Starting your own business is risky unless you’ve got everything planned. And even then, business owners struggle to keep their small businesses afloat. Some choose to undertake business training while others prefer to do it themselves.
But none experience the trials and tribulations that black business owners face. Black-owned businesses are still not looked at like other businesses, while black business owners face smaller funding and networking resources.
Black founders often find themselves in challenging situations amplified (or fed) by racism and segregation. Race should play no role in the success of minority-owned businesses, but we, unfortunately, haven’t yet reached that point.
Of course, this doesn’t mean a lack of successful black entrepreneurs and businesses; it just means that the people who reached the top had to do so with unprecedented sacrifices and dedication.
Black women business owners are even rarer, with most encountering various gender and racial issues in the workplace. Finding funding opportunities, educational opportunities, and government contracts were (and still somewhat is) exceptionally difficult.
However, the tides are changing, and we’re slowly but surely moving towards complete inclusion and zero disparity between a minority business and a non-minority one.
Black women entrepreneurs have begun opening their small businesses, and jobs in public and private sectors have opened up to black people. The usually underrepresented communities finally have various opportunities to start their dreams in the industry.
If you are one of these people and want to become a business owner, you’ll need to start small. Black entrepreneurs can use the ever-increasing number of business opportunities to expand their small businesses further.
This article will look at the best resources for black entrepreneurs to make business building, economic development, and community building more accessible and better.
The 9 Best Resources that can Help Black Business Owners
Black business owners should receive the same amount of help and incentives as business owners of other races, and thankfully, this can be done with these nine resources.
Business ownership is all about thinking ahead but taking it slow, so make sure you’re fully aware of what these resources for black-owned businesses mean and how you can use them to your advantage.
Black Founders is dedicated to helping black entrepreneurs achieve their goals and dreams. They provide access to funding resources, financial counseling, and mentorship.
The Black Founders’ most vital characteristic is helping black business owners and new African American entrepreneurs get into technology entrepreneurship and the IT sector. In this area, black people are strongly underrepresented and economically disadvantaged.
Black Business Association
Black-owned businesses often have trouble finding networking opportunities, negatively influencing professional development. For black-owned small businesses, the Black Business Association is a godsend.
This organization is stationed in Los Angeles but has branches and chapters across the United States. Black business owners should look for one of their offices to apply for various contracting and procurement opportunities.
It’s also worth noting that the Black Business Association often hosts various events, including networking events, funding events, and guidance for minority business owners.
Black Owned Everything
If your black-owned small business needs some exposure and marketing, Black-Owned Everything is the perfect place to do that. This non-profit organization aims to promote small business owners and minority entrepreneurs to the forefront of their industry.
The organization has a relatively large following on social media (especially Instagram), and anything they post is exposed to a lot! This is one of those networking opportunities where neither side has anything to lose.
Eligible businesses interested in being featured on their page must be minority-owned and/or black-owned businesses.
Coalition to Back Black Business
Finding financial support as small business owners can be difficult, especially if there isn’t enough appeal surrounding your idea. On the other hand, small business loans, although helpful, can decimate a business before it even begins operating.
There aren’t many financing options for new black business owners, which is why the Coalition to Back Black Business opened its doors. The Coalition offers financial assistance to eligible black-owned businesses black-owned businesses that are eligible, making the small business administration process more accessible.
The organization offers grants and various incentives to black-owned businesses that employ between 3 and 20 people. Essentially, they are there to help minority business owners evolve and expand quicker than usual.
Minority Business Certifications
Imagine opening a few minority-owned businesses and landing a massive contract. It sounds impossible considering how small business resources are for minority-owned companies for minority-owned businesses. However, the truth is the complete opposite.
Minority Business Certifications give certified minority-owned businesses a higher chance of receiving contracts from large corporations. A business needs to stay competitive in its respective industry if it wants to survive and thrive, something small businesses cannot easily do.
The tech industry is incredibly guilty of this, with many tech startups experiencing difficulties reaching the next step. Getting certification for minority businesses provides them with an edge over their much larger competitors.
Lastly, these certifications allow small businesses to benefit financially from private and public programs that black business leaders desperately need.
National Minority Supplier Development Council
Many think that small business administration is easy considering the size of the business.
It isn’t. Administering your business requires constant vigilance, activity, time, and unwavering dedication, knowing there’s a chance it will all be in vain. The corporate member organization called the National Minority Supplier Development Council solidifies black-owned businesses’ chances of success.
The Council manages the ‘Company Consortium Fund,’ a non-profit business development program. This program offers business training in specific areas such as finance, but they also provide business assistance and consultancy services to its members’ companies and businesses.
Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency is perfect for black-owned businesses specializing in importing, creating, and exporting certain goods across the country.
This specific agency is part of the US Department of Commerce, meaning you’ll be able to find them in virtually every US state. The primary purpose of the MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency) is to help entrepreneurs from low-income neighborhoods who have decided to open their small businesses.
MBDA provides black-owned businesses with guidance, logistics support, and technical support in import-export and teaches them how to get funds to expand their businesses further once they are ready.
US Small Business Association
The US Small Business Association is arguably the best starting point for your business, thanks to its versatility and many valuable services that help with business development. Most people know about the SBA (Small Business Association) through their loan opportunities, but that isn’t what they’re all about.
The SBA is lending services to those who want them. Still, it’s also a practical and effective, and versatile learning platform for all things related to starting, maintaining, and expanding small businesses.
If that isn’t enough, their business development program is filled with valuable resources for various vulnerable groups, including veteran, black-owned, or women-owned businesses.
So, if you aren’t familiar with what needs to be done during the early beginnings of your business, make sure to get in touch with the Small Business Association and work your way up from there.
Small Business Empowerment Program
If you don’t work well with the freedom to choose what to learn at which point or if you feel overwhelmed by the amount of information necessary to start a business – take a look a the Small Business Empowerment Program.
This empowerment program is sponsored by an organization called ‘Operation Hope,’ which focuses entirely on helping minorities reach their business goals. Operation Hope is partnered with dozens of companies and direct lenders, enabling the organization to help low-income neighborhoods with training revolving around business and finances.
On top of that, business owners can choose from various lending options. Still, they can also access said training, numerous business services, and other resources they might need.
We’re looking at Amazon, American Red Cross, Harley Davidson Motor Company, NASCAR, NFL, Nasdaq, PayPal, and Shopify to give you an idea of some of the partners Operation Hope works with TikTok, UPS, Walmart, and Wells Fargo.
The business world is a harsh place that doesn’t take any prisoners. Surviving one mistake is possible – surviving multiple is excruciatingly difficult.
Even then, a business is vulnerable to external factors and internal politics. Those who have experienced these issues the most have been minorities.
Thankfully, these resources and organizations exist to make the industry easier and better for black business owners and minorities alike. Remember – many people potentially share your issues with how the world works. Good luck! Work together and overcome the odds.