Have you noticed the growing acceptance of black entrepreneurs in society? Well, Black entrepreneurs are no more the victim of racial discrimination. They have a tribe of people at their backs to provide advocacy, support, and resources. Although in the past, black Americans had always faced race-based obstacles to entrepreneurship. But now they have reached the peak of entrepreneurial achievements.
The immense contribution of Blacks to the business landscape of America has changed lives. From the development of caller I.D. technology to the invention of traffic lights, their professional and creative minds have forged pathways for success.
I haven’t ever heard of such an energized social justice movement in the last few decades. Strengthened by the movement, many people are engaged in discussions about the role of race when it comes to providing funds for businesses. Historically, a society dominated by white people is now showing the raised interest in finding and funding black businesses.
The pitchbook, citing a Harlem Capital in 2018, reported that only 105 companies are founded by the black or Latinos, but they raised the revenue of more than 1 million dollars.
- According to the Census Bureau, over 2 million African Americans own their businesses in the U.S.
- About 124,000 of them are employers in firms.
- Moreover, 32% of blacks are providing their services in health care and social services businesses.
Why are black Americans becoming entrepreneurs?
62% of the African Americans started entrepreneurship, just to pursue their passion. And about 53% said that they wanted to be their own boss. But was it easy for black entrepreneurs to accomplish their goals? No, it wasn’t. In fact, it was quite challenging for them.
A majority of the black entrepreneurs (about 80%) had to face the challenge of a lack of capital to run their business. According to Project Diane, in 2016, about only 0.2% of the capital was allocated to the businesses founded by black women. Only 34 black women business owners received the funds of greater than 1 million dollars in 2018. As a result, the majority of African Americans funded their businesses.
How can African Americans strengthen the economy?
The rate of the creation of new businesses is the decline in America for the past few decades. The potential causes are- the growth of larger companies, increased population, and financial crisis, which has destroyed many businesses.
Here comes the importance of entrepreneurship with its profound effect on the economy. The business has the power to create jobs and combat the economic crisis. Now, for this reason, African American entrepreneurs are making up their mark.
According to the Kauffman Foundation, 40% of new black entrepreneurs had made dramatic changes in entrepreneurship. And recently, in July, Babson College’s Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported that black business owners are taking businesses to higher rates as compared to whites and other minorities.
Businesses owned by the black entrepreneurs
Here I have listed some successful black entrepreneurs who contributed to the business world and proved themselves by setting up the new standards for other business owners.
Worldwide technology, Inc.
It’s worthy to start with the most renowned black-owned business, wide web technology, which earned a revenue of $11.28 billion in 2018 with more than 5000 employees in the firm.
Back in 1990, the Maryland Heights was co-founded by David steward, and he is still the C.E.O. of the firm. Today W.W.T. has topped among the 100 largest black-owned businesses.
Vista equity partners
Vista Equity Partners, owned by Robert Smith and Brien Sheth, is a private firm that specializes in software, data, and tech. This company has different headquarters in Austin, and Texas and have employed over 65000 people around the world. Forbes reported that in February 2019, Robert Smith had over 5.5 billion dollars- definitely a huge amount.
ACT-1 Group, Inc.
ACT-1, a global firm founded by Janice Bryant Howroyd, is operating in 19 countries. This diversity of the firm helped other businesses to manage their employment needs and workforce. That’s the reason the company initiated the employment agency and employed over 2000 people in 2018. In the same year, it earned a revenue of 2.8 billion dollars.
Bridgewater interiors, L.L.C.
Bridgewater, a Detroit based firm, supplies automotive parts. The firm was founded by Ronald E. Hall Sr. in 1998, and now his son, Ronald E. Hall Jr. is the C.E.O. The company is a partnership between Epsilon Technologies and Johnson Controls, Inc.
Coca-Cola Beverages Florida (L.L.C.)
The chairman and C.E.O. of one of the many franchises of Coca Cola are Troy D. Taylor. In nearly 60 years, Troy is the first addition to the coca-cola system. The company has employed over 4800 people in 2018 and sells over 600 products across 47 Florida counties.
