It’s hard enough to get a business up and running when you’ve studied business, done your homework, and have plenty of cash to give you time to ramp up. Imagine how challenging it is when you are under capitalized, under prepared, and have a history of being marginalized as a woman, and as a black American. It’s damn near impossible.
Yet courageous minority and women entrepreneurs take on the challenge every day in the U.S. and they are achieving the impossible. David Kiger, in a post in Business2Community.com, shared that over the past two decades women-owned businesses have grown faster than any other segment in the U.S. economy, at twice the rate of all other businesses with 10.1 million women-owned businesses employing 13 million Americans and generating $1.9 trillion in annual revenues in 2008 alone. And here are now over four million minority-owned businesses across the country, accounting for over $591 billion in annual revenues.
In times like this, these small, under capitalized businesses face greater risks, especially greater challenges getting financing to weather the storm. According to the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency:
- Minority-owned businesses are less likely to get loans than non-minority owners. This is particularly true for businesses that have less than $500,000 in gross receipts.
- The value of loans for minority-owned businesses is usually less than non-minority loans. For minority businesses with more than $500,000 in gross revenue, the average loan amount is $149,000. But non-minority business loans average $310,000.
- Interest rates are often higher for minority business loans.
- Due to “a real or perceived likelihood of rejection,” often minority-owned businesses avoid seeking loans.
That’s why I find it a tremendous privilege to serve on the Board of the Tacoma, Washington based nonprofit, Urban Business Support, which is providing help to mostly minority and women small business owners with its entry level program, Business Plan in a Day.
This free program covers: Mission, Vision and Values; Personal Finance, Market Analysis, Products & Services, Marketing Strategy, Operations, and Business Finance basics. Small business owners leave with tools and information to create a solid business plan and to take the necessary steps to be ready to obtain financing they need to grow their companies. And it’s virtual, no masks required! Follow up entrepreneurship programs and mentoring are also available for very affordable (subsidized) fees. Preference is given to companies from the greater Tacoma area, and space is limited, but there may be openings for companies outside the area.
If you know an owner of a woman or minority-owned business who could benefit from help to reduce their risk and grow their business in this crazy, VUCA world, please share this post. #MinorityBusinessOwner #WomenOwnedBusiness #UrbanBusinssSupport #BoardMember