Black-owned health and wellness matters. Buy Black. Support Black-owned businesses. Did you know August is National Black Business Month? It is a great time to not only celebrate the achievements of Black entrepreneurs, but to also recognize the vital role we play in fostering economic growth, racial justice, and equity.
FUNKY BROWN CHICK is Black woman-owned and, celebrating 18 years in business, we proudly stand as a testament to Black business owners’ boundless potential and unwavering resilience. Here are three things we’re celebrating this National Black Business Month.
1. Empowering Black Entrepreneurs
Amidst the chaos of the pandemic, a glimmer of hope and optimism emerged from within the Black business community. The Census Bureau reported there were over 3 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S., with many getting started during the pandemic. A report by the Center for Black Business Research and the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) revealed that 88% of Black business owners expressed a “very optimistic” outlook for our ventures moving forward. This resilience was partly fueled by the growing activism like that of the Black Lives Matter movement and the subsequent global outcry against racial injustice. From this movement, conversations shifted, and major corporations started to take notice of Black organizations.
Charles DeBow, executive director of the NBCC, highlighted, “Black businesses started to get included in the dialogue, and that’s where major corporations started asking, ‘What can we do?’” This newfound attention led to increased support, allocation of financial resources, and growth opportunities for Black entrepreneurs. It was a powerful reminder that economic empowerment is intrinsically linked to social progress.
2. Black Women as a Galvanizing Force
Within the landscape of Black entrepreneurship, Black women have emerged as trailblazers of change. We are the driving force behind the growth of Black-owned businesses, consistently demonstrating resilience, creativity, and dedication. Research shows that Black American women are more likely to start businesses than white American men. In fact, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S., a testament to an unwavering spirit and determination.
3. Speaking Our Truths to Power
Despite remarkable contributions, Black women entrepreneurs continue to face significant challenges, particularly in accessing adequate funding and resources (Black women business owners applying for loans are rejected 3 times more than white business owners due to prejudicial practices). While our impact is undeniable, we are often overlooked and underserved by the financial ecosystem. And with the waned national interest in the Black Lives Matter movement, that surge in support has now dropped and returned to pre-COVID levels, hitting the pockets of Black business owners and, ultimately, our employees and team members.
This National Black Business Month, let’s speak truth to power and collectively acknowledge the invaluable contributions of Black-owned businesses. Take meaningful actions to support and uplift us. (Psst! Ways to do that include: investing in, hiring or partnering with, sharing the stories of, and purchasing from Black-owned businesses.) We can all be champions of empowerment that ultimately benefits all people. Happy National Black Business Month!