Tom: Today you’re giving us an update on the state of Black entrepreneurship.

Mellody: I decided that a good way to close out Black History Month would be to look at the future, and what better way to do that than highlighting those in our community that are striking out on their own to start new, innovative products and services? And it isn’t just the future of our community, Tom.

As the country becomes increasingly Black and Brown, minority entrepreneurs and businesses are becoming a larger, more important share of the economy as well. However, a recent survey tells us there are some obstacles to growth which need to be addressed so that Black business can achieve its full entrepreneurial potential.

Tom: What role do Black entrepreneurs and business currently play?

 Mellody: We have talked a bit about this before. Right now, the growth in the number of minority owned businesses – those started by people of color and those started by African-Americans alike – has far surpassed the national rate of business starts. In the wake of the great recession, people of color have played an outsized role in new business creation.

The economic impact of MBES is substantial, with $400 billion in output each year — or over $1 billion per day — 2.2 million jobs, $138 billion in salaries and $49 billion in tax revenue. Black entrepreneurs have been on the forefront of the urban revitalization that we have seen take place from Brooklyn to Oakland. And all of these new businesses are responsible for a significant amount of hiring in these cities as well. Put simply, Black-owned businesses are growing and are poised to continue to play a key role in future economic growth in the U.S.

Listen to the full interview here.

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