Business & Money

Black women-owned firms grew in 2012, but sales didn’t

By Northstar News Today | Last updated: May 11, 2016 - 9:58:51 AM

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The number of businesses owned by Black women grew dramatically from 2007—the beginning of the Great Recession—through 2012, when it ended.

The report “Color of Entrepreneurship” by the Center for Global Policy Solutions was released April 20.

But the businesses recorded the largest decline in average sales, compared with companies owned by White, Asian, Hispanic and Native American women.

To reach its conclusions, the Center for Global Policy Solutions, which is based in Washington, D.C., analyzed data supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners for its report  “The Color of Entrepreneurship: Why the Racial Gap among Firms Costs the U.S. Billions.”

Algernon Austin, senior research fellow, reported and wrote the report.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were 32,109 Black-women owned firms in 2007. In 2012, the number increased by 6,500 or 20.2 percent to 38,609 firms.

Although, the bureau focused on companies with paid employees because they have a greater financial impact, the report noted that 97.5 percent of Black women-owned firms did not employ any workers. Only 2.5 percent did.

This compares to 11.9 percent of White women-owned companies that employ one or more workers.  White women-owned companies reported average sales of $1.3 million in 2007.  In 2012, the figure was $1.2 million, a 5.7 percent drop.

On the other hand, Black women-owned firms reported average annual sales of $795,470 in 2007, compared to average sales of $557,074, a 30 percent drop in 2012.

Black women-owned firms focused mostly on health care and the social assistance industries. Despite the challenges, there is a strong movement toward entrepreneurship among Black women.

The growth in Black women-owned firms was higher than 20 percent in 2012, far outpacing Black women in the workforce, which grew by 8.8 percent. (NorthStar News Today)