Black women are often in the news for statistics that are negative, these numbers reflecting health care, education, and other disparities that disproportionately impact this segment. By contrast, a new study from the Center for American Progress, The State of Women of Color in the United States, illustrates the significant gains African-American women have made in the realm of business ownership.
Black-owned businesses make up the fastest-growing segment of women-owned businesses in America, according to the report. Plus, black women are starting businesses at a rate that is six-times that of the general population.
“Half of all African-American-owned businesses are owned by women, and among businesses owned by women of color, 42 percent are owned by African-American women,” wrote Farah Ahmad of theCenter for American Progress. “Businesses owned by African-American women have doubled their sales over the past decade and just this year have grossed revenues estimated to be around $45 billion. These successes have benefited not just African-American women and their families but also their communities and the U.S. economy as a whole.”
The need for greater opportunities
Ahmad points to these types of gains as crucial to developing economic opportunities for women of color, who will make up the majority of all American women in the coming years, but are lagging among personal financial security indicators. These factors include job training, educational attainment, and levels of family wealth.
Yet, 53.3 percent of wives are the breadwinners among married black households, meaning that the growth of black woman-owned businesses may be crucial to the fiscal well-being of the black community overall.
In addition, starting their own companies is a means for black women to avoid the barriers of the corporate world that prevent advancement.