Celebrate Small Business Resilience – Black Girl Nerds

National Small Business Week is celebrated the first week of May each year. This year’s theme, “Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship,” celebrates the resilience and tenacity of American entrepreneurs who are doing their part to propel our country’s economic comeback.

For generations, small businesses across America have shaped the entrepreneurial spirit. Today, more than 32 million small businesses employ half of America’s workforce. They are also the heart and soul of many communities.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is honoring small businesses with a series of events this year, including a live virtual summit, educational sessions and awards shows. The virtual summit will highlight SBA partners’ involvement in entrepreneurial development, disaster recovery, government contracts, financial development, and overall small business support. It will also focus on access to essential federal resources, educational workshops and networking to help entrepreneurs pivot and grow in the face of current and future challenges.

Women-owned businesses continue to grow; however, women still face more hurdles than men when starting and growing their businesses. These challenges – primarily obtaining small business loans – hinder the success of women-owned businesses and their ability to create jobs and grow.

Black female entrepreneurs are also on the rise. JP Morgan noted in 2021 that “Black women are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the United States,” representing nearly 2.7 million businesses nationwide. Yet the disparity between white and black-owned businesses proves that the economy has not been in favor of black-owned businesses. They brought in just $422 billion in revenue compared to white women-owned businesses, which brought in $1.4 trillion in revenue.

During Black History Month, the SBA reaffirmed its commitment to creating equity-increasing funding opportunities for small business owners, especially businesses owned by Black women. The Biden administration and the SBA are making black women-owned businesses a priority. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced the availability of $1.5 million for 10 new grant opportunities.

The State of Women-Owned Businesses report also indicates that four million new jobs and $981 billion in revenue would be added if the average revenue of minority women-owned businesses matched that of women-owned businesses. white women. Additionally, Black women-owned businesses were found to earn an average revenue of $24,000 compared to $142,900 among all women-owned businesses. The gap between the average income of Black women-owned businesses and all women-owned businesses is the largest of any minority.

The pandemic has had an impact on the economy and, unfortunately, small businesses have been the hardest hit. They were forced to limit hours, services, and many had to close their doors permanently. Despite the setbacks, black women business owners have held on. Isha Joseph owns Make Manifest, a clothing and jewelry boutique in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, which functions as a workshop space for the community. In the early days of the pandemic, Joseph recalls: “It was like a ghost town. It was more like desperation. Just people who feel very uncertain. Not knowing what’s going on, not knowing what’s going on. »

The pandemic has also inspired many black women to start their own businesses, often out of necessity. A friend of mine was fired from her job at the company just as the pandemic hit. With two children, a mortgage and bills, she chose to start an online business to continue generating income and for more flexibility once her children had to be homeschooled. Now it’s a viable business that has gone far beyond what it could have imagined.

As the pandemic wanes, the number of black-owned businesses in the United States is currently about 30% higher than pre-pandemic levels. This growth was forged by black entrepreneurs like Joseph and other black women business owners.

Continuing to support small businesses, especially Black-owned businesses, is essential for the growth of the American economy. These owners need better access to capital and legislation that makes it easier to start, grow and manage their business.

I believe one way we can help close the gap is to start first. I believe one way we can help close the gap is to educate ourselves about anti-racism and white privilege, and raise awareness of the racial injustices we face in this country. This actually has a major impact on purchasing power. We can support Black women-owned businesses beyond social media by putting our money where our mouth is. If you noticed, Target has been at the forefront of including black-owned businesses on their shelves.

The easiest step to creating a more inclusive world is to support small businesses. Our money makes a difference. By shifting our buying power to minority-owned businesses, we help create employment opportunities and invest in our local communities.

Related links:

Closing the Wealth Gap for Black Women

Janet Bryant Howroyd is the first black woman to own a billion dollar company

Archuleta Chisolm

Archuleta is an author, poet, blogger and host of the FearlessINK podcast. Archuleta’s work centers on black women, mental health and wellness, and inspires people to live their full potential.

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