Breaking Barriers: Resources and Support for Black Entrepreneurs
“Every dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” — Harriet Tubman
Black History is an integral part of American history and we have dedicated the month of February to celebrating the achievements of African Americans. And, although this month-long celebration is winding down — I think it is important to celebrate and recognize these achievements throughout the year.
With that said…
Growing up in the Midwest I witnessed racial tensions as the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum across the country. Since then, there have been some truly noteworthy strides:
- Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent legislation prohibiting discrimination based on race in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
- Increased representation in almost all levels of politics.
- Improved educational opportunities between HBUs and the number of Black Americans with college degrees.
- Achievements by sports figures, entertainers, and black entrepreneurs:
- Oprah Winfrey-media mogul and philanthropist
- Robert F. Smith-founder of Vista Equity Partners manages over $70 billion in assets.
- Tyler Perry-filmmaker, actor, and playwright who built Tyler Perry Studios — a media empire.
- Beyoncé-globally renowned musician, actress, and entrepreneur
- Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter — Successful rapper, music producer, and entrepreneur.
- Daymond John-founder of FUBU, a multi-million dollar fashion brand.
Despite our progress, significant racial disparities and inequities in the U.S. continue — and, unfortunately, the small business sector has been impacted as well.
Black business owners must navigate racism and biases in addition to the daily tasks and usual pressures of running a business. And despite what proved to be a temporary surge in consumer support following the murder of George Floyd — 46% of Black business owners who advertise their businesses as “Black-Owned” think it is actually a…