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Black Business WomanOur web site is an online directory, network and guide for Black-owned businesses in the United States. The goal is to help such businesses multiply and become more successful. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 2 million Black-owned business in the United States, compared to 22.6 million white-owned businesses. This means that African Americans, who make up more than 13% of the U.S. population, only own about 7% of all the businesses in the country, and generate only about 0.5% of total receipts.

Below are some FAQs regarding African American business owners:

Where are most Black businesses located?
Black-owned businesses accounted for about 28% percent of all businesses in Washington, DC, the highest ratio in the nation. Second, was the state of Georgia, where 20% of businesses were Black-owned, and the state of Maryland, with about 19%.

The state of New York, however, has the most Black-owned firms at 204,093 but this only accounts for 10.6% of the businesses in the state. Second is the state of Georgia, third is the state of Florida, and fourth is the state of Texas with the most Black-owned businesses but not necessarily the highest ratios.

Black Business ChartWhat types of businesses do African Americans own?
Well, it varies, but most offer some type of service, opposed to selling products. For instance, nearly 38% of Black businesses are in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services. Other categories include advertising firms, auto dealerships, consulting services, restaurants, beautycare (barbershops/beauty salons), and more.

How many people are employed by Black businesses?
Not very many. Of the 2 million Black businesses, only about 107,000 of them have actual employees. Such firms employ more than 920,000 people with a total annual payroll of $23.9 billion. The other 1.9 million businesses do not have paid employees.

Who are some of the top Black-owned businesses?
There are few Black-owned firm that generate billions of dollars in annual revenue, but many that generate millions. For instance, GlobalHue, an advertising agency in Detroit, Michigan, generated more than $480 million in revenue in 2007. RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Group, a chain of car dealerships throughout the country, generated more than $540 million in 2007. And, World Wide Technology, a global technology consulting firm and the largest Black-owned business in the country, posted revenues of more than $2 billion.

Why are there so few Black businesses?
It's true that the numbers should be higher. African Americans make up more than 13% of the U.S. population, but only own 7% of the businesses there. The answer to this question will vary depending on whom you ask, but most agree that racism, discrimination and predatory lending are all factors because many aspiring Black business owners have been unfairly turned down by bankswhen applying for small business loans.

Another factor is that there is a lack of economic and business resources in African American communities. This leads to a lack of education on how to properly start and manage a successful business.

Are there resources available to help?
Yes, there are many programs available to assist African Americans and other minorities. Banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America have special lending programs that make sure that African American business owners are getting the loans they need. Many non-profit organizations give grants and free training via workshops to minorities. In addition, many Black business events (conferences, workshops, etc) offer unique opportunities for African American professionals to network with key decision makers and others who can be of assistance. Finally, there are many magazines that offer weekly or monthly news and advice for Black and minority business owners.


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