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Expanding the Growth of Minority-Owned Firms

Field at the Aspen Institute held a talk “Business Ownership and the Rachial Wealth Gap: Expanding the Growth of Minority-Owned Firms” on December 13, 2016. Debbie Kobrin of Madison Services Group attended on our behalf and had these notes for us.


With the changes in demographics our Country is experiencing we all have a vested interested in the growth of minority-owned businesses (MBE). If minority owned firms were proportional to white firms in the labor market, there would be more than 9 million additional jobs and $3 billion in additional income.

The full Aspen Institute event can be viewed here. Below is a summary of the conversation.

What do we need?

  • Outreach: many minorities (in particular Latinos) are not familiar with resources to help entrepreneurs
  • More and better data: the Census Bureau annual survey of entrepreneurs is good first step, but may not capture enough
  • We don’t just need more small businesses; we need them to scale to become medium sized businesses
  • Access to Capital: We need more diversity in loan officers and investors (covert discrimination is being examined by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
  • A better network: a large problem for MBEs is the lack of network, or examples of other in the community start and sustain businesses
  • Infrastructure

Policies to look to:

  • How W/MBE are utilizing venture capital, potential tax credit for VC investing in MBE
  • First time entrepreneurship tax credit for low-income individuals as a way to subsidize entry into the market
  • Entrepreneurship education: cultural and age appropriate instruction in both high school and in career/technical education