At Markaaz, one of our fundamental values is to give minority businesses and underserved communities support and equal access to opportunity.
During Black History Month, it’s essential to acknowledge and address the systems that led to less access and support for Black-owned businesses.
According to data from the US Census Bureau, from 2002 to 2017, the number of Black-owned businesses with employees increased by 31.2%. That alone is something to celebrate. However, despite this encouraging growth, Black business owners face a disproportionate number of challenges, namely a lack of access to capital. And according to the McKinsey Survey of Consumer Finances in 2019, about 15% of white Americans hold some business equity, and only 5% of Black Americans do.
We’ve compiled three resources to support Black-owned businesses.
1. Check out the minority business development agency
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. For years, it has played an essential role in helping Black-owned businesses access funding, compete for contracts, and create export-ready products. The MBDA Business Centers are located in cities with many minority-owned businesses around the country.
2. Explore the Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program
The SBA’s 8(a) program exists to “provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged” people. The program’s guidelines state that any business that is 51% or more Black-owned has the potential to compete for government contracts, get help with navigating federal contracts and receive training. To participate in the program, businesses must first get the SBA certification.
3. Find supportive directories & tools
Markaaz is building an ecosystem to support small businesses, providing equal access to opportunity and giving a leg up to compete with larger corporations and structural inequality. Soon, we are launching an all-in-one dashboard to minimize the amount of time you spend checking your various business apps. This seamlessly integrates into our directory of over 100 million pre-verified businesses and the payment solution we are building to support small business growth.
The bottom line
According to the McKinsey survey referenced above, the right business ecosystems can mitigate or negate the effects of structural obstacles to business building for Black business owners – and add $290 billion in business equity. And while these resources might not change those structural obstacles, it helps us get closer in the right direction.
Join Markaaz today and be among the first to access our transformative features.