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The Powerful Ripple Effect of Black and Brown Women in Business


Photo by RDNE Stock project

Black and Brown women are not just starting businesses at an impressive rate. They're transforming the landscape of entrepreneurship. Despite facing significant hurdles, their impact goes far beyond the bottom line. This Women’s History Month, we explore the economic and social power of Black and Brown women-owned businesses, highlighting their resilience, growth, and the positive ripple effect they create. We'll delve into the challenges they face, the crucial role they play in the economy, and how we can all support their continued success.


Current Impact of Black and Brown Women in Business

Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States, showcasing a remarkable surge in business ownership despite facing significant barriers such as limited access to capital and networking opportunities.


This entrepreneurial spirit is further supported by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which backed over 13,000 commercial loans worth $5 billion through its 504 and 7(a) loan guarantee programs to women entrepreneurs, alongside providing training, coaching, and mentoring through its network of Women’s Business Centers (WBC) across the country. The Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program (WOSB Program) also plays a crucial role in leveling the playing field for women business owners competing for federal contracts.


  • Economic and Social Impact:

  • Supporting Black and Brown women entrepreneurs can significantly boost the economy. A study by American Express revealed that aligning the number of women-owned businesses with men-owned businesses could inject an additional $1.7 trillion into the U.S. economy.

  • These enterprises often prioritize social responsibility, creating jobs in underprivileged communities and contributing to social causes, thereby fostering social change.

  • Growth and Representation:

  • Despite the challenges, Black-owned businesses grew by 4.72% from 2019 to 2020, with Black-owned firms bringing in an estimated $141.1 billion in gross revenue in 2020, marking an 11% increase since 2017.

  • Notably, the number of employer businesses owned by Black women rose to 52,374 from 2017 to 2020, accounting for 37.2% of all Black-owned businesses. This growth rate outpaced both women-owned businesses in general and Black-owned businesses, highlighting the resilience and potential of Black women entrepreneurs.

Supporting Black and Brown Women-Owned Businesses

Supporting Black and Brown women-owned businesses involves a multifaceted approach, combining financial assistance, mentorship, and broader community engagement. Here are ways to contribute effectively:


  • Financial Support and Resources:

  • In 2021, Bank of America pledged $1.25 billion to advance racial equality, aiding Black Girl Ventures (BGV) in hosting pitch competitions and developing platforms for virtual programming.

  • Grant Opportunities: Fearless Fund x Master Card, HerRise, and the DoorDash disaster relief fund offer specific grants for Black and Brown women entrepreneurs, promoting economic empowerment and sustainability.

  • Mentorship and Advocacy:

  • Mentorship: Guidance on exploring less competitive niches and navigating entrepreneurship complexities through various mentorship types.

  • Advocacy: Increase visibility by sharing social media posts, mentioning businesses in newsletters, and consistently advocating for Black and Brown women entrepreneurs throughout the year.

  • Community Engagement and Networking:

  • Platforms for Connection: Engage on social platforms, attend events, and join online forums to foster meaningful connections with Black entrepreneurs.

  • Directories and Tools: Utilize resources like Buy Black NB, WeBuyBlack, and EatOkra to discover and support Black-owned businesses in various industries.


By integrating these strategies, individuals and organizations can play a crucial role in supporting the growth and success of Black and Brown women-owned businesses, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Reflecting on the myriad challenges and triumphs of Black and Brown women entrepreneurs, it's evident that their contributions extend far beyond their individual businesses, influencing broader societal and economic landscapes. Their tenacity and innovation, despite systemic barriers, underscore the critical importance of fostering an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem that not only celebrates but actively supports their endeavors. 


As we look to the future beyond Women’s History Month, it's imperative that concerted efforts continue in providing access to capital, mentorship, and resources that cater specifically to the unique needs of Black and Brown women entrepreneurs. Encouraging community engagement and advocating for policy changes are essential steps in dismantling the obstacles faced by these underserved communities.


Subscribe to the Digital Orange Juice for juicy ideas and the people who fund them. You can find out about our next pitch competitions. Also, be sure to join our new community BGV Connect!

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