The Road Ahead

Black entrepreneurs are seeking freedom. 

In America, business along with home ownership are the most common paths to wealth creation. 

However, most black businesses today cannot recreate the “double-duty dollar” of Black Wall Street. They do not have access to the resources and opportunities required to grow. Only four percent of black businesses employ more than one person. Dollars continue to flow one way—out—of black communities.

Having employees is a sign of business success and wealth creation. Due to a shrinking customer base and a lack of needed capital, the per capita number of black employers in the US declined by twelve percent between 1997 and 2014 alone.

Notice the racial disparity of start-up capital between black and white-owned employer businesses. Access to capital and reliable credit is essential for successful business ownership.

North Carolina touts increasing numbers of “minority-owned businesses.” Yet, to address the racial wealth gap, these businesses must be able to fully participate in the US economy.

To support the success of this and future generations of entrepreneurs, we must: 

  • Provide access to capital and to reliable credit. 
  • Have the courage to invest in and support black economic and political power.
  • Connect entrepreneurs to the people and opportunities they need to succeed.

People will do business with people they like, and if we don’t go to the same church, if we’re not sitting in the same row, we’re not building the relationships—we don’t even know each other.

Andrea Harris, Co-founder, The North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development