Black Women Entrepreneurs: It’s Time to Make History

As we move from Black History Month to Women’s History Month, we celebrate the bold Black women who have come before us. The fierce, the feisty, the smart, and the savvy—and we look to repay them as we stand on their shoulders to create new opportunities for the young Black girls behind us.

Black women entrepreneurs are rising up and showing the world what they’re made of. Less than three years ago, Black women-owned businesses earned only $24,000 in revenue, while non-minority, women-owned businesses earned $218,800, according to the American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. And in December 2020, Fortune reported that only 93 Black women had secured $1 million or more in funding for their business. Looking at these numbers doesn’t feel like these business owners are rising up, but it is part of a bigger narrative, one that’s full of promise. In 2018, only 34 Black female founders had ever raised $1 million—so now while 93 seems small, it is three times as many! 

Now that we know where we’ve been, it’s time to make history by supporting Black women entrepreneurs. No matter the hardship and discrimination they have faced to start their own business, they have prevailed—so now is the time to honor their efforts and show the world that these businesses are more viable than ever.

Check out our ideas for how you can help show why female-led, Black-owned businesses deserve funding—and a seat at the table.

Shop Products/Services

Nothing speaks louder than your money. By shopping with businesses owned by Black women, the revenue generated by your sale brings them one step closer to their future success—whether that means pushing them into a new bracket when applying for funding or making their monthly sales goals. 

You can even shop places where proceeds go to support these businesses. For example, when you purchase fun products from Pine-Sol, 100% of the profit goes to support economic growth for founders who are women of color. This year, that support includes proceeds awarded to our 2022 Build Your Legacy winner. It’s great to know you are helping someone fulfill a dream or two!

Be Intentional, Be Visible

By supporting Black-owned businesses throughout the year, you can help stabilize a community and create more opportunities for property ownership, credit building, and generational wealth.

When you do choose to shop or work with Black women-owned businesses, don’t be shy about it! Subscribe to the company’s email newsletter and submit a positive review. Post your picks on social media with tags, shares, and comments. Also, show off your finds with your friends and let everyone know the difference they can make to the store owner and the community if they shop there too.

Share Credible Resources

Invite Black-owned business owners to your networking events and group meetings. It’s a great way to help share business resources with new Black-owned business owners by helping them get deep-rooted in other business social circles and expand their customer reach. 

Create a go-to list of funding opportunities for Black women-owned businesses in your area, this list of 9 Grants for Black Women Entrepreneurs is a great starting point. You can also take it a step further by creating a scholarship or internship program, nominating people for awards, and sharing special contests — like the Build Your Legacy contest powered by ESSENCE and Pine-Sol.