African-American entrepreneurship is doing well in the U.S. and this year things look even better. According to the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, “African-American businesses have grown at an exponential rate in the 21st century.” This year of 2018 is already shaping up to be a banner year for African-American entrepreneurs.
Currently there are nearly 2.6 million African-American-owned businesses in the U.S., and now there are countless platforms, programs, initiatives and conferences in place to support such exponential growth. There is no doubt that with this growing support system in place, African-American businesses will reach much higher numbers soon.
The much-needed support system for African-American entrepreneurship is growing and now there are several yearly conferences specifically geared toward African-American entrepreneurship. Among the more popular conferences are “Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit”, “Black Tech Week”, and “AfroTech Conference” which are held annually.
There are also a number of incubators specifically geared toward African-American entrepreneurship which have been sprouting up throughout the country recently. Plans are currently underway for the Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Atlanta. Named after the late Herman J. Russell, who founded America’s largest black-owned construction firm, the center will help aspiring entrepreneurs of color bring their business ideas to fruition by providing them with an array of resources. The center will launch a fundraising campaign this summer with plans to open its doors in 2019.
The tech world has also chimed in with several apps and initiatives that have recently been launched. These apps and initiatives are designed to help give African-American founders equal footing in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In describing the state of Black entrepreneurship in 2018, Dominick Ard’is, founder of ACT House said, “I believe it’s flourishing, yet it continues to find its footing while also building support nodes — capital access, ecosystem support, enclaves for connection — to do so.
It will be interesting to see where this all goes from here.