Entrepreneurship: Firm diversity
The number of firms per 100 persons age 16 or older in the labor force (the "by industry" breakdown shows total number of firms). Universe includes all firms classifiable by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status. Firms are classified by race/ethnicity and gender based on the self-identification of the majority owner. A single firm may be tabulated in more than one racial/ethnic group if the majority owner(s) was reported to be of more than one race. All racial/ethnic groups other than white and people of color may include Latinos who identify with each particular group. No data is reported for geographies or demographic subgroups with insufficient sample sizes. For more information, see the data and methods document. | National Equity Atlas Data & Methods: Technical Documentation
Number of firms per 100 workers by race/ethnicity:
Do all people have the opportunity to start a business?
Why it matters
Expanding opportunities for people of color and women to overcome barriers to starting and growing successful businesses is critical for inclusive growth. Research shows that businesses owned by people of color are more likely to hire employees of color than other firms, and they generate increased economic activity in low-income communities and communities of color.
Grow an equitable economy: Policies to expand business ownership for entrepeneurs of color
- Increase access to resources to help underrepresented entrepreneurs build and repair credit and attract investment and loan capital to start and grow their businesses.
- Increase access to capital for Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Centers, which are charged with creating sustainable jobs within businesses owned and operated by entrepreneurs of color through services focused on access to capital, contracts, and markets
- Improve MBDA data-tracking mechanisms to better track utilization of MBDA services and inform policies that support businesses owned by people of color
- Connect aspiring entrepreneurs to business mentoring programs through grassroots organizations and government agencies, including the SCORE association, Entrepreneurship.org, and Prosperity Now.
- Close the racial wealth gap by increasing access to capital and government contracts for people of color.
- Include entrepreneurship as a part of career and technical education for high school students and include age-appropriate entrepreneurial skill-building in K-12 education
- Offer low-income communities financial advantages similar to those in wealthy communities by expanding services at CDFIs to include small-dollar loans and savings accounts
Prosper Portland’s Startup PDX Challenge: Nurturing an Inclusive Startup Culture
As part of its action plan to cultivate entrepreneurs of color and create a more inclusive startup ecosystem, Prosper Portland (the economic and urban development agency of the City of Portland, Oregon) founded the Startup PDX Challenge, an annual competition from 2013-2015 designed to connect entrepreneurs from underrepresented demographics in the tech and manufacturing industries with early-stage growth support and funding. Winners receive a $25,000 convertible note or low-interest loan, free rent, legal services, and marketing and hiring/HR services. Among the founders in the 2014 and 2015 classes, 61 percent were black and/or Latino. Learn more.