Hustlin’ Hard: Black Women Entrepreneurs Are Most Driven, But Lack Adequate Resources

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August 30, 2013 ‐ By Kimberly Gedeon
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Many African-American women crave to escape working under domineering bosses and take charge by jump-starting their own businesses. While we’ve seen a nearly 200 percent surge in black businesswomen within the past decade, many others face hurdles that stifle their entrepreneurial endeavors, Forbes reports.

African-American women are five times more likely to kickoff a new business compared to their white counterparts. So, the problem isn’t the lack of spunk to turn a dream into a business venture. It’s insufficient “financial and social capital resources,” Forbes said.

Here are two obstacles, provided by Forbes, that driven African-American business women face:

1. The Single-Income Household

According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau, 68 percent of black women who gave birth in the past year were unmarried, compared to 26 percent of white women. The marriage rate of black women is 40 percent, which is significantly lower than the overall average. “These single-parent income households place women at considerable disadvantage as they have sizably less income,” Forbes added. And when it comes to acquiring start-up business loans, single-parent households have fewer assets to leverage as collateral, which can significantly decrease their chances of engaging in entrepreneurship.

2. Lack of Connections

Social capital is key in tackling a new enterprise—this is something that many African-American women don’t have. In such a homogeneous business world, black women “often find difficulty with connecting and developing meaningful cross-cultural, cross-economic, cross-gender relationships,” Forbes explained. Without enough clout, the necessary support essential for a successful business is nonexistent.

 For many upper-class white women who are already entrenched in social elements of this world, the chances of connecting with a high net-worth wife, or the husband himself, as a potential angel investor is considerably higher.

In order to combat these impediments, Forbes suggests women of color immerse themselves in womens’ associations that support entrepreneurial enterprises such as  Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women, Walker’s Legacy , and Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Lastly, Forbes adds that professional women, who are already established, should strive to “adopt the same policies and practices of inclusivity across the racial and socio-economic stratum increasingly demanded from males regarding gender.”

What do you think of Forbes’ advice to business women?

 

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