Our analysis of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners highlight that some of the most dramatic increases in entrepreneurship occurred in women of color. In late 2015, we commissioned research to investigate Black women’s business ownership as it has seen a sharp rise in recent years – nearly 67% since 2007, making them one of the fastest growing segments of business ownership in the country. Despite the rise in business ownership, Black women business owners continued to have average receipts of $27,753.
In partnership with the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, the Council pursued a qualitative research project to expand our understanding of the remarkable challenges and opportunities that are part of the experience of black women entrepreneurs. The research was prepared by Walker’s Legacy, which is a global women-in-business collective. The Council had three main goals in commissioning this research: To recognize and explore challenges and opportunities specific to black women entrepreneurship; to encourage dialogue among black women entrepreneurs; and to encourage dialogue between black women entrepreneurs thought leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders to help develop and identify policies and recommendations that reflect the needs of this emerging entrepreneurial population to help foster sustainable growth. Three U.S. cities with high populations of black women-owned firms, were chosen to host roundtable events (of panels and breakout sessions) that convened entrepreneurs, business leaders, and key stakeholders to address challenges faced by this subgroup.