Okay! Let’s look at the recent startups that have been making its mark in the media since its launch in 2014 by Morgan DeBaun. The rapid growth of the company has allowed the venture capital companies to invest about 10 million USD in the firm.
Gardner Rich & Co
Have you watched the movie “pursuit of Happiness”? Well, if yes, then you must know about Chris Gardner, the founder of Gardner Rich & Co. the movie depicts the real-life struggle of Gardner to fight homelessness and looking after his son. He battled to become a stockbroker and finally achieved a huge success.
Millennium Steel Service
Indiana-based Millennium steel service is another worthy entrant founded by black husband and wife, Henry and Andrea Jackson. Since her husband’s death, Andrea has been running the business alone. She had also launched another striving industrial firm in San Antonio, named as Millennium Steel of Texas.
One thing more, the sign of the success of Jackson’s firm is that in 2014, President Barack Obama visited the company.
Johnson Publishing Company
Johnson Publishing Company is famous for publishing Ebony and Jet, the most renowned magazines in the African American market. The company was founded by John H. in 1942, who worked day and night in an insurance firm as an office boy. His biblical faith and deep religious conviction supported his belief and kept him enthusiastic.
Oprah Winfrey, a renowned media personality, owned the company, Harpo Inc… It was Harpo that made her billionaire and allowed her to own her show. Unlike other T.V. personalities, Oprah was getting a huge profit from her show. She branched out Harpo Inc. into other media like magazines and own T.V. networks. Harpo is getting success by leaps and bounds to date.
Another black-owned insurance company is Atlanta Life. It is founded by Alonzo Herndon. His story is quite inspiring. Alonzo was born into slavery, but with his struggle, he went running several barbershops in Atlanta. Then in 1905, he started up Atlanta Life insurance company, which is still an African American owned business.
Famfa Oil Limited
Famfa Oil by a Nigerian company is successfully run by Folorunsho Alakija, who temporarily dislodged Oprah Winfrey. This is a family-run business, where the husband works as a chairman while other family members as directors.
The blacks not only run the business or biggest firms to make money. Instead, there are plenty of motivated young black entrepreneurs who put their efforts to bring something innovative and interesting in the world. This is certainly true for the owner of Oakland based D.C. design. The companies aim to design unique products that aid special people in mobility.
They work with government organizations and other big companies like Sony to solve the problems of disabled individuals by their human-centered designs.
Salamander Hotels and Resorts
Apart from Oprah Winfrey, the first billionaire African, Sheila Johnson also earned this distinction. She founded the Salamander Hotels and Resorts in 2005. Sheila was also a co-founder of cable T.V. network B.E.T.
The famous basketball player, Ulysses L. Bridgeman, Jr., ran Manna Inc. for many years. After his death, his reign was passed to his son Ryan.
Manna had earned an impressive revenue of about $875 million in 2017 with a staff of 19500 people. The sales figures speak for the success of the company. Manna probably had done the business with well-known fast-food restaurants, i.e., Wendy’s and Chili’s.
Honey’s Kettle Restaurant,
Honey’s Kettle Restaurant is a perfect spot for classic food. For 20 years, it had been owned by Vincent William. This Culver City restaurant in Los Angeles plotted the first big expansion during the pandemic- now customers don’t have to wait for the food in hefty lines; instead, they can buy it online via the delivery apps- Postmates, Uber Eats, GrubHub, and many more.
William says that initially, he had to face the 60% drop in sales in his business due to COVID-19. But the timing was perfect for him. He thanks the outpouring community for their support during the police brutality after the death of George Floyd and with the ongoing pandemic.
The Honey Pot Company
The Honey Pot, a plant-based feminine care product selling company, was founded by Beatrice Dixon. The products include affordable natural washes, wipes, panty sprays, lubricants, tampons, and other herbal products. She runs both in-store and online businesses across the U.S. Recently, in “Founders, We Believe In,” Dixon explained her company’s journey. Honey Pot was started by the black female entrepreneur to build up the opportunities for black girls.
Despite the racism, the company’s sales had increased tremendously. The honey pot’s sales were up to 50% when the company partnered with #HappyPeriod, to provide hygienic menstrual kits to the homeless girls. Moreover, the company is working to address other health issues.
Black-owned clothing brands
Talented Black entrepreneurs have also made their mark in the clothing industry. Many of them are not given that spotlight which they deserve. Here we have showcased some of the exceptional work of black owned clothing brands. We have rounded up top clothing brands that we think that you should have on your radar.
Angela Samuels was grown up in a rough district of Toronto. She started her career as a fashion model and after achieving success Angela worked with the top retail companies like Sears and Wal-Mart. She aimed to empower the self-esteem of the girls and wanted to provide them a chance to look differently. This thrives her to start Voluptuous Clothing. In recent years, the store is getting increased sales.
The Marathon Clothing
The Marathon Clothing store is owned by the American rapper and activist, Nipsey Hustle. He opened the store in his hometown Crenshaw, in 2017 which is one of the proudest accomplishments of Nipsey. It carries various items like T-shirts, hats, trousers, etc. for men, women, and kids. “Crenshaw” is written on most items.
Interestingly, both the brothers, Nipsey Hustle and Black Sam held a huge event in the inauguration of their store. Not only did the fans of Nipsey visit the store but many of the big names of the industry also visited the store to support them such as Savage, Jim Jones, Vegas Jones, and Russell Westbrook. Moreover, he created an app for his “smart store” to help customers easily find what they are looking for.
But the saddest part is that on March 31, before 3:30 p.m., 33 years old Nipsey was shot in the parking area of Marathon Clothing. Before reaching the hospital he was declared dead.
Brilliant Leaders Always Create Kings Clothing Brand
Are you looking for the best clothing brand? Well, here is another high-end black-owned clothing brand, founded in 2019 that draws the attention of the people of all the ages because of their stylish apparel. The company sells Hats, hoodies, Shorts, Sweaters, T-shirts, and Sweatshirts. It is worth choosing as it promises to provide high-quality products with the best customer services.
Skim out our best services by clicking the link blackclothingbrand.com
Besides these companies, there are a wide range of other black entrepreneurs who struggled against the wind and have grown their business by running continuously
Why does the future want more black entrepreneurs?
Despite the challenges, black-owned businesses in America have been tremendously increasing during the past 2 years. i.e.; about 400%. And the growth rate of black women with ownership of businesses is 164%. Why is it so?
As investing in black entrepreneurs can strengthen the community and pave the path towards job creation. The jobs will help them to be self-employed or to run one’s business. According to a study, only a 10% increase in the business, owned irrespective of color can create millions of new job opportunities. And even black-owned local businesses are also the best way to improve the economy.
Ownership will build an opportunity for generational wealth which was lacking in the past. Moreover, the other two important reasons to launch more black entrepreneurs are- mentorship and community empowerment. The exposure will positively influence the community and enable the Black youth to play their role in society.
As Nelson Mandela says “success is not about your ascent, it’s about leaving the door open, throwing a rope down, and helping as many people as possible climb along with you, and even surpass you.”
Summing up, Blacks face a lack of accessibility to funds. Various wealthy black business owners invested huge capital in the minority-owned companies. In June 2019, a real estate Tycoon, Peebles, funded $500 million to the emerging black female developers and JPMorgan, Citigroup banks to support under presented entrepreneurs.
Historically most of the ventures were started and grown by white men. But in recent years, the trends are changing. The white founders have been challenged in many ways by black people.
African Americans are inarguably among those who have been discriminated against in America. But now investing dollars in black entrepreneurs has been given priority. Undoubtedly, blacks are becoming successful entrepreneurial founders.
It’s well said, “in order for there to be a great America, there must be a great black America, and in order for there to be a great black America, you must have great black businesses and great black economy.”