The State of Black Women Entrepreneurship

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Wanda V. Mays 

Founder & CEO, The Power Of Help,

Owner, The Reset Villages Independent Living Centers, LLC

Over the past few decades, the status of Black women entrepreneurship in the United States has undergone a significant transformation. While there have been some gains, challenges still exist that affect their growth potential. This essay examines the current state of Black women entrepreneurship, whether we are growing or declining, and the factors that contribute to these trends.

According to a report by the National Women’s Business Council, Black women-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States. with a 164% increase in the number of businesses owned between 2007 and 2018. Additionally, Black women are starting businesses at a faster rate than any other demographic group in the country. The report also reveals that Black women-owned businesses employ 376,500 workers and generate $51.4 billion in revenue.

However, despite these gains, Black women entrepreneurs face significant barriers in starting and growing their businesses. According to a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Black women entrepreneurs are less likely to receive funding than other groups. The report also found that only 4% of all small business loans go to Black-owned businesses, and women-owned businesses receive only 16% of all small business loans. These disparities have a significant impact on Black women entrepreneurs’ ability to start and grow their businesses.

Another challenge faced by Black women entrepreneurs is access to resources and networks. Many Black women entrepreneurs lack the social and professional networks necessary to access capital, customers, and business opportunities. A report by the Center for Global Policy Solutions found that black women entrepreneurs are more likely to face discrimination when seeking financing, which can limit their access to resources.

Additionally, Black women entrepreneurs face systemic barriers and biases in the business world, making it more difficult for them to compete on a level playing field. A report by the National Women’s Business Council found that Black women business owners face more significant challenges than other groups in accessing credit, accessing markets, and navigating regulations. These challenges can limit Black women entrepreneurs’ growth potential and create an uneven playing field in the business world.

In conclusion, the status of Black women entrepreneurship is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the number of Black women-owned businesses has increased significantly over the past decade, and Black women entrepreneurs are starting businesses at a faster rate than any other demographic group in the country. On the other hand, Black women entrepreneurs face significant challenges that limit their growth potential, including limited access to financing, resources, and networks, as well as systemic biases in the business world. To continue to grow and thrive, Black women entrepreneurs must be supported through targeted policies and initiatives that provide access to resources and networks and eliminate systemic barriers and biases.