*Black women may be disparaged and mocked in the media but they’re dominating where it really matters: in business ownership.
Black women make up the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. Since 1997, businesses owned by Black women grew by a whopping 322 percent, according to Fortune.
Women own 30 percent of all businesses in the U.S., and Black women hold 14 percent – or 1.3 million – of those companies. While Black women-owned business are thriving all across the nation, the largest share of Black women-owned businesses are located in Georgia, Maryland, and Illinois.
In Detroit, a small nonprofit is making efforts at helping black women become business owners. Since it was formed in 2012, the Build Institute has graduated nearly 600 students from its eight-week courses, which teaches the basics of starting and running a business.
“Our typical participant is an African-American woman,” said April Boyle, the group’s executive director. “It was very intentional from the very beginning to be inclusive, because when we started we saw a gap. There was a lot of attention on high-scale, high-growth technology companies but not a lot of support for community and Main Street entrepreneurs.”
Danielle Smith launched Detroit Maid in 2013 after she couldn’t find a cleaning service that was willing to take work assignments in Detroit. The Build Institute taught Smith the “technical stuff” and gave her advice on how to market and brand her services.
Smith’s first customer was Paramount Pictures, which was in Detroit filming “Transformers: Age of Extinction”. The company found her through a Google search and hired her after reviewing her proposal. Since then, she has hired four part-time employees and has worked on nearly 300 accounts, and is looking at revenue of approximately $80,000 in 2015, more than double last year.
Businesses owned by black women also top the charts in revenue growth when compared to other minority women-owned firms proving that their economic power is ever-growing.