By Ryan Brennan
A new announcement this week is set to help black entrepreneurs start their businesses. Thanks to the MerchantNegotiators website, black business owners will be allowed to apply for the $2,500 in grants through the Small Business Grant competition.
MerchantNegotiators is aware of the fact that small businesses are the back bone of the American economy. According to Celebrity Net Worth, small businesses account for half of all private sector workers and generate nearly 70 percent of all new jobs. Small businesses are also responsible for more than 50 percent of the U.S. GDP, which is equivalent to $6 trillion every year.
Of the nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States, about 15 percent account for minority-owned businesses. In addition, they also reportedly employ 5.9 million workers inside the U.S., as well as being one of the fastest growing subsets of small businesses.
However, it is also recorded that Hispanic and African-American people make up nearly 37 percent of the population. With that being said, it’s a little discouraging to see that African-American and Hispanic-owned businesses only account for 15 percent of American small businesses.
Minorities will often find that their entrepreneurial ventures can be a challenge due to banks, grant opportunities, angel funding and private equity communities constantly underfunding and inadequately supporting minorities.
“There’s clear statistical evidence that minority entrepreneurs have been disproportionately denied capital when they applied for it,” said Rich McIvor, the founder of MerchantNegotiators.
Since nearly 80 percent of small businesses require some sort of financing when launching, it’s no surprise to see that so few minorities have success in finding the startup capital they need. This leads to very few minorities even getting their business started, let alone growing it into a success.
“For many minorities, particularly individuals without the formal credentials or business connections that their White counterparts may have, entrepreneurship often provides the most viable path to the middle class and financial independence,” said McIvor.
“When their entrepreneurial aspirations don’t get pursued because of underfunding, not only is that individual entrepreneur hurt, but all of the potential employees, local communities, and even local tax base are worse off,” he continued.
Applications for the Small Business Grant, which can be found on www.MerchantNegotiators.com, will be accepted from June 1 to August 1, so sign up while you can.