Starting a new business can be challenging, and the difficulty only increases when you begin with fewer resources, fewer industry connections, and minority background.
Research shows just 2.4% of businesses in the United States are black-owned, yet they face unique challenges with funding and survival rates. While 20% of Black Americans reportedly start new businesses yearly, only 4% survive past the start-up phase, as 8 out of every 10 Black-owned business fail within the first 18 months.
As much as we hate to admit it, the discriminatory laws and practices in the system are majorly responsible for these setbacks, as they set more barriers against black entrepreneurs than their white peers. Hence, if diversity and inclusion are to be encouraged, all hands must be on deck to help black-owned businesses overcome these barriers.
In this regard, I’ll share with you four ways you can help black-owned businesses as a business owner.
Ways to support Black-owned Businesses as a business owner
- Find black-Owned businesses
Supporting black-owned businesses can be very difficult if you don’t know where they are, so your first approach to helping them as a business owner is to find them. And technology has made it easy for you! You can locate hundreds of black-owned businesses nearby with just a few clicks.
To get started, you can use the hashtag #SupportBlackBusinesses on social media or visit the following websites, apps, and directories below:
- Support Black Owned
- I Am Black Business
- Black Woman Owned
- Black Directory
- Connect with them!
Don’t just stop at finding them; connect with them! Businesses don’t display their problems on their logos or marketing campaigns, but by interacting with them, you get acquainted with them, discover their pain points, and know the best way to help them. Promoting and recommending them on social media is highly recommended as this could boost their credibility and visibility to potential supporters and improve networking.
- Invest in Black-owned Businesses
One major snag for black entrepreneurs is the scarcity of funding and access to investors. Many Black-owned businesses fail because of their inability to access funds that were pivotal to the success of their business ideas. And currently, some trying to get off the ground rely on funding from non-profit organizations, private investors, or crowdfunding platforms.
As a business owner, you can financially support Black businesses by investing in organizations and crowdfunding sites like CDFIs and FundBlackFounders, which provide black startups with access to capital and other crucial resources for the expansion of their enterprises.
You can also volunteer for mentorship programs, hire Black-owned businesses for supplies and services you need, and purchase their products when possible.
- Work with Black-owned businesses on local projects
Most black entrepreneurs frequently seek to have some small positive impact on their communities. While their efforts are reasonable, they need support from other companies. Thus, you can help black-owned businesses by collaborating with them on local projects as a business owner.
For example, different brands in Detroit can work on having a directory that allows for easy accessibility to black businesses in the community.
Businesses, especially those owned by Caucasians, should support black-owned businesses. In the same way manufacturing companies rallied around the medical industry during the 2020 pandemic, businesses and business owners should rally around and support the growth of black-owned businesses.
What are you doing to support Black businesses? Please share in the comments.