Booming Entrepreneurship Among Black Women

By Jazelle Hunt NNPA Correspondent | 12/13/2013, 10:54 a.m.
Most of the businesses are one-woman shows: According to the National Women’s Business Council, 96.5 percent of Black woman-owned firms ...
Cathy Hughes, TV One and Radio One founder

Among African American households, 53.3 percent of wives are breadwinners, according to the Center for American Progress.

Lofton says her childhood home ran similarly – she’s not sure whom the breadwinner was, but her mother held the purse strings and “worked miracles.”

These trends in women-driven business have not gone unnoticed. The U.S. Small Business Association offers more than 100 centers across all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and American Samoa, where women can get training on starting and growing small businesses.

“What’s interesting is that the sheer number of businesses has been really large, but the number of employees and revenue has been really low,” Ahmad explains. “It’s the exact type of entrepreneurship the government says drives our economy, and there needs to be a look at investing in these businesses.”

For Black women who are interested in starting a business, the resources are out there.

The federal Minority Business Development Agency offers help with everything from expansion tips to loan and grant information. Such organizations also exist at the state level, in most cases. And a Forbes article titled, “Minority Women: Entrepreneurs: Go-Getters Without Resources,” recommends joining women’s associations and trade groups.

Lofton also has advice for Black women considering going into business for themselves.

“Be dedicated to what you do, and work hard every day to grow your business,” she says, adding the importance of mutual support among women business-owners. “Women are everywhere now. I think we’ve gotten a lot more respect by stepping out. They know we can do it, and we will do it.”