America is going through a long-overdue reckoning on the ways in which systemic racism and discrimination impact the lives of Black and other minority individuals as well as their communities. The small business sector is no different, and there is a long way to go before there is true equity among entrepreneurs of all races.
As an organization that spans the entire state of California and whose members represent a diverse spectrum of small business owners and self-employed workers, CAMEO is in a position of power to facilitate important conversations and advocate for change. We want to start by sharing resources – including research and programs – that can be used to increase our understanding of these issues and how best to address them.
What CAMEO Members Are Doing
If you have programs specifically geared to Black-owned businesses, please email us with the information and we can highlight your organization.
- The California Black Chamber of Commerce created the “Everybody Pitch In” Campaign to raise funds for African American small businesses in California affected by COVID-19.
- Main Street Launch partnered with the City of San Francisco to create a coronavirus relief loan fund for Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs.
- The Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce created a COVID-19 Resiliency Relief Program to provide interest-free grant relief dollars for Black businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19.
- Pacific Community Ventures and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) partnered with Kaiser Permanente and LISC on a $60 million investment program designed to strengthen businesses led by Black and other underrepresented individuals in the wake of COVID-19.
Research and Thought Leadership
Access to Capital
- SBA data shows that Black entrepreneurs received less than 2% of PPP loans, while white-owned businesses received 83%.
- A survey commissioned by Color of Change and Unidos US found that just 12% of African American and Latinx-owned small businesses received the full assistance they requested from government stimulus programs.
- A July 2020 article on CNN chronicles the everyday discrimination that Black customers face at bank branches. The article also mentions the lack of legislation to address these issues.
- A 2019 study by NCRC discovered a steep decline in government-backed lending to Black small business owners at Los Angeles area bank branches between 2008 and 2016. The research also found that better-qualified Black and Hispanic loan seekers were treated worse than their less-qualified, white counterparts at these branches.
- The Expanding Black Business Credit Initiative published a 2019 report with Best Practices in Black Business Lending.
- A 1977 article by the Washington Post documented how white-owned businesses fraudulently applied for and received government contracts through the SBA’s 8(a) business development program for minority-owned businesses.
- A 2020 research brief by the Kauffman Foundation examines trends in race and ethnicity, age, and immigration among new entrepreneurs.
- The Insight Center for Community Economic Development released Centering Blackness, a framework for centering blackness and the black experience as a necessary strategy to ensure economic liberation for all Americans.
- A 2015 study commissioned by American Express found that African-American women are 300% more likely to launch a new business than anyone else and represent the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the US.
- An In These Times article details how the Trump administration has failed to protect businesses run by people of color from the impacts of COVID-19.
- The Insight Center for Community Economic Development published a fact sheet showing that businesses owned by people of color, women, and immigrants have been most severely harmed, closing down faster than the national average.
- A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41% of Black-owned businesses closed permanently between February and April due to the coronavirus lockdown.
- An article by McKinsey examined the ways in which minority-owned small businesses are responding to the pandemic and its impacts.
- A Washington Post article talks about the decreasing number of black businesses that remain open amidst the pandemic.
- Natural Investments hosted a virtual community event on how to “Invest in Black Economic Liberation” that discussed guides, tools, and capital resources.
Resources for Black and Minority Small Business Owners
Access to Capital
- Harlem Capital Partners is a diversity-focused VC fund on a mission to invest in 1000 diverse founders over the next 20 years.
- The Impact Developers Fund is a $26 million fund that will provide capital to emerging impact businesses that lack access to adequate affordable capital, including minority and women-owned real estate development companies.
- Kapor Capital is an Oakland-based fund that invests in tech-driven early-stage companies that seek to advance opportunities for low-income communities and/or communities of color in the United States. The firm funds entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, especially people of color, women, and other groups that have been historically underrepresented.
- The Black Business Association provides information, tools, resources, and networking opportunities for African American business owners.
- Black Founders provides resources, mentorship, and funding to Black entrepreneurs in the technology industry.
- Black Women Enterprises provides business technical assistance, resources and procurement information to Black women business owners.
- Millennial Entrepreneurs Redefined offers workshops for minority entrepreneurs to kickstart their businesses and learn how to pitch to investors.
- The National Minority Supplier Development Council helps increase contract opportunities for certified minority business enterprises through capacity building, networking, and partnerships.
Education and Information
- Black Enterprise is an online publication that provides business information and advice to entrepreneurs, by and for the Black community.
- MVMT50 is a coalition of Black thought leaders that seek to expand opportunities for the black community in the innovation, technology, and digital sectors.
- UC Berkeley has a toolkit with more than 60 resources for Black entrepreneurs.
- The Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency comprises a network of centers that provide Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) a variety of business assistance services.
- The Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program was created with the goal of providing small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts.
Marketing & Promotion
- Bay Area Black Market helps Black entrepreneurs grow through branding, promotional, and networking tools.
- Official Black Wall Street is an app and digital platform that helps consumers find, review, and support Black-owned businesses.
- Support Black Owned is a directory of Black-owned businesses and offers tools that allow them to invest and build wealth in their communities.
General Resources on Race & Inequality
- Seeing White, a Scene On Radio podcast series on what it means to be white
- Pod Save the People explores news, culture, social justice, and politics from a POC perspective.
- The Land that Never Has Been Yet, a Scene on Radio podcast series about democracy.
- Nice White Parents, a New York Times podcast about race issues in schools.
- The Ezra Klein Show
- Episode 344: “Free Speech, Safety, and ‘The Letter'”
- Episode 351: “How Inequality and White Identity Politics Feed Each Other”
- Episode 355: “What It Would Take to End Child Poverty in America”
- Episode 356: “Isabel Wilkerson Wants to Change How We Understand Race in America”
- Code Switch explores how race impacts every part of society.
- Come Through with Rebecca Carroll offers conversations about race in 2020.
- Yo, Is This Racist?, a light-hearted podcast where the hosts answer fan-submitted questions about racism.
- How Did We Get Here?, a compilation of articles on race and racism in America from The Atlantic
- The New York Times’ 1619 Project
- “A Letter to My White Male Friends of a Certain Age,” by Dax-Devlon Ross in Third Settlements
- “The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture” by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun
- “Racism Hurts Everyone – Costs to White People” by the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ
- “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh