You may not be surprised to learn that one of the things that interests me is why black Americans aren’t more represented in the marketplace’s entrepreneurial ranks. For example, according the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, African-Americans are only 40% as likely to choose business ownership as are white Americans. To put this number in perspective, Latinos are 60% as likely to be business owners as are white Americans. Furthermore, Chika Onyeani, editor-in-chief of the African Sun Times and author of Capitalist Nigger, reported in his book and on my radio program, that in the New York burrough of Harlem, recognized for generations as ground-zero for black America, very few businesses are owned by blacks.
With decades of civil rights legislation, anti-discrimination regulation and billions of dollars spent to make sure the marketplace playing field is level for all, why aren’t there more black business owners? During this same period women overcame similar obstacles, but over the past 10-20 years, business start-ups by women have become the fastest growing ownership sector.
Recently, on my program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I discussed the issue of African-American business ownership with two individuals that I consider to be thought-leaders on the topic, intellectually, professionally and because of their race. Donald Hunter is a business owner, a commercial finance expert, and an entrepreneurial educator. Clara Villarosa is a retired business owner and co-author of Down to Business: The First 10 Steps to Entrepreneurship for Women. Both have overcome more than the average obstacles of a black business owner: Donald is blind, and Clara started and successfully ran her woman-owned business at a time when even white women faced heavy odds.
One of the things I believe is that political correctness, wherever it manifests, is the enemy of achieving excellence, and I asked Donald and Clara what they thought about this. You don’t want to miss their answers.
Take a few minutes to listen to our conversation and let us know what you think about race and business ownership. Listen Live! Download, Too!