Black-owned businesses faced systemic and cultural challenges far before the COVID-19 pandemic upended the global economy.
An August 2020 report from Inc, Black & Brown Founders, DivInc, and Digital Undivided examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Black business community includes a reminder of longstanding challenges: “Talent and hard work are not always enough to overcome a persistent racial wealth gap that puts Black entrepreneurs at a disadvantage when starting a small business.” In addition to generational wealth gaps, Black Americans face a challenge in accessing money to launch a business: Less than 1% of venture capital funds go to Black-owned startups, and banks are about 30% more likely to approve loans for white-owned businesses than for Black-owned businesses. This February 2021 Financial Post article indicates that Black Canadian entrepreneurs struggle in the same way.
As a an October 2020 report from McKinsey & Company says, “Throughout the business-building process, Black business owners face economic, market, sociocultural, and institutional barriers, which are all linked to racial discrimination in the United States.” These barriers harm Black business owners and communities as well as the overall U.S. economy, which would see a $200 billion revenue gain if Black-owned businesses gained parity with white-owned companies.
According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available, Black people comprise approximately 14.2% of the U.S. population, but Black-owned businesses comprise only 2.2% of the nation’s 5.7 million companies with more than one employee. As researchers note in this December 2020 Brookings article, “Black adults are much more likely to be unemployed, and Black businesses are much more likely to hire Black workers. This shortage of Black businesses throttles employment and the development of Black communities.”
This Black History Month, we are not only posting about anti-racism books, podcasts, movies, and more, we also want to encourage our Certified B Corporation community to take action. One way to do this is to do business with Black-owned B Corps.
Over the past year, we’ve been compiling a directory of Black-owned businesses in the B Corp community. Find a dance class with Fit 4 Dance (in NYC and virtually), shop home furnishings with Goodee, or hire consultants from Kinetic Communities, TMI, or Sweet Livity, and more.
As this is an opt-in list, it is not a complete list of all Black-owed B Corps. If you would like to add your business, please let us know here.
Find additional anti-racism resources here.
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