Tag: American Express OPEN

Black Women Represent Fastest-Growing Group Of Entrepreneurs In U.S.

Black businesswoman in conference room with co-workers
(Source: Getty Images)

A new report shows that the number of businesses owned by African-American women has grown 332 percent since 1997, according to Fortune magazine.

The recently published study, 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report (pdf), commissioned by American Express Open, shows that the overall number of female-owned businesses grew by 74 percent between 1997 and 2015, which is 1.5 times the national average.

From Fortune:

Women now own 30% of all businesses in the U.S., accounting for some 9.4 million firms. And African American women control 14% of these companies, or an estimated 1.3 million businesses. That figure is larger than the total number of firms owned by all minority women in 1997, the report found.

“The only bright spot in recent years with respect to privately-held company job growth has been among women-owned firms,” according to the report. These businesses have added an estimated 340,000 jobs to the economy since 2007, while employment at companies owned by men (or with equally shared ownership) has declined…

The highest concentrations of black woman-owned businesses are in Georgia, Maryland, and Illinois, but African American women are launching companies in growing numbers across the country. In Detroit, where city leaders, foundations, and even President Obama have promoted entrepreneurship as an economic development tool, a tiny nonprofit is making outsize efforts at helping black women become business owners. Since it was formed in 2012, the Build Institute has graduated nearly 600 students from its eight-week courses, which teach the basics of starting and running a business, including such topics as money management and how to determine your break-even point. Nearly 70% of those students are women, and 60% of them identify as a member of a minority group.

This is a bit of good news that comes at a time when America is awakening from the slumber that has long tried to subjugate women of color in the workplace, and as progress in the so-called post-recession era appears to elude Black women. Congrats, sistas!

article by Lynette Holloway via newsone.com

Small Business Saturday: Shop Small and Make a Big Impact on Black Small Businesses This Holiday Weekend

Zuli and her mom, Olga, co-founder of Flecks Coffee Company
Zuli Turner and her mom, Olga Turner, co-founder of Flecks Coffee Company.

Just like that, the holiday shopping season has arrived — quicker than you could ask for more turkey. While megastores and online retailers are serving up another year of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, mom-and-pop shops are strategizing to get black consumers off the couch over the weekend. Sandwiched in between those two shopping days is Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country.

Now in its fourth year, Small Business Saturday (founded by American Express in 2010) has aggressively recruited and engaged black entrepreneurs to participate in the annual event in order to benefit from the holiday season sales spike.  It is also an opportunity for black consumers to shop smart — not only in terms of savings, but also in a way that is community-based and socially conscious.

Why black small businesses matter

“Small businesses really keep our communities grounded,” says Zuli Turner, co-founder of the Chicago-based Flecks Coffee Company. “You know your money is going to hire people that work in the neighborhood and be recycled many times over. We even buy our produce and flowers locally.” Flecks Coffee is one of the many small, black-owned businesses hoping to gain big by a program that encourages customers to shop small.

Black buying power is anticipated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015. Recognizing this influence on businesses and communities, American Express has teamed up with organizations like the National Urban League and the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce to create a “Neighborhood Champions” program that has organized Small Business Saturday events throughout the country. To date over 1,000 Neighborhood Champions have signed up to rally businesses in their municipalities to partake in local activities leading up to and on the day.

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