Despite the ongoing economic recession, black women entrepreneurs continue to grow in numbers and influence. In addition to growth in traditionally female dominated fields like child care, hair styling, and food service, black women entrepreneurs’ role in business advancement is rapidly expanding into the technology, media, engineering, and contracting fields. Although glass ceilings and discrimination still exist, black women are banding together, supporting one another, and sharing resources that enable current business advancement while building a foundation for ongoing growth.
In every area of business and society, black women entrepreneurs are turning their passions into innovative goods and services, and creating successful, profitable businesses. Leading the ongoing growth in black-owned businesses, black women are becoming entrepreneurs at a rate faster than any other minority group in the United States.
The business advancement black women entrepreneurs are experiencing largely results from mothers choosing to leave the corporate world and design their own life styles by starting new businesses. Women of all races continue to take advantage of increasing opportunities in online-startups. Black women entrepreneurs, often motivated by the desire for greater flexibility, a balance between their work and families, and the autonomy of setting their own schedules, are especially adept at creatively navigating the uncharted waters of online, virtual office style startups.
Black women entrepreneurs are also making tremendous strides in social entrepreneurship. The National Black MBA Association, African American Chamber of Commerce, and other national and regional organizations are increasingly supporting the business advancement of black women entrepreneurs who create profitable companies that are also dedicated to making a positive impact on their communities.
What is driving this business advancement for black women entrepreneurs? Although far from being a comprehensive list, increased access to information, growth of organizations aimed at providing support, and expanding social networks of black women entrepreneurs, are all contributing to business advancement.
Over the last several years, technology has enabled explosive growth in the information available to black women looking to become entrepreneurs. Increasingly, black women entrepreneurs cite news coverage of other successful Black entrepreneurs and business advice from those individuals as key to their confidence and success in starting new ventures.
Support and networking organizations are also recognized as key contributors to the growing business advancement experienced by black women entrepreneurs. These groups take the form of formal, brick and mortar organizations like the ones mentioned earlier in this article. Additionally, social media has provided many black women an informal channel to connect with, share advice, support, and assist one another in their various entrepreneurial ventures.
Although discrimination still exists and the playing field is far from level for black women entrepreneurs, current business advancement trends are promising. Black women continue to advance in all fields, those that have been traditionally female dominated and those that have not, as business entrepreneurs. As support organizations, online access to information, and social media environments continue to thrive, continued growth is expected in both the numbers and influence of black women entrepreneurs.