Since the onset of the pandemic, there's been a significant shift in the job markets, with the number of job layoffs skyrocketing. But as the entrepreneurial sector adapts a new face, entrepreneurship among Black women has experienced explosive growth. Black women are thriving not only in corporate America but also creating companies in large numbers.
In fact, a study shows that between 2014 and 2022, Black women-owned businesses have increased by 50%. Another study by Harvard University shows that 17% of Black women in the United States of America have either created or led a business as compared to10% of White women. So, how are Black women in corporate America doing it? Are there resources other Black women can utilize to step out as an entrepreneur?
The New Face of Entrepreneurship
People have only started seeing Black women as enterprising just recently, but in truth, they have a long history of entrepreneurship. In the United States, women own over 12 million businesses; more than a third of those are owned by Black women. Consumer needs have shifted, and women have seized this opportunity to provide the new wave of services.
Amid the pandemic, millions of workers in corporate America lost their jobs. Black people were even more affected by the job market losses and lower employment rates recovery than any other ethnic group. But this loss pushed Black women to push their boundaries and search for more creative solutions. In 2020 alone, more than 4 million business applications were filed.
The general exhaustion from the pandemic and social injustices have allowed Black women to see unmet needs in the society they could fill. It’s safe to say, the pandemic was more of an inflection point for Black women, inspiring the majority to start businesses out of necessity or to retain control over their own lives.
So, how are Black Women Doing it?
Black women are the ideal prototype for grit. Most Black women in entrepreneurship use their savings or earnings from side jobs to fund their businesses. And it's not just the challenges that make Black women outstanding entrepreneurs. They integrate skills they've picked up along the way and innovative solutions to sustain their businesses.
The best thing is that most of these businesses have low entry barriers and high growth potential. Most of these same women in business are also sole caregivers in their households. This has pushed many Black women to reassess the meaning of job security.
Black women can now stand up for themselves and say; if I can do this for someone else, then I can also do it for myself. Therefore, Black women are choosing a different path and a lifestyle that feels more authentic.
Black women have positioned themselves to play a crucial and visible role in the United States' economic future. It's admirable how women of color are striving to elevate their voices and careers to achieve social and economic equality.