Black entrepreneurs see increase of support thanks to Black Lives Matter but still face many unique challenges

A staggering 75% of Black business owners have seen an increase in business since the beginning of June, according to new research conducted to coincide with National Black Business Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the important contributions from Black-owned businesses.

The poll of more than 400 Black business owners found that as a result of the recent Black Lives Matter protests across the nation and across the world, prompted by the death of George Floyd.

While the increase in business has been welcome, particularly in light of the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, the study also reinforced the inequities that Black entrepreneurs continue to face.

And, COVID-19 didn’t make matters any better for Black business owners. Seventy-six percent reveal COVID-19 has been detrimental to Black business owners, and ONLY 5% of those that applied for the Paycheck Protection Program loan received one.

The study commissioned by Groupon and the National Black Chamber of Commerce aimed to better understand the challenges Black business owners face, why they decided to become entrepreneurs, how they achieved success, and to find ways to support Black-owned businesses across the country.

Sixty-five percent wanted to pursue their passion while a further 63% started their business to have more control over their future career.

Another 47% became entrepreneurs to have a flexible work schedule while 63% of the Black business owners studied wanted to be their own boss.

Sadly, 80% of Black business owners said they faced significantly more challenges getting their business off the ground due to their race and 85% said they had to overcome more obstacles than their non-Black business owners. Fifty-nine percent reported being victims of racism or bias when starting their business.

Besides racism and bias, three in five of the Black business owners said they struggled with being taken seriously while a further 63% of Black business owners had difficulty accessing capital compared to their non-black business-owning counterparts.

Unfortunately, half of the Black business owners studied had a hard time building a support network while a further 27% struggled with owning their accomplishments — which their non-black business owners didn’t necessarily have to overcome when creating a successful business.

And a third (33%) had trouble obtaining access to various government programs when trying to get their business off the ground.

Half of the Black business owners surveyed feel like their state and local governments made it even harder for them to get their business up and running successfully.

Sadly, 74% reveal that they’ve had fewer chances to create a successful business and less time to make it successful due to a lack of capital investment and resources.

And 84% of Black entrepreneurs say they are held to a different standard than other ethnicities.

However, despite the struggles and obstacles, nearly 80% reveal they are proud to be a Black business owner in America now more than ever before. 74% of Black business owners said they are quite hopeful about race relations in America as a whole.

One Black business owner surveyed said they’re hopeful about gaining new customers in the near future while another Black business owner queried expressed hopefulness about equality and growth.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate Black Business Month as this community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and traditionally suffers from a lack of access to adequate capital and resources,” said Aaron Cooper, Interim CEO, Groupon. “One of the many ways that we’re translating our support for Black Lives Matter into meaningful action is by highlighting and championing the success of Black-owned businesses and connecting them with our diverse customer base. We hope that everyone will join us in the cause of supporting the more than 2 million Black-owned businesses in this country at a time when they need us the most.”

TOP 5 REASONS BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS STARTED THEIR OWN BUSINESS

  1. To pursue their passion 65%
  2. To have more control over future career     63%
  3. To be their own boss 63%
  4. To have a flexible work schedule 47%
  5. To help their local community thrive 42%

 
TOP 5 CHALLENGES UNIQUE TO BLACK BUSINESS OWNERS

  1. Being taken seriously                                                                       53%
  2. Access to capital                                                                              50%
  3. Defying social expectations                                                             46%
  4. Building a support network                                                             40%
  5. Owning their accomplishments                                                       34%

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