Free Small Business Toolkit: Over 60 Resources & Digital Marketing Tips for Black Entrepreneurs

The United States is home to roughly 30.2 million small businesses, but only a small fraction see long-term success. According to an article by CNBC, 20% of businesses fail within the first year, 30% within the second year, 50% within the third year and 70% within the tenth year. 

BIPOC-owned businesses face even greater odds of failure with eight out of ten failing within only 18 months. Additionally, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected BIