Call Her CEO! Black Women Are Building Businesses Faster Than Anyone Else In The US

June 19, 2014  |  

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Black women are doing it for ourselves! And that’s just not a slogan, there is evidence. While black women may be having difficulty working their way up the corporate ranks, they are instead creating their own corporations.

In fact, data from the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, shows that black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country.

“Today, women of color are the majority owners of close to one-third of all women-owned firms in the nation,” stated the report. “Increased access to business capital – including microenterprises, venture capital- funded firms, and crowd funding – has helped the number of women entrepreneurs grow substantially.”

There is still discrepancy in pay however. Black women earn just 64 cents while white women take home 78 cents for every dollar that white males make. Black women take home about $600 a week versus $722 for white women.

“From 1997 to 2013, the number of female-owned firms in the United States grew by 59 percent – one-and-a-half times the national average,” stated the report.

Despite this, more and more black women are creating businesses. “The number of businesses owned by black women skyrocketed by 258 percent over that time period. In 2013, more than 1.1 million black women owned businesses. At 13 percent, black women also hold the largest share of businesses owned by minority women,” reports Black Press USA.

Incredibly,  “African American women are starting businesses at a rate six times the national average, and their 2.7 million firms are currently generating $226.8 billion in annual revenue and employing almost 1.4 million people,” according to the CAP report.

Looking at the overall picture, this means that the success of businesses owned by women of color, will have a greater impact on the American economy.

Even though black, female-owned firms are employing many people and contributing significantly to the economy, they still have extra startup challenges, such as “limited access to mentors and “exclusion from elite networks.” Also, generally minority women don’t have the  personal wealth that affords men and white women to invest in their own businesses. And even worse, according to the report black women with children have zero median wealth–zero!

Even after getting up and running, black female-owned companies pull in less revenue. To be more exact, about 74 percent less than the average for all women-owned firms, according to the CAP report. White women-owned business made 9.5 percent more than the national average.

One sector where black female entrepreneurs are needed is in the STEM industries as women-owned firms in the professional, scientific and technical service industries earned substantially more.

“While better access to funding streams, diverse industries, and networks are in short supply for women of color, the entrepreneurial spirit is not,” stated the report. “Women, and women of color in particular, face a wide array of work-related obstacles, but their participation as employees, business owners, and consumers is fundamental to the success of not only their own families but also to the success of the U.S. economy.”​

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