2:00 pm EST - 3:15 pm EST

Past Event

Empowering Black businesses: From startup to workforce expansion

Thursday, February 15, 2024

2:00 pm - 3:15 pm EST

Online only

Despite experiencing five years of growth, the number of Black-owned employer businesses (firms with more than one employee) still falls significantly short of representing the proportion of the Black population nationally. That’s a gap with consequences. Employer firms generate more wealth for owners, are better able to meet demands of emerging markets, and foster an environment of innovation and collaboration than sole proprietorships. Yet, in 2021, Black-owned businesses grew by 14.3%, and had the highest growth in revenue, payroll, and average number of employees than any other demographic group. These trends, which are consistent across most cities, are promising signs for gains in racial equity. 

On February 15, Brookings Metro hosted an event to present insights on Black-owned businesses across the U.S. in collaboration with the Path to 15|55 initiative, which endeavors to grow the percentage of Black-owned employer firms. Senior Fellow Andre Perry presented findings from a forthcoming Brookings report discussing recent trends in Black-owned business growth. An expert panel shared their own insights and discussed the role that Black employers can play in growing economically diverse and thriving communities across the U.S. and the barriers that they face. 

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