Black-owned Business Boom. Are You Ready? - Black Enterprise

Black-owned Business Boom. Are You Ready?

While entrepreneurship may seem daunting for some, many are giving it a go more so now than in recent years, especially Black-owned businesses.

From 2002 to 2007, the number of Black-owned businesses increased by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million, more than triple the national rate of 18.0 percent, according to recent data released from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners. Over the same period, receipts generated by Black-owned businesses increased 55.1 percent to $137.5 billion.

The new data comes from the Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Businesses: 2007. The survey–which defines Black-owned businesses as firms in which Blacks or African-Americans own 51 percent or more of the equity, interest or stock of the business–provides detailed information every five years for Black-owned businesses, including the number of firms, sales and receipts, number of paid employees and annual payroll.

And while New York had the largest number of Black-owned firms at 204,032, Georgia came in second with 183,874 (and their receipts total $8.9 billion). What makes the peach state such an attractive destination for prospective Black business owners? “Knowing that I had access to a wide array of resources, contributed to me being more confident about launching my business,” says Tiffini Gatlin, founder and CEO of The Atlanta Go To Girl, a concierge business located in Atlanta.

After working nearly seven years in the banking industry, Gatlin launched her business in February 2007 (She incorporated in March 2010). The 30-year-old says throughout the lengthy start-up process she relied on a number of Georgia state-sponsored programs and resources targeting entrepreneurs, specifically women-owned. Gatlin adds, “With the abundance of resources, the examples of successful young entrepreneurs, and the data to back up the state’s entrepreneurial statistics, new entrepreneurs are recognizing that if they want to start a business Georgia is the place to do it.”

Newly minted entrepreneur Ronald Keith Young agrees. The 27-year-old is co-founder of the Atlanta-based mobile gaming technology company According 2 LLC. “The high-quality academia in Georgia offers high-quality talent and resources to tap into,” says Young, who started the company with his partners in November 2009 and have since created a mobile application, According 2 Hip-Hop, that’s now available on iTunes. “The Hartsfield Jackson International Airport can get you to another city to handle business relatively easy. The cost of living and working is considerably lower than other major cities. And the weather puts you in a good mood, well most of the time.”

Deputy Director of the U.S. Census Bureau Thomas Mesenbourg, said in reference to the findings: “Black-owned businesses continued to be one of the fastest growing segments of our economy, showing rapid growth in both the number of businesses and total sales during this time period.”

Regardless where they strike out on their own geographically, small business owners are fearlessly looking for ways to impact global commerce. And as the country’s economic landscape continues to bounce back, innovative and profitable opportunities reveal themselves for those eager and able to rethink business.

Are you ready to rethink business?

Whether you’re just starting out or looking for ways to take your company to the next level, attend the 2011 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 22-25, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Also, enter our Elevator Pitch Competition.  Do you have what it takes to win the $10,000 grand prize? And nominate your company or an organization you feel is deserving for our Small Business Awards.

To register for the event and find out more, visit