The gap in businesses ownership rates between whites and blacks is widely regarded as evidence of inequality. How bad is it really, and what can be done?
When he started his company, Donald Coleman had nothing but his personal savings and a few faithful friends to fund it. Twenty years later, GlobalHue, Coleman’s marketing communications agency that focuses on minority consumers, closed 2008 with $825 million in billings. Numbers like that earn Coleman membership in an all-too-exclusive club: He is a successful black entrepreneur. And he has an idea why there aren’t more people like him.
“I think it’s quite evident that the lack of access to capital is the reason why there aren’t more minority entrepreneurs,” he says.
Coleman’s experience resonates with studies like Race and Entrepreneurial Success, published last year by University of California, Santa Cruz economics professor Rob Fairlie and research associate Alicia Robb. They analyzed confidential data from the U.S. Census Bureau to paint a comprehensive picture of minority business ownership, and the results, at least for black entrepreneurship, are bleak. Overall, the number of black business owners is far lower than the national average, and their businesses also “tend to have lower sales, fewer employees and smaller payrolls, lower profits, and higher closure rates.” ….more at Mixed Signals: The Progress of Black Entrepreneurship – Business Ownership – Entrepreneur.com, published 9 March 2009.
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