Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Get The Scoop On The War on African American Entrepreneurs By Highly Regarded Financer and Entrepreneur Gary L. Smith

The War On
African American Entrepreneurs

By Gary Smith

We've witnessed the War on Poverty and endured the War on Drugs, but the ongoing War on Black Entrepreneurship is a different battle altogether. The assault on black entrepreneurs, traces back to the late 1800s when black landowners, primarily farmers, were either cheated out of their land or forcibly expelled.

The Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a thriving hub of Black-owned businesses known as Black Wall Street, exemplified the prosperity of black entrepreneurs with over 35 city blocks of shops, hotels, and theaters in the early 20th century.

Similar vibrant black economies existed in various cities across the nation, like Black Bottom in Detroit, only to face destruction, such as the demolition, for a freeway. Despite the passage of time, the struggle persists into 2024, with systemic barriers disproportionately affecting Black entrepreneurs.

The aftermath of the Great Recession saw the top 20% wealthiest Americans gaining wealth, while 80% of black families fell behind, illustrating the deep-seated inequities.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, people of color, women, and rural Americans encountered barriers hindering entrepreneurship. Disparities in wealth, limited access to funding, and systemic biases in loan approval processes persist, intensifying the challenges faced by Black and Latino entrepreneurs.

The pandemic further exacerbated these inequities, revealing the racial, gender, and geographic disparities in access to government relief and the subsequent closure of businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color.

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Entrepreneurship, a potential path to sustainable growth and prosperity, demands immediate attention to address structural inequities in education, jobs, housing, and healthcare. Access to entrepreneurship is not only hindered by financial constraints but also by broader issues impacting opportunity and upward mobility.

The time has come for comprehensive policies to dismantle historical and systemic barriers, enabling economic stability, mobility, and prosperity for all Americans.

Access to opportunity should not be hindered by race, gender, or geography. The current landscape is biased toward white, male, and wealthy entrepreneurs, necessitating a concerted effort to eliminate underlying issues.

Demanding access to capital, the right kind of capital, is crucial, considering that most black entrepreneurs lack access to bank loans or venture capital. Past discriminatory policies, like redlining, demand counteraction, and new investments to support entrepreneurs of color.

Access to knowledge is equally vital, with entrepreneurs needing networks and know-how to turn their ideas into reality. Strengthening support organizations, connecting entrepreneurs to mentors, and improving education are imperative steps. Policymakers must acknowledge that entrepreneurship requires a safety net, particularly for African Americans living paycheck to paycheck, making risk-taking more viable.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and worsened these inequities, necessitating a proactive approach to ensure equitable opportunities for entrepreneurship. It's time for America to prioritize the needs of new and small businesses over established ones, dismantling barriers and leveling the playing field.

Access to funding remains a critical challenge, with biases against women and entrepreneurs of color evident in loan approvals and venture capital distribution. Government programs must prioritize closing gaps in access to capital for entrepreneurs everywhere.

Initiatives should counteract biased policies favoring established businesses over newer ones.  Entrepreneurs face practical challenges, including learning how to start, operate, and grow a business. Access to resources, networks, and mentors is essential, with established business owners having more connections than new entrepreneurs.

Developing a continuous pipeline of opportunities for African Americans to acquire entrepreneurial skills is crucial for the U.S. economy to thrive.

About Gary Smith
The impact of Gary Smith's contributions has even transcended the written word, as he was featured on the prominent Fox2 News segment, specifically Murray Feldman’s “Money Monday” news cast. This appearance underscored Gary's authority in the field and served as a testament to his standing as a trusted source of insight.

With an illustrious career defined by unwavering dedication, groundbreaking accomplishments, and a commitment to create and preserve wealth through passive investments, Gary continues to be a beacon of inspiration for aspiring professionals and seasoned experts alike. He is the founder and CEO of Business Consultants International, Inc. (d/b/a, Black Swan Capital).

A private money lender that provides financing to real estate investors and entrepreneurs in need of capital to secure and sustain profitability in their real estate and business acquisition endeavors.  To order "5 Keys to Create Passive Income with Commercial Real Estate," Click here

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About the Minority Business Finance Scoop - is the premier news blog covering minority, black, and emerging businesses and how they develop and finance their companies. The publication is dedicated to showcasing the business and economic development of Black businesses and entrepreneurs of color.

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