August 2, 2023 – Consider the month of August the perfect opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the innovation and empowerment of entrepreneurship and the impact of Black-owned businesses in your community.
What’s the occasion for all this extra recognition? It’s Black Business Month, and World Entrepreneurs’ Day is Aug. 21.
The (Changing) Faces of U.S. Entrepreneurs
In 1996, entrepreneurs were largely under 44 years old but by 2020, that demographic changed — entrepreneurs now are most likely to represent all age groups.
That’s according to a Kauffman Foundation report, “Who is the Entrepreneur? The Changing Diversity of New Entrepreneurs in the United States, 1996-2020.”
In 2020, about 4 in 10 new entrepreneurs were women, consistent with recent years but reflecting an overall larger gap since 1996, the report says.
The Kauffman Foundation also pointed to data that showed that in 2020 more than half of new entrepreneurs were white and about 1 in 5 were Latino.
Between 2019 and 2020, the share of new entrepreneurs who were Black increased slightly, and the share who were Asian, Latino, and white decreased slightly. “The overall trend since 1996 has been a decline in the share of new entrepreneurs who are white, and an increase in the share who are Asian, Black, and Latino,” the report noted.
Impact of Black Entrepreneurs & Businesses
Black business owners account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses.
There are 2.6 million Black owned businesses in the United States, accounting for over $138 billion in revenue each year, according to the National Black Chamber of Commerce, a D.C.-based nonprofit group dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities.
About 41 percent of all Black-owned businesses in America had to close their doors for good due to the pandemic, says a Kauffman Foundation article by Anne Kniggendorf in November 2020. That hit at a time when black entrepreneurship was on the rise, she writes, despite the fact the rate of new entrepreneurs for 20 years overall was essentially flat.
“The doors will not be closed on Black entrepreneurs,” reads the headline on the article, which shares stories of several Kansas City area entrepreneurs who pushed through a pandemic and decades-long unfair playing field to continue innovating and running businesses.
The blow to Black businesses “only magnifies the inequities built into the American economy,” the Kauffman post says.
“Black business owners in Kansas City, like entrepreneurs across the country, need greater access to opportunity, support, funding, and knowledge.”
How Your Business Could Acknowledge & Promote Entrepreneurs
If you have a business that you could “show” to the public as a way to promote World Entrepreneurs’ Day, do so.
Set aside a half-day or a couple hours to invite would-be entrepreneurs or other business-minded thinkers to learn how you started your company.
This could be aimed at younger audiences such as college or younger students, who may be inspired by your business success (as a bonus, they can be your potential customers).
For Black Business Month, held every August to recognize Black-owned businesses across the country, it is your chance as a business owner to show support and encourage black entrepreneurs.
“Can you be more purposeful in your sourcing? Join in a community event? Help promote up-and-coming artisans? It’s not just about doing the right thing. There are myriad business benefits to exposing your business to diversity and new communities,” writes InStore magazine about Black Business Month.
Also, identify opportunities to participate in business-themed activities, local talks, lectures or presentations that may promote entrepreneurship and the importance of small businesses in your community. You may want to consider partnering with another business to create an event of your own, one that could celebrate both World Entrepreneurs’ Day and Black Business Month.
It’s important to see your efforts as a way to raise awareness about the innovations and economic benefits of entrepreneurship, and support other small business owners while doing so. Plus, it could be a chance to get your business noticed by more people.