According to a recent survey, two-thirds of Americans cannot name more than a handful of Black entrepreneurs. There is a reason for that. Systemic discrimination deprives them of a critical ingredient to starting a business: venture funding. According to a 2020 study, only 1 percent of venture capital funding goes to Black entrepreneurs.
Reed Albergotti, Washington Post
"Unfortunately, the cancer of racial bias and its attendant manifestations entrenched through the alarming levels of income inequality and racial disparity of shared prosperity has metastasized into investment and funding ecosystems."Read More ->
"Large banks approve about 60% of loans sought by White small business owners, 50% of loans sought by Latinx small business owners and just 29% of loans sought by Black small business owners."Read More ->
Start-ups, especially in Silicon Valley, are famous for their “fake it until you make it” ethos. Founders sell a vision to investors and would-be customers, then scramble to turn it into a reality once they get funding and product orders.
From Apple to Tesla, American business lore is filled with billion-dollar companies built on this bluff. These efforts have rarely been deemed unethical and, certainly, by no means, criminal as such actions are part of a longstanding and mostly unwritten culture of doing business in Silicon Valley.
However, for Black entrepreneurs, they can “fake it until they make it” at their own peril. If you are a Black entrepreneur, you are forced to play by a different set of rules or face the prospect of having your actions deemed a crime. Even though most white-collar crimes are committed by people who are White, people of color are incarcerated more frequently and for longer.
As of 2001, one of every three Black boys born in that year could expect to go to prison in his lifetime, as could one of every six Latinos—compared to one of every seventeen White boys."
Take a look at some of the high profile African American business people who were forced to play by a different set of rules