Black-Owned Firms Remain Only a Tiny Slice of the American Economic Pie

Past studies by JBHE have shown that African Americans make up a small percentage of students at the nation’s leading business schools. This may explain in part why there are so few Black-owned firms in the United States. Of course, the lack of access to capital to start a business is also a major factor in the low number of Black-owned firms.

Census_Bureau_seal.svgNew data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2014 there were 949,318 firms that the bureau defined as “minority-owned.” These accounted for 17.5 percent of all businesses with paid employees in the United States. There were 108,473 Black-owned firms with paid employees, making up just 11 percent of all firms designated by the Census Bureau as minority-owned. Thus, Black-owned firms made up just 2 percent of all businesses with paid employees.

Of all the firms with paid employees designated as minority-owned by the Census Bureau, total sales were $1.1 trillion. This was just 3 percent of the total receipts of all firms with paid employees.

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