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How are African-American entrepreneurs doing? There are nearly 2.6 million African-American owned businesses in the U.S., employing nearly 1 million Americans, according to the Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency. The same study reports minority-owned firms overall experienced significantly higher growth than the average business between 2007-2012—a period including the Great Recession.

Here’s a closer look at the average African-American entrepreneur, according to a recent Guidant Financial survey of current and aspiring small business owners. (Read what the study revealed about Hispanic business owners.)

African-American small business owner profile


  • 62% male
  • 38% female


  • 18-29: 6%
  • 40-49: 28%
  • 50-59: 25%
  • 30-39: 22%
  • 60-plus: 19%


African-American entrepreneurs have varying degrees of educational attainment. About one-third (32%) have a high school diploma/GED. Some 26% have a bachelor’s degree, 21% have an associate’s degree, and 22% have a master’s degree or higher.


Why are most African-American entrepreneurs motivated to launch businesses? These entrepreneurs are more likely than the average business owner to say they were dissatisfied with corporate America (22%). However, the vast majority (62%) wanted to “pursue their passion,” 53% were “ready to be my own boss,” and 30% say that opportunity presented itself. Just 12% say being laid off or outsourced motivated their startup.


The most popular states for African-American small business owners are

  1. Texas
  2. Georgia
  3. California
  4. Florida
  5. North Carolina


The most common industries in which African-American small business owners start businesses are:

  • Business services—13%
  • Health/beauty/fitness—9%
  • Food/restaurant—9%
  • General retail—7%
  • Other—28%

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How are African-American entrepreneurs doing?

Despite the rapid growth of African-American-owned firms in general, there are still many challenges for these entrepreneurs. For example, just 57% of those Guidant surveyed say their business is profitable—lower than the average for all survey residents (68%).

African-American business owners are also less likely than the average business owner to have employees: 46% are solo entrepreneurs, 41% have two to five employees; 7% have between six and 10 employees; and 6% have 11 or more workers.

Particularly concerning, the average annual receipts for African-American businesses is just $58,119. That’s compared to an average of $173,552 for minority-owned firms in general and $552,079 for non-minority firms.

What’s behind these issues? One problem is financial. A whopping 80% of African-American entrepreneurs in the Guidant poll say lack of capital is their biggest business challenge. This is 10% higher than the average small business owner in the survey. The next biggest challenges, marketing/advertising (31%) and time management (23%), are mentioned far less often than capital.

If they did get additional capital, half of African-American entrepreneurs would use the money for expansion; 61% would use it for equipment, 54% would use it for marketing/advertising, 36% would use it for staff, and 30% would spend the windfall on technology.

The challenges African-American business owners face are reflected in their lower confidence in the political climate for small business. Their confidence level is seven out of 10, compared to eight out of 10 for business owners as a whole.

RELATED: Minority Business Loan Programs

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Your small business inventory is a very important asset. You can even get a loan for the inventory if you have to get out of temporary financial binds.

So, shouldn’t you do all you can to learn about managing your inventory the best way possible?

Scott Gregory brings 30+ years in accounting inventory and more than 17 years with QuickBooks software to a session aimed at trying to make small business owners better at both.

Book a ticket to attend the webinar Gregory will be hosting on Thursday, December 13, 2018, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (EST) and you will learn basic understanding of how to use inventory correctly in QuickBooks Pro, Premier or Enterprise.

Gregory says the webinar will give you the confidence you need to use QuickBooks and many of the options which are available to you within this software.

He adds you will develop a much better understanding of proper and correct ways to deal with your inventory.

You can attend the webinar by clicking the register button. Enter discount code 20Off while you are there and get 20% off on all tickets.

Register Now

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

Basics of Tracking Inventory in QuickBooks Pro/Premier/EnterpriseBasics of Tracking Inventory in QuickBooks Pro/Premier/Enterprise
December 13, 2018, Online

This event features a live demonstration of the QuickBooks item list, inventory items, non-inventory items, and much more relating to inventory. Learn how the inventory flow works from purchase order to customer shipment. Register today and follow @qbguy!

Discount Code
20Off (20% off on all tickets)

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This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends.

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Online Quickbooks Event Will Help you Use Software to Better Manage Inventory” was first published on Small Business Trends

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What is as unique, authentic and differentiating to your personal brand as a handwritten thank you note in a world of email, text messages and instant message? The answer: following through on promises and closing the loop, even if conflict is involved or you don’t have the answers.

Friends and colleagues are generally surprised when you take the time to follow-up. How many emails have you received saying, “thanks for getting back to me so quickly?” or “I appreciate your follow-up and for providing that information?” It makes you feel good and you get an extra boost of dopamine in your brain, right?

Take a minute and reflect upon how well you do on follow through. Taking out a piece of paper and pen for an informal “Real Deal” quiz. Rate yourself on a scale from 1-5 (1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest).

  1. When you commit to writing a recommendation or review on LinkedIn, how often do you do it?
  2. When you promise to introduce colleagues for networking purposes, how quickly do you do it?
  3. After a conference, do you follow-up with new people that you meet?
  4. When a team member asks you for information, how many times does he have to remind you?
  5. If a sales person sends you a cold-call email, how often do you respond?

Chances are, you thought to yourself when reading this, “oh my goodness. I have room for improvement.” So no need for formal scoring!

Don’t feel bad. We live in a world where multi-tasking is part of our day-to-day survival. We balance work, family, money, household needs, friends, health and exercise, to name a few. Many of us self-talk our way through the day, saying “Everything is great. Everything is awesome. I am great. I am awesome.”

Unfortunately in solving our follow through challenges so that we avoid undermining our personal brands, there is no Program Management Office to help us with our day-to-day follow through. As professionals, it is up to us to make sure that we do what we say. Here are some simple tips:

  • Follow through in the moment: If you are enjoying coffee with someone who needs an introduction, stop, pull out your smart phone and make the introduction. If you do it in the moment, it is up to the other person to kick the ball forward. It’s one of the few times that using your smart phone in a coffee shop or restaurant, or multi-tasking in front of someone else isn’t rude.


  • Write it down: Tasks on our to-do-lists, are typically not forgotten and do get done. 
  • No thank you: Saying “no thank you” or declining “a request or invitation is okay. Sometimes we just need to do it and not feel guilty. Imagine if the community bank client would have said to the executive coach, “I’m not much of a LinkedIn user and am sorry that I won’t be able to write you a recommendation. I would be willing to serve as a reference if another client were to call.”


  • Lose the temptation to ignore: If someone sends a long email request, ask the individual to cut through the details and be more specific about what they need or want. If the task is too daunting, let the person know that you are struggling and could use extra time, or to talk it through. If you are regretting promising to connect someone with a colleague, let them know that it’s not a good time. Just don’t ignore others.


Remember, people do not just listen to what you say. Your credibility, trust and integrity of your personal brand is on the line, based upon what you do. Imagine a game of Simon Says. If you were to say to your group, “Simon Says, put your hands on your hips” and you put your hands on your head, what do you think would happen? More than half the group would put their hands on their heads.

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