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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

3-day Lockdown to Fight Ebola Continues In Sierra Leone

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid