Black businesses are said to be the number one employer of African-Americans which demonstrates their growing importance in the economy. However, often these businesses are faced with struggles such as inadequate funding. Some of these factors have contributed to the collapse of their existing businesses but many will argue that there's still hope especially with the rise in technology.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners their thoughts on the future of black business and here's what they had to say.
#1- It's bright
I have been a solo entrepreneur for 9 years now and I believe the future state of Black Businesses is bright! With amazing e-commerce platforms, Amazon and social media….it's really hard to fail. I see more millennials supporting businesses that they can see and make a connection with the owners and see what is being done in our communities. To see the Black Dollars being recycled in our community is powerful.
Thanks to Pamela J. Booker, Koils by Nature!
#2- It's growing rapidly
The present state of Black Business is that we are all beginning to understand that we need collaboration and a sense of togetherness in order to get our businesses up and running in the right direction with the right tools to get us where we need to be. I began learning about running a business in 2015 after incorporating MsPsGFree.Inc, we are a small Gluten-free baked goods business. I was unsure of how to run things and several entrepreneurs mostly African American females began taking me under their wings and helping me learn where to be and what to do. I think Black female business is growing rapidly with Black males learning that the best way to build wealth and always have a place at the table is to build your own.
Thanks to Lisa Marsh, MsPsGFree.Inc!
#3- It could be awesome due to several factors
Black-owned businesses are underfunded, overlooked and underrepresented. Black women, although the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the US receive less than 1% of VC funding. But we’ve also come along way. Mayor of London Report 2001 cites black businesses as innovative and adapt quickly to change. We’ve seen some brilliant success in tech and black hair and beauty space but more must be done to build future-proof black businesses. Technology isn’t enough. We’ve seen apps and directories only as useful as their own internal marketing strategy. More black people are buying black which is great, but where possible black businesses need an integrated plan that serves other demographics. Education is certainly a part of the solution and everyone can become involved, from individuals, parents, community groups, churches etc. The younger generation should know why it’s important for the black dollar to remain in the community for more than the current six hours. The future of black businesses could be awesome. We have many innovative and groundbreaking ideas and its exciting times for us. But the future lies in the hands of entrepreneurs who are willing to listen, learn, collaborate, improve, innovate and to dream big. We will know when we are at the place we should be because that's when we will self-sufficient. We can then mentor, fund and help the next generation of businesses to grow.
Thanks to Francene Mullings, DAEBOB!
#4- It's unclear but there's hope
The future of black business is uncertain in our white male-dominated world.. Black business ownership is slowly declining for several reasons with the primary reason being access to capital. Access to funding and economic mentorship for black business owners makes it difficult to start, sustain, and own successful businesses. Although racism, discrimination and predatory lending are all viable reasons why the future of black business is unclear there is Hope, John Hope Bryant. Prominent black American entrepreneur John Hope Bryant founded Operation HOPE Inc the largest non-profit financial inclusion organization in the country. Operation HOPE provides financial literacy, financial inclusion and economic empowerment tools and services in the United States for youth and adults. Bryant’s success journey provides a great example of how it is possible to overcome the odds to amass great wealth and significance in the heavily white-male dominated world of banking and beyond. John Hope Bryant has established more than 40 successful business entities to include non-profits. The future of black business is only limited by our perception of what we think we can achieve. Once black business owners learn to strategically maneuver past the obstacles of white America the future of black business will be crystal clear.
Thanks to Dr. Deena C. Brown, DC Brown International!
#5- Learning to be part of an ecosystem
The first item I see as a future for black businesses is the building of eco-systems. When we start a business sometimes we are alone. We need to be part of an ecosystem that feeds off each other. The beauty of this is that a black business can sustain itself by being a part of many ecosystems. Starting a black business is one step. Sustain that business by being a part of many ecosystems. That will be the future of black business ownership: learning to be a part of ecosystems. The second part of that is to build ecosystems within the inner city communities. The key to building an ecosystem is that we sustain each black business by patronizing each other’s business to sustain them. If we make a shift in our thinking we can build wealth and build new black entrepreneurs and millionaires. This follows the strategy of group economics as other ethnic groups and enclaves.
Thanks to D. Anthony Miles, Miles Development Industries Corporation!