Entrepreneurship can go a long way to helping with America’s systemic inequalities by creating opportunities for diverse communities. While there are still barriers and blocks to minorities and women starting their own businesses, these pale in comparison to the challenges in traditional education and big corporate workspace. Businesses can be launched now easier than ever before. Tools are available to all entrepreneurs, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, that make it cheaper to get a product to market than was ever. Entrepreneurship is the quickest way to wealthy, independence, and happiness for many Americans.
As of the date of this article, the 2020 Fortune 500 only has three Black CEOs. That’s it, just three out of 500. Going back twenty years there have only ever been 19 Black CEOs on the list. The situation is not much better for women on the Fortune 500 list. Headlines were made that women CEOs hit a record this year, but the number is still an appalling 37 out of 500. There is no way to deny that within large corporations in the U.S. there are major problems elevating minorities and women to the top spots. These are huge problems that are not easily fixed and will need to be tackled at multiple levels to make serious progress. Maybe our children’s generation will experience a fairer large corporate world, or maybe it will have to be our grandchildren’s world that is more equal.
For the millions that cannot wait decades for these problems to be solved, we want to suggest that entrepreneurship may be the best opportunity. Starting a business today is easier than ever. You can run a few Google searches and get the documents you need to file and license a new business without leaving your home. You can open a bank account for that business online in minutes and build a website for a very low cost on GoDaddy or Wix. You can get an online store live on Shopify and promote it for free on your social media accounts. The launch of no-code and low-code services will even allow you to build a custom app for your company for a very low cost. All these changes have happened in the last 10-20 years, and they are transformational.
We understand that minorities and women running their own business will run into systemic blocks as well. We have seen these with the startups we have invested in and the founders that we mentor. There are plenty of stats that are frightening for diverse founders. Less than 20% of the small businesses in the U.S. are minority owned, and white small business owners are 7X more likely to get a loan than their minority counterparts. And we readily admit that the current venture capital system is also broken. 85% of the money flows to white male founders. However, the ability to build a lifestyle business or even a rocket ship style tech startup still appears easier to us than fighting to climb the corporate ladder at big companies.
We encourage more minorities and women to explore opportunities in entrepreneurship, and we are here to support you. Reach out for mentorship, ask us to review your business plan or pitch deck, and let us help you find others in the ecosystem that can support you and provide resources. We are here to help, and there are many more like us out there.