THE STATE OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENTREPRENEURS

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How are African-American entrepreneurs doing?

There are nearly 2.6 million African-American owned businesses in the U.S., and they employ nearly 1 million Americans, according to statistics from the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency. The same study reports that minority-owned firms overall experienced significantly higher growth than the average business did between 2007-2012—especially impressive considering that this period of time included the Great Recession.
Here’s a closer look at how the average African-American entrepreneur is faring, according to a recent survey that Guidant Financial conducted of current and aspiring small business owners.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PROFILE
Gender
* 62% male
* 38% female
Age
* 18-29: 6%
* 40-49: 28%
* 50-59: 25%
* 30-39: 22%
* 60-plus: 19%

Education
African-American entrepreneurs have varying degrees of educational attainment. About one-third (32%) of them have a high school diploma or GED. Some 26% have a bachelor’s degree, 21% have an associate’s degree, and 22% have a master’s degree or higher.

Why are most African-American entrepreneurs initially motivated to launch their businesses?

These entrepreneurs are more likely than the average business owner to say they started a business because they were dissatisfied with working in corporate America (22%). However, the vast majority of African-American entrepreneurs (62%) say they wanted to “pursue their passion,” 53% say they were “ready to be my own boss,” and 30% say that opportunity presented itself. Just 12% say that being laid off or having their job outsourced motivated their startup.

Location
The most popular states for African-American small business owners to set up shop are:
1. Texas
2. Georgia
3. California
4. Florida
5. North Carolina

Industry
The most common industries in which African-American small business owners start businesses are:
* Business services—13%
* Health/beauty/fitness—9%
* Food/restaurant—9%
* General retail—7%
* Other—28%

 

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