Boss Ladies: African American Women Owned Businesses On The Rise

How well are African American women owned businesses doing in the new millennium?

By: Taren Vaughan

Entrepreneurship is a popular topic when it comes to the African American community. Being the creative individuals that we are, black people are always taking on new business ventures. From starting clothing lines to opening restaurants, we manage to involve ourselves in various areas.

The total number of African American business owners is on the rise. But how well are women doing in this area?

In the United States, black women owned nearly half of the 849,430 firms in 2006. These African American-owned businesses provided employment for over 287,000 people. In addition to job opportunities, the firms brought in $36 billion in sales. From the late 90’s to mid 2000’s, there was a 147% increase in the number of majority owned firms by African American women.

So what are some of the areas that we prevail in?

In 2006, over 80% of majority owned businesses by black women fell in the service sector area. Retail trade was second on the list at 8.2%. The percentage difference between service sector and retail trade is amazing.

Although these statistics are impressive, black women still struggle when it comes to owning their own businesses. It is much harder to get small business loans nowadays. Funds are scarce due to the current condition of our economy. In 2009, 71% of African American female business owners found it extremely difficult to get business loans. African American male business owners had a great amount of difficulty as well but not as much the African American female business owners did.

Despite the lack of money, most African American women have been able to operate their current businesses. Those women who have the desire to expand in the future may have to postpone their plans due to inability to borrow funds.

We are continuously coming up with new ideas in business. Even though we may not be the ones to discover it, African American know how to put our own special twist on things. It is important that we continue to support one another’s businesses. If we as black women don’t support our own businesses, then how can we expect other races to do so?

It’s time to get over the “crabs in a bucket” way of thinking. If you see another sister doing something positive, why not stand behind her?

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