As we all know or can assume, the entrepreneurial journey is an extremely challenging one. But for women of color, there are different sets of obstacles that can be even more daunting. Despite the fact that black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S., they still face a number of unique hurdles when it comes to starting and running a successful business. Let’s take a peek into a few of the most common challenges women of color face when starting their entrepreneurial journey.
One of the primary challenges women of color come across is access to capital. Many banks and investors are reluctant to provide loans or other financial assistance leaving them without the necessary resources to get their businesses off the ground. According to a recent study conducted by Fundera “even among SBA loans, women receive 2.5 times less money than men do: on average, women get $59,857 while men receive $156,279.” Even when they are able to secure the necessary funds, the interest rates and fees charged by lenders can be far higher than those charged to other businesses, making it much harder to turn a profit.
Another significant challenge is the lack of industry connections and mentors for women of color. As an outsider, it can be difficult to make the right connections and gain the necessary insights to make informed decisions about your business. Additionally, without guidance and support, it can be much harder to navigate the complexities of the business world and stay ahead of the competition.
The third challenge is the lack of visibility of other successful black women who are business owners in the media. This lack of representation can be extremely discouraging to aspiring business owners, as it can make one feel that starting and sustaining a successful business is out of reach. Representation matters immensely, and it’s important for women of color aspiring to become entrepreneurs to see successful women in the media that look like them. This will boost motivation and inspiration as they learn from the success stories of others.
Finally, but most importantly, women of color often face discrimination in the workplace and entrepreneurship is no different. This can range from subtle microaggressions to overt racism, and it can make it difficult to foster a sense of belonging and feeling valued in the business world. Furthermore, the lack of diversity in leadership roles can make it difficult to find allies and mentors who can help guide them in the business journey.
It is no secret that starting and running a profitable business is not an easy undertaking for anyone. But it can be twice as difficult for women of color who face unique hurdles that can be hard to overcome. It’s important to recognize these challenges and strive to create a more equitable business environment for women of color who are breaking generational curses by starting a business of their own. With the right resources and support, they will not only survive but also thrive in the business world creating even more space and opportunity for other women just like them.
1 thought on “Roadblocks Women of Color Encounter in Entrepreneurship”
Excellent read! You have articulated an important topic of discussion in a way that increased vital awareness that, hopefully, leads to necessary resolution.