Since 1997, businesses owned by Black women grew by a whopping 322 percent, according to Fortune, making Black women business owners the fastest growing entrepreneurial segment in the nation.
While Black women are still disparaged in the media, many African American women are putting their heads down and opening companies that employ others. In fact, women own 30 percent of all businesses in the U.S., and Black women hold 14 percent—or 1.3 million—of those companies.
The largest share of Black women-owned businesses is in located Georgia, Maryland, and Illinois, but African American women are making strides all across the nation.
Due to the Great Recession, Black Americans saw their net worth tumble 33.7 percent to just $11,000 in 2013. And back in 2010, a study by sociologist Mariko Chang made headlines after it was reported that single Black women had a net worth of just five-dollars. While the sensational articles weren’t quite true—the $5 figure applied to single non-white women as a whole, not just Black women—it exposed serious disparities in the Black-white wealth gap.
As politicians grapple with ways to create more jobs, Black women are doing it for themselves. Like Madame C.J. Walker and Bridget “Biddy” Mason before them, Black American women are chasing their dreams and building successful ventures that will improve the lives of future generations.