Megan Ulu-Lani Boyanton
The Denver Post
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Black individuals represent almost 13% of the U.S. population, but only 2.4% of American businesses are run by Black owners, according to the study. Matt Schulz, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst, described it as “obviously a significant gap.”
When Courtney Samuel, who was born and raised in Denver, recalls adolescent memories with his father, he thinks of construction.
As the younger Samuel cleaned the sites, his dad managed the construction work. The elder Samuel’s company eventually helped build the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library — the public library in Five Points, one of the capital city’s historically Black neighborhoods.
Samuel didn’t know then that, blocks away, he’d open his own business one day: Bodies By Perseverance, a fitness gym that offers personal training, boxing and more, which celebrated its 18th anniversary in November.
“Any entrepreneur has to have perseverance, and that’s what I named my company,” said Samuel, who now serves as his father’s caretaker.
Following his football career and a stint as a network engineer, Samuel made a decision in his early 20s to start a gym. However, loan requirements were tougher than he imagined, and he was turned down by the bank. Instead, Samuel borrowed against his 401(k) plan to launch his business.