6 Headliners On Stats, Funding, Support For Black Entrepreneurs

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LinkedIn Data On Black Women Entrepreneurs

Recent data from a LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index reinforced that entrepreneurship is on the rise, with more 51 percent of professionals seeing themselves venturing out on their own to either start a business or freelance. This is even truer in the Black community as professionals reevaluate not just where they work, but how and why they work during the Great Reshuffle. For those who didn’t feel valued at work, wanted more flexibility and financial freedom or simply felt burned out, entrepreneurship presents itself as a promising path. Black women, in particular, have gravitated toward entrepreneurship at increased rates. In fact, 17 percent of Black women are in the process of starting or running new businesses, compared to just 10 percent of white women and 15 percent of white men. Yet, despite this early lead, only 3 percent of Black women are running mature businesses and are twice as likely to be turned down for loans.

$500,000 Grant For Black Entrepreneurship

The entrepreneurship journey of Blacks in America has historically been disproportionately disadvantaged when it comes to gaining access to funding and resources. For example, only 4 percent of Black American businesses survive the start-up stage, even though 20 percent of Black Americans start businesses. As part of its 2022 Black History Month campaign, LinkedIn announced $500,000 in grant funding to digitalundivided and Blavity.org, $250,000 each, to accelerate their annual Black entrepreneurship fellowship programs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most current Annual Business Survey, there were 134,567 Black-owned businesses with more than one employee in all sectors ot the U.S> economy in 2019, up 8 percent from the 124,551 Black-owned employer businesses in 2018. 

NASA Tech Funding Opportunities

Businesses of all sizes are encouraged to apply for NASA funding or other resources through its Tipping Point opportunity and Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity.  These opportunities will help companies develop technology for space infrastructure and capability – from power on the lunar surface to autonomous construction and in-space manufacturing.  This Tipping Point opportunity is unique in that the money will be awarded using a funded Space Act Agreement, which gives companies more flexibility in intellectual property, private sector contributions, and accounting requirements – making this opportunity more attractive to non-traditional space sector companies. The opportunity also includes incentives for small businesses, allowing companies with fewer than 500 employees to contribute less to the cost of the technology development. 

JPMorgan Chase Pushes Accelerated Spending With Black, Hispanic Suppliers  

JPMorgan Chase, one of the nation’s largest banks, urged its 100 largest business partners to accelerate spending with Black- and Hispanic-owned businesses. Failure to do so means JPMorgan may revisit its contract with the supplier, according to Brian Lamb, the firm’s global head of diversity and inclusion. If a supplier doesn’t increase its spending with Black- or Hispanic-owned businesses, JPMorgan would first downgrade its contract from preferred or “Gold Status” to “regular,” according to a company spokesperson. Lamb said JPMorgan’s supplier push was the next step in the company’s plan to advance racial equity in the US economy.

Capital One Grant Program

Roughly 53 percent of Black-owned businesses saw a drop in revenue by at least half during the peak of the Covid 19 pandemic. To address the lack of access to capital and resources, Capital One is partnering with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) to launch the Capital One Business grant program, which aims to support Black-owned businesses in building resilient futures. This program will award $10,000 grants to Black-owned businesses. In addition, all business owners can access free resources to help move their business forward through Capital One’s Business Hub, which features insights and actionable advice from real business owners.

White House Small Business Conference?

The National Minority Business Council, Inc., is calling on the Biden administration to convene a White House Conference on small business. The organization, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, says it hopes to see such a conference “before the end of 2022 but no later than the first quarter of 2023.” The last time the White House convened a conference on small business was in 1995 during the Clinton administration, argues John F. Robinson, the NMBC’s president and CEO. Since then, he says, there have been many changes in the small, minority, women- and veteran-owned small business community since 1995 – some good and some bad.