Black entrepreneurship in America: The past, present, and future of black entrepreneurship.

African American entrepreneurship has become indispensable since race became a prevalent conversation. Black tycoons who own thriving businesses in the United States, two decades after the abolition of slavery are no longer invisible. Between 2014 and 2017, black-owned businesses in the United States rose from two percent to four percent, tentatively. The history of black entrepreneurship success began in African American communities like black Wall Street of Oklahoma.

Black entrepreneurship is a conversation that needs to be propelled. The shift from worker's mentality to entrepreneur’s mentality is a direction that requires to be emphasized long and vividly enough. Americans of African descent founded billion-dollar corporations that thrive up to date. We cannot define black-owned businesses without discussing where they come from, the state of their present, and the direction it is taking for the future. The past of black-owned businesses is secure. Black entrepreneurs like Reginald Lewis, the founder of TLC Beatrice International conglomerate appeared in the Forbes 400 in 1992, this fact alone is enough to enlighten African Americans that entrepreneurship is doable and rewarding for Americans who are considered black.

Black business owners in the United States rose by thirty-eight percent in the period between February 2020 and August 2021. This increase marked African Americans as the fastest rising entrepreneur class in America. Shortly after, the support was reduced. Capital promises made to black entrepreneurs have not been fulfilled. Currently, early-stage African American entrepreneurs do not have access to capital sourced from personal networks. The majority of partnership, funding and mentorship opportunities availed to black Americans in 2021 were heightened by the George Floyd tragedy. Unfortunately, when the media surrounding this tragedy died down, so did the support that came with it.

The future of black entrepreneurship is promising. Startup black entrepreneurs have the privilege of looking up to the black billionaires like Oprah Winfrey and Rihanna and consequently consider the possibility of thriving in their endeavors. The trailblazers of African American entrepreneurship are people like C. J walker, John Merrick, Charles Clinton, and Aaron Moore who succeeded as entrepreneurs in the early 1900s in the face of notorious racial injustices. These and other black personalities should be the shoulders that black American entrepreneurs stand on and venture into the world of owning a business in the united states.

The transition to entrepreneurship as a black American in the United States can be restraining. But this is where the stories of successful black business owners over the centuries come in. They came before to right the historical wrongs that ties the hands of black entrepreneurs. The best chance there is of the closing racial wealth gap in America is through entrepreneurship. It is undeniable that there are racially titled rules that govern the economy in the US, black entrepreneurs should therefore be made accessible to educative entrepreneurial advice. For instance, small black businesses should come together and qualify for partnerships, black business owners should learn the act of reinvesting as a way of creating generational wealth. Black Americans in business must understand times are tuff, but it couldn’t be worse than the 1900s, yet we have black entrepreneurs who thrived and whose footprints of success were boldly left in black entrepreneurship. 

  Written by Hellen