The number of U.S. Black-owned businesses grew from 2017 to 2019 in all sectors of the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS).
We reviewed business patterns among Black business owners, drawing on Census Bureau data since 2017.
In 2019, there were 134,567 Black-owned employer businesses (businesses with more than one employee) in all sectors of the U.S. economy.
Among our findings:
Census Bureau data shows that American entrepreneurship as a whole has been increasing. The Census Bureau’s most recent Business Formation Statistics showed that Americans applied for a record 5.4 million business ID numbers in 2021.
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) — the Census Bureau’s parent agency — has long been a leader in promoting and providing resources to minority-owned businesses.
DOC’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise created the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) March 5, 1969.
The MBDA has several key initiatives designed to promote and support minority-owned businesses.
Among them: the Enterprising Women of Color Initiative, which recognizes the impact of minority women-owned businesses in communities. In fact, minority women are the fastest growing population of entrepreneurs, according to MBDA.
The MBDA also set up business centers throughout the country designed to help minority populations expand their businesses and/or markets by, for example, helping them identify strategic partners or become export-ready.
The Census Bureau also offers multiple resources for small- and minority-owned business owners, including:
Adam Grundy and Lynda Lee are supervisory statisticians in the Census Bureau’s Economic Management Division.
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