Small Business as a Sustainable Solution

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(This blog post is the last in a series. Read the previous posts here, here, and here.)

The previous posts in this series discussed the relationship between the racial wealth gap and small business, what created the racial wealth gap, and how it has impacted small business, especially minority-owned small businesses. This week’s post brings good news: building capacity among minority-owned businesses and businesses located in low- to moderate-income communities may contribute to closing the wealth gap.

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The Wealth Gap’s Influence on Minority-Owned Businesses

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(This blog post is part of a series. Read the previous posts here and here.)

The racial wealth gap has significant implications for entrepreneurship in terms of access to capital. Most business owners turn to their own wealth or that of their friends and family when starting and operating a business. Minorities have lower levels of wealth on average, due to the policies and discrimination that created and maintained the racial wealth gap, and minority business owners therefore tend to have less of their own capital to invest in their businesses.

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The Roots of the Racial Wealth Gap

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(This blog post is part of a series. Read the previous post here.)

“The extent of and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concern me…. I think it is appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation's history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity.”

Janet L. Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, October 17, 2014.

The racial wealth gap has been the subject of much focus lately. But where did it come from?

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Small Business and the Racial Wealth Gap

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Minority-owned businesses are growing at a rapid pace: from 2007 to 2012, the number of minority-owned firms increased by 38%, while the number of non-minority-owned firms declined by 6%. More impressively, the number of Black women-owned businesses and Latina women-owned businesses grew by 67% and 87%, respectively. These strong numbers demonstrate the potential for minority-owned businesses to drive local economic development.

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INTERISE INSIGHT: Creating Good Jobs

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Jobs and wages are major topics in the national conversation about our economy. Unemployment is down, but jobs with good wages are still hard to come by, leaving many workers scrambling to get by.

Interise’s 2016 Impact Report shows the power of small business to create good, local jobs in the communities where they’re needed most. In 2015, StreetWise ‘MBA’™ alumni created jobs at nine times the rate of the private sector. Alumni from 2012, 2013, and 2014 created 2,129 new jobs and retained 10,978. 65% of these businesses were minority-owned or located in low- or moderate-income census tracts.

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INTERISE INSIGHT: "I can't find them!"

Mental Models in the Anchor Procurement System
communication-1991851 1920 Anchor institutions such as hospitals and universities know that they can generate economic impact by sourcing goods and services from local small businesses. They also know that they can generate economic opportunity by sourcing from minority-owned small businesses and small businesses located in lower income communities. Anchors generate billions of dollars in economic activity every year. So why don’t they further leverage their economic “procurement power” to create opportunities for low-income individuals and minorities?

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