Happy Fall: time for autumn leaves, the World Series, and of course the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list. That list was just released at the end of September. Didn’t make it this year? You’re in good company: the wealth required to get on the list has risen to a minimum net worth of $1.55 billion! Even Michael Jordan, who hit billionaire status earlier this year with his stake in the Charlotte Hornets, didn’t cut it.
Too bad because then there would be at least two black billionaires on the list. Oprah Winfrey is a regular but we didn’t notice others on a quick scan of the list. Hard to spot Hispanics as well. But that doesn’t mean if you’re part of a minority you can’t reach high levels of wealth if that’s your goal. And it doesn’t mean you have to be a star athlete or a celebrity to get there.
Business — particularly owning your own business — is still a great way to create wealth for yourself, your family and your community. Achieving success in business, particularly for minorities and women, is our focus this month. You might be surprised at the impact minority-owned businesses are having on the U.S. economy, and the opportunities available to get in on it right now!
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Minority-Owned Businesses and the Economy
African Americans and Hispanics might not show up in impressive numbers on the Forbes list quite yet. But they are making themselves known in the business world, to everyone’s benefit.
They are some of the fastest growing parts of the economy and are particularly strong in the area of exports. Check out the most recent official U.S. numbers we have from year-end 2012. They are impressive and are sure to have grown even more over the past two years. Consider these facts about these businesses (taken from MBDA):
African American-owned firms:
- number: 1.9 million
- number of those firms with paid employees and revenues over $911,000: 114,000
- annual economic output: $136 billion
- number of jobs created: 910,000
Hispanic American-owned firms:
- number: 2.6 million
- number of those firms with paid employees and revenues over $1.1 million: 286,000
- annual economic output: $351 billion
- number of jobs created: 1,900,000
Role of the Minority Business Development Agency:
How did they achieve such success? You can bet it took a lot of effort, a little luck, and some help along the way — just like any business. But not everyone needs the same kind of help. Everyone can of course find resources and support at the government’s Small Business Administration and in articles like Small Business Financing Opportunities. Now, because there is increased awareness that minority-owned businesses help both their communities and the U.S. economy to thrive, there is more effort and financial support being put into helping propel them to success.
Central to this effort is the Minority Business Development Agency, the topic of our latest article at Free Grants Community. Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the MBDA’s goal is to increase the success of minority-owned businesses — along with the jobs they create. The number of clients they serve has increased dramatically over the past 7 years, and they include African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, AsianAmericans, Hasidic Jews and Pacific Islanders. They have helped their clients create more than 6 million jobs and over $1 trillion of combined economic output!
Want to be a part of that success story? Check out our review of the Minority Business Development Agency website and how you can use it to grow your business.
Here are more examples of new programs that can help you get off the ground and/or reach new heights:
“Latinas Think Big” Innovation Summit This first of its kind program will provide great exposure for and education about the accomplishments of Latinas in the U.S. It is being sponsored and hosted by Google at their headquarters in Silicon Valley with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. It is a day-long event filled with speakers, workshops, networking opportunities and inspiration from “Lightning Talks” given by six Latinas who are exceptional innovators.
The event happens on October 3, 2014 and will be videotaped. Tapes will be available on YouTube so that those who could not attend can benefit from the talks — and the talks will also be beneficial for educational purposes.
All women — Latina or not — can learn more about starting and running a business in our article about Grants for Women Owned Business.
Free Online entrepreneurship course for young entrepreneurs offered in Spanish: In September a new course that will educate and encourage young entrepreneurs was announced by the Small Business Administration. This online course will be offered in Spanish (as well as in English) and allows students to learn at their own pace as they proceed through the course. Topics covered will be the basics required to start a new business. These include how to figure out if a business idea is a good one, where to get the money you need to start a business, and the ins and outs of registering a business. In the Spanish-speaking version of the course there is a special introduction from young Hispanic entrepreneurs.
Black Owned Businesses: The number of black-owned businesses has been growing dramatically for more than a decade. It is also growing at a greater rate than the rest of the business population. That means there are more and more role models and mentors entrepreneurs can look to for help. A couple worth noting include the National Black Chamber of Commerce as well as local chapters you can find in your area. Women should also check out Black Business Women Online, a place to look for resources, new customers, advice and support. And always check the article Black Business Resources to find current, specific opportunities to start, promote and grow your business.
Make this October a special one. Take advantage of all the opportunities out there to make your mark on the world. If the minority business programs reviewed above don’t apply to you just go to Grants for Small Business to find more!