August brings with it not only the warmth of summer but also the opportunity to shop with purpose and celebrate National Black Business Month. This annual observance is more than just a moment on the calendar; it represents a powerful reminder of the importance of supporting, promoting, and empowering Black-owned businesses in our communities across the country.
Shopping at Black-owned businesses is important and powerful. Below are three important reasons to shop Black-owned — not just for the month of August, but every day.
Honoring Black Entrepreneurial Excellence
National Black Business Month provides a dedicated space to honor the rich history and contributions of Black entrepreneurs to our economy and society. This is a time to recognize the success of Black owned businesses with the singular goal to generate greater economic freedom for these communities. Historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan Sr. founded National Black Business Month in August 2004 to help drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million African American businesses on record at that time.
Fighting against systemic roadblocks and racism, Black entrepreneurs have defied all odds to build successful businesses, strengthen their communities, and pave the way for future generations. By recognizing their achievements, we pay homage to the resilience, innovation, and determination to overcome obstacles.
Fostering Economic Empowerment
Supporting Black-owned businesses is not just about celebrating the achievements of the Black community, it’s also about fostering economic empowerment and creating a more equitable society.
The median household net worth for a white family is 7.8 times that of the typical Black household ($188,200 vs $24,100). Despite making up almost 14 percent of the population, Black households only account for 4 percent of the total household wealth in the United States. When people choose to buy from Black-owned businesses or collaborate with them, we contribute to closing the wealth gap and promoting economic self-sufficiency within Black communities.
Empowered Black entrepreneurs can create jobs, invest in local infrastructure, and inspire others to follow in their footsteps, leading to a ripple effect of positive change.
Amplifying Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
National Black Business Month serves as a timely reminder of the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the business world. Embracing diversity in all its forms, including racial diversity, fosters innovation, creativity, and a broader perspective in decision-making processes. As consumers, employees, and business partners, we have the power to promote inclusive practices and create a more diverse and representative marketplace.
Resources for Black Entrepreneurs: Nurturing Success
For aspiring and established Black entrepreneurs, accessing the right resources and support is critical. Here are some valuable resources to help aspiring Black entrepreneurs navigate their entrepreneurial journey:
Black Chambers of Commerce: Local and national Black chambers of commerce offer networking opportunities, mentoring, and business development resources tailored to Black entrepreneurs’ needs.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs): SBDCs provide free or low-cost consulting, training, and resources to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA): Operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the MBDA offers programs and services designed to assist minority-owned businesses, including Black-owned enterprises.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs): CDFIs provide access to capital and financial services to underserved communities, including minority entrepreneurs.
Online Entrepreneurship Platforms: Online platforms like the National Black Business Directory and Black Enterprise offer valuable networking opportunities, educational content, and business news.
Resources for Entrepreneurs:
- National Black Business Directory
- Black Enterprise
- S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC)
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
- Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)
As we commemorate National Black Business Month, let us celebrate the achievements of Black entrepreneurs, promote diversity, and actively support Black-owned businesses. Happy National Black Business Month!