Minority Entrepreneurs are a Key Driver in a Better Future
KARL R. LAPAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, THE NIIC
Kauffman Foundation concluded the following, “Minority entrepreneurs, especially Black and Hispanic business owners, are still underrepresented among business owners in the U.S.” This economic empowerment call to action reminds us of the compelling business case to build, grow and invest in minority entrepreneurs. Kauffman identified three major gaps (3Ms) including management, money, and markets. By focusing on these gaps, we can level the playing field for more inclusive entrepreneurship.
While our country has progressed in some areas of inclusion, we are still lacking when it comes to giving underrepresented entrepreneurs the same advantages in starting and growing their businesses. To say we are missing an opportunity would be a significant understatement. Here’s what can happen when you double down on building capacity for minority entrepreneurship.
- Minority entrepreneurs are more likely to drive job growth. Research confirms that on average, minority firms hire minorities at triple the rate of white-owned companies. According to a recent study by the Center for Global Policy Solutions, such growth could produce an estimated 9 million more jobs and boost our national income by $300 billion. Moreover, I think it is fair to say, a large percentage of those jobs would land in impoverished communities.
- Minority entrepreneurs are capable of closing the racial wealth gap. Bootstrapped entrepreneurship is the new paradigm when it comes to prosperity. According to an international study by Barclays, 40 percent of respondents credited entrepreneurship as the primary source of their wealth, compared to one-quarter who credited inheritance. While entrepreneurship is indeed more accessible to people with seed funding, these figures indicate there are opportunities for people of color when it comes to wealth creation.
- Minority entrepreneurs can boost morale. When it comes to transforming communities, a little hope can go a long way. It all goes back to role modeling. When people see their peers achieving the success they believe they can attain similar goals. With the right tools and support mechanisms, minority entrepreneurs could not only drive economic growth but also produce intangibles that can transform neighborhoods.
So, if you want to foster meaningful change in your community, support budding entrepreneurs who maybe don’t have the same advantages as other peers do something about it.
- Fund their Kickstarter campaigns.
- Serve as a mentor.
- Connect them to people who can take their business to the next level.
- Refer them to the NIIC’s WEOC program.
As our country embraces higher levels of entrepreneurial firm formation as a key stimulus of economic growth and community success, we just cannot afford to ignore minority entrepreneurs.