How The Turbulent Economy Has Affected African American Small Businesses

    African American small business has experienced an unexpected upsurge in spite of the recent turbulent economy. There are several factors that play into this exciting trend, all of which bode well for the future of African American small business despite the possibility of a continued turbulent economy for months or years to come. As one of two major black business magazines in the United States,, an informative web-based news source geared toward reporting on and assisting with the success of African American small business, maintains an extensive database of news articles and timely updates for ambitious, entrepreneurial, and upwardly mobile African American professionals from all walks of life. From finance and accounting to arts and entertainment, sports, journalism, food service, fashion, and more, the turbulent economy is no match for the enthusiasm and mutual support the African American community provides to its own.

    Since 1992, there has been an unexpected increase in the number of African American small business owners entering the entrepreneurial sector. The reasons for this are as diverse as the number and type of African American small business that have joined in the move from corporate America to an entrepreneurial mindset. Analysts cite the uncertainty the war in Iraq has generated for U.S. commerce and the ongoing downsizing of corporate America as primary catalysts prompting talented African American employees to translate corporate skills into small business success.

    In addition, the increasing incidence of mutual support that is seen through efforts to purchase from and sell to others within the African American small business community are highlighted as reasons contributing to an astonishing 26 percent increase in the number of African American small business providers in the United States in just a 5 year period. This shared sense of support and potential is paving the way to a bright future for African American small business despite the likelihood of an ongoing turbulent economy and uncertainty for some time yet to come.

    The best news of all, however, may be that African Americans are reporting higher overall happiness scores than White Americans and other ethnic groups across the income and socioeconomic spectrum. While analysts have not yet showcased a direct causal link between the rise in African American small business and the increase in overall happiness scores, recent events such as the current incumbent in the White House, increases in the number of social service and mentoring councils focused on encouraging and facilitating black owned small business success. Also, subtle shifts away from racial discrimination and towards equality of income and opportunity are all cited as potential causal factors.

    While these findings showcase how much work is yet to be done to truly level the playing field and offer African American small business the level of support and equality that has long been deserved and worked toward, the findings are promising for the health and longevity of African American small business even in the midst of an historically turbulent economy.