned by Black women increased from 1 in 6 back in 1997 to 1 in 3 in 2015. Businesses owned by non-minority women increased by 40% over that period while Black women-owned business increased by 322% and the Sisters are doing it despite several distinct disadvantages. Incidentally, businesses owned by Latinas increased 224% over the same period.

Studies show that most women-owned businesses tend to be home-based or service-oriented while, by comparison, most white male startups tend to be in construction and contracting.Washington, D.C. and New York city are the two cities with the highest rates and numbers of Black Women-owned businesses. Businesses owned by Black women employ nearly 300,000 people and generate some 52.6 billion dollars in revenue according to The 2015 State of Women Owned Businesses Report.

The challenges facing Black womens’ startups include significantly less funding, averaging about $36,000 as compared with, at the other end of the scale, about $1,000,000 for White men! Black women also have far less access to mentoring and get less outside investment.

The challenges and opportunities facing Black women starting businesses are the subject of a study now being conducted by Walker’s Legacy, a national women-of-color in business collective under a contract from the National Women’s Business Council and the SBA Office of Advocacy.

Regardless of what the study concludes, we already know that our Sisters are creative, resourceful, prepared and determined as they have always been. To see them leading the way – again, is no surprise at all to me!

Jerry Wells

 

 

 

 

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