Immigrant, Minority & Under Financed Entrepreneurs
It is hard to overstate the importance of entrepreneurship since new businesses are the main driver of job growth in the United States. Entrepreneurs from other countries play a particularly important role in this; founding businesses at far higher rates than their native counterparts. Their knack for starting businesses is an important source of new job creation in cities across the country.
This last year has made the inequities of race, gender and geography even more prominent as our nation battled the dual pandemics of both COVID-19 and racial injustice. These dual pandemics have displayed themselves in complex ways against the backdrop of a disparate American economy. And our economy continues to be strongly influenced by movements that have at times, consolidated wealth and restrained opportunities for upward mobility.
We need to build an economy that works for everyone and allows entrepreneurship to flourish. So, we must break down historic and systemic obstacles so that all Americans, regardless of race, gender, and geography, can achieve economic prosperity.
Supporting minority business owners, is vital to improving our economy now and in the future. Support can come at a consumer, a community, or even a government level. We all can contribute different resources to the larger goal of supporting minority-owned businesses and encouraging more to grow and start.
As a customer, focusing purchasing power on minority-owned businesses can support local economies. The money you spend in the community often goes back into it, whereas money spent internationally fills bank accounts overseas where our communities never see the benefit of it's economic support. Finding minority businesses to support is not difficult; it does not require a significant effort at all. A brief Google search can tell you where the local businesses you can support are.
You can also do your part in reducing the racial wealth gap by helping organizations become more accountable for their lack of representation. Vocalize this short coming to them and back it up by not contributing to their organizations until they rectify the situation. Companies can diversify their partnerships and hiring, as well as implement entrepreneurial programs that encourage minorities to invest in themselves.
Make your voice heard and rally to municipal agencies to collect and utilize data on new businesses. Increased effort should be made by our government to disaggregate data by race, gender, and other factors in order to appropriately target interventions that reduce local barriers to creating new businesses.
For my part, I will work to support incubators, accelerators, and other entrepreneur support organizations through actions ranging from publicizing the vital role they play in local economic development to providing them with much needed resources.
History will remember our actions now, on the heels of these dual pandemics. Let us keep the entrepreneurial spirit strong and pull together for the greater good. Supporting minority entrepreneurs now could help forever close the massive disparity in prosperity across our Nation. This could be the launch of how we forever close racial wealth gaps in our country. For me, that is reason enough.