August marks Black Business Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black entrepreneurs and business owners. This annual observance originated in 2004 when John William Templeton, founder of the National Black Business Trade Association, declared the month as a way to drive the policy agenda impacting the 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in America. Nearly two decades later, Black Business Month continues to highlight the tremendous progress Black entrepreneurs have made, while also underscoring the ongoing challenges they face.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Business Survey, the number of Black-owned employer businesses increased by 26% from 2012 to 2021. And research shows that supporting these businesses boosts the economy overall. A 2021 McKinsey study found that achieving racial equity in business could add $5 trillion to U.S. GDP by 2030.
So how can business leaders maximize Black Business Month 2023? Here are a few ideas:
Fostering an environment where Black businesses have equitable access to financial, educational, and community resources will benefit the economy as a whole. Black Business Month serves as a reminder of the vital role these entrepreneurs play and the potential they hold to reshape industries, spark innovation, and build generational wealth, if given the chance to fully and fairly compete. Equity in entrepreneurship benefits everyone.
Cheryl A. Seraile is an Omni-channel Marketing & Strategy Maven, with a passion for uncovering new trends and insights about consumers, demographics, culture and the world.