Report: Black Women Entrepreneurs Offer Opportunity To Impact Poverty Gap, Accelerate Growth

By Morgan Chilson
The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kan.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The report explores the challenges, motivations and needs of 34 black women entrepreneurs.

The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kan.

Black women started 1 million businesses between 2002 and 2012, showing a growth rate in entrepreneurship unmatched by any other group. But few talk about the potential in that data, a regional expert said Wednesday.

A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is drawing national attention after it pointed to the 179 percent increase in the number of businesses owned by black women and showed the potential economic impact should those businesses receive the support they need to excel, said Dell Gines, senior community development adviser of the bank’s Omaha branch.

Gines was in Topeka to talk about the real numbers behind businesses owned by black women and what communities can do to support them.

The report, available online at kansascityfed.org, delved not only into the numbers but into the psyche of black women entrepreneurs, he said. It can be used for communities wanting to create programming to support this segment of business growth.

“The first stage is awareness, then it’s acknowledgement, then it’s activation,” Gines said. “The reality is people just don’t know. I’ve known about this trend for a long time. Why is no one really talking about this?”

The report, he said, explored the challenges, motivations and needs of 34 black women entrepreneurs.

“For folks that want to develop programming to accelerate economic growth, reduce poverty gap, decrease wealth gap, it gives you really a blueprint of what your general black woman entrepreneur is,” he said.

Phelica Glass, a licensed clinical social worker in private practice, was inspired to hear the data.

“Black women are actually building businesses at a large rate that the community does not talk about,” she said. “To be a part of the number is phenomenal, but I also love the idea to talk about how do we support black businesses that are owned by women or minorities in general, so that they can become large-scale. We’re groomed to grow up and work for someone else, and make someone else a millionaire. We’re never taught that we can be that millionaire.”

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