WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Instead of breaking the glass ceiling, Black women have increasingly started making their own. According to the Center for American Progress, an independent, nonpartisan progressive institute, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country. “Today, women of color are the majority owners of close to one-third of all women-owned firms in the nation,” stated the report. “Increased access to business capital – including microenterprises, venture capital- funded firms, and crowd funding – has helped the number of women entrepreneurs grow substantially.” Traditional careers often come with cultural and structural roadblocks that devalue the work of women, especially Black women. Black women made 64 cents and White women made 78 cents for every dollar that White males made. Black women brought home about $600 a week compared to White women who earned a median of $722.
“From 1997 to 2013, the number of female-owned firms in the United States grew by 59 percent – one-and-a-half times the national average,” stated the report.
The number of businesses owned by Black women skyrocketed by 258 percent over that time period. In 2013, more than 1.1 million Black women owned businesses. At 13 percent, Black women also hold the largest share of businesses owned by minority women.
According to the CAP report, “African American women are starting businesses at a rate six times the national average, and their 2.7 million firms are currently generating $226.8 billion in annual revenue and employing almost 1.4 million people.”
As the country grows more diverse, the success of businesses owned by minorities, specifically women of color, will take on a greater role in American economy.
“A 2009 Center for Women’s Business Research study found that the 8 million U.S. businesses that are majority owned by women had an economic impact of $3 trillion annually that translated into the creation and/or maintenance of more than 23 million jobs, a total that made up 16 percent of all U.S. jobs,” stated the report.
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