News / USA

    US Black-Owned Businesses On The Rise

    Pierre and Jamyla Bennu pose in their basement production facility in their home in Baltimore (File)
    Pierre and Jamyla Bennu pose in their basement production facility in their home in Baltimore (File)
    Alex Villarreal

    The U.S. Census Bureau says blacks owned nearly 2 million businesses in 2007, the year of the last survey of business owners. That was up more than 60 percent from the previous survey in 2002. The jump was more than triple the growth rate for all U.S. businesses, and the highest rate of increase of any minority.

    Marc Morial is the head of the civil rights group the National Urban League, which works to empower historically underserved communities. Discussing the data in a conference call Tuesday, he said federal, state and local policy makers should look to this growth in black companies when planning how to help American communities emerge from the recession.

    "The fact that there's an increase in business ownership, [and] increasing interest in entrepreneurship means that by focusing attention on helping black-owned businesses to grow, you can create jobs and economic growth in your communities," Morial said.

    The survey defines black-owned businesses as firms in which blacks own 51 percent or more of the stock or equity.

    In addition to the growing numbers, the Census Bureau's deputy director, Thomas Mesenbourg, said black-owned companies also saw an increase in sales.

    "Black-owned businesses as a whole had a 55 percent increase in receipts and revenue over the five-year period, compared to 34 percent for all U.S. firms," said Mesenbourg.

    But a huge gap remains between the gross receipts of black-owned businesses and those of white-owned businesses. And other racial disparities persist.

    Many black-owned companies remain small. More than 94 percent of black-owned firms in 2007 did not have paid employees.

    Ivonne Cunarro, with the U.S. Commerce Department's Minority Business Development Agency, says there also is still an entrepreneurial parity gap between African-Americans' growing share of the population and their ownership of just 7 percent of U.S. businesses. She says the true economic potential of the African-American business community is still unrealized.

    "If African-American owned firms would have reached entrepreneurial parity with their share of the adult population in 2007, we would have had more firms,” Cunarro said. “There would have been 3.3 million firms, instead of 1.9 million. These firms would have generated $1.4 trillion in gross receipts instead of $138 billion, and they would have created 7.1 million jobs instead of 921,000."

    Studies suggest black business owners have less family business experience and lower levels of education and startup capital than white businesses owners, which contributes to their companies' lower performance.

    A 2005 study found black-owned businesses also are more strongly represented in less-successful industries, like personal services.

    More black-owned businesses in 2007 were involved in health care and social assistance than any other field, followed closely by maintenance and personal services.

    Although blacks were the minority with the largest growth in U.S. business ownership from 2002 to 2007, there were fewer black-owned firms than Hispanic-owned firms in 2007. Hispanic firms also generated higher sales.

    Figures show that sales by Hispanic-owned firms increased to $345 billion in 2007, more than double the sales of black-owned businesses.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora