Empathy is essential for human relationships. This article explores the sustainability of being human in an increasingly virtual and artificially oversaturated.
June is Black Lives Matter Month and commemorates the violence against and deaths of African-Americans at the hands of institutionalized and individual racism. Needless to say, things are different and they need to keep changing. We are beginning to have more open and necessary conversations about the experiences of Black people across the globe and the problems caused by the legacy of colonialism. The system is failing hard, and racism in the “free” market is being blown out of the water.
“Blackness matters, and always has. But now there is a heightened awareness of differential outcomes and disparate impacts based solely on the color of one’s skin.” — Kelly Patterson, Ph.D.
Kelly Patterson, Ph.D. is an associate professor at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work who studies the intersection of poverty and inequality, as well as race and class.
“There has to be real systemic change with a focus on housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system.” — Kelly Patterson, Ph.D.
It can be difficult for any business to succeed, but Black entrepreneurs have historically faced unique challenges. Despite “buy-black” campaigns, grants, and other resources, 8 out of 10 Black-Owned Businesses fail within the first 18 months. Now more than ever we need to support black entrepreneurs and business people, especially since we’re facing one of the worst economic crises in world history.
8 out of 10 Black-Owned Businesses fail within the first 18 months.
On the 28th of January 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau released new estimates on the characteristics of employer businesses, which portrayed that Black or African Americans owned approximately 124,551 businesses, with about 28.5% (35,547) of these businesses in the essential industries of Health Care and Social Assistance, the highest percentage of any minority group. It’s clear that in supporting Black-Owned Businesses we are making a real difference in the business sector, and this support has become increasingly important for sustained economic growth.
Does this mean that the Black Lives Matter movement (initiated as a hashtag on social media in 2013) is succeeding in influencing how we see ourselves and others?
Black households in the USA tend to earn nearly 7 times less than white households. Supporting Black-Owned Businesses creates & sustains more entrepreneurial ventures that will ultimately empower more black people to gain a better economic and social standing.
The support of Black-Owned Businesses can increase the flow of wealth to black families and the communities where they live and work. This will help close the racial wealth gap over time.
“In 2016, the average wealth of households in the USA with a head identifying as black was $140,000, while for white-headed households was $901,000, nearly 6.5 times greater.” — Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
When Black-Owned Businesses are in high demand, the companies become more profitable. Supporting these businesses contributes to creating entrepreneurial opportunities. Entrepreneurship fuels economic prosperity and serves as a bridge for low-income families to move up to middle-class status. This in turn will give greater buying power and influence to these families, which will enable them to support more local and international Black-Owned Businesses and contribute to more job creation.
“The problem is that there aren’t enough Black-Owned Businesses to hire unemployed black people… Time is overdue for change, and we must pool our resources and build our own reality.” — Black to Business
This means we should all take initiative and create opportunities for this to happen.
By choosing to support Black-Owned Businesses, you’re supporting black pride, unity, and self-determination. While this paradigm shift may be intimidating to those who currently benefit from the status quo, a more equitable distribution of wealth would mean an enormous positive change for the business community and families alike.
Black entrepreneurship is a tool for survival in a world that does not want to see the majority win. When we choose to win against all odds, especially in supporting Black-Owned Businesses, young black children can grow up in thriving communities with successful entrepreneurs as role models.
In this way we can all contribute to nurturing a new generation where everyone can have a fair chance at success.
The prosperity of a green economy depends on the celebration of diversity by and for all people. The green movement has historically seen an underrepresentation of people of colour and is at present wrestling with the lack of diversity in its activism.
Bringing attention to Black- and Minority-Owned Businesses can go a long way in demonstrating that the green movement is everybody’s movement. When Minority-Owned Businesses have a financial platform to stand on, they can support the green economy and inspire more people to become part of the green movement.
Find out where and who in your community runs a Black-Owned Business. Instead of buying a product or service that is cheaper because of mass production, buy from Black-Owned Businesses that will gain more value from you shopping at their stores.
The more support these local businesses get, the more the demand for their products and services will increase. Driving more revenue to Black-Owned Businesses will eventually mean more affordable, local goods that are making a real impact in your community.
Get involved on Facebook groups and websites that offer additional support specifically to Black-Owned Businesses. If you have the skills and means, consider offering sponsorship or mentorship to these businesses which will benefit immensely. A great starting point is Black to Business, a resource for learning about, growing and supporting Black-Owned Businesses (they have a directory of some of the businesses you can start supporting!).
We all know how influential social media is — even the Black Lives Matter movement was born out of a trending hashtag. Social media is a powerful tool you can use to make people more aware of Black-Owned Businesses.
You can use the #BlackOwnedBusiness hashtag and encourage your circle of influence to do the same. Follow Black-Owned Businesses and share their content, so that these businesses can grow their audience and awareness of their brands.
Black-Owned Businesses need employee engagement software, HRIS systems, productivity software, automation software, collaboration tools, communication platforms, etc. in order to grow their company culture and keep their organisations growing.
When employee engagement software companies help Black-Owned Businesses out, they are helping these businesses to invest in their own employees and increase productivity, measure and maintain overall employee wellness, the quality of their work and so much more.
8 out of 10 Black-Owned Businesses tend to fail in the first 18 months, due to a failing system that we all are apart of. This is why we need to support black entrepreneurs and business people, now more than ever. How are you going to support Black-Owned Businesses in the future?
Hi5 is offering Black-Owned Businesses 50% off for 1 year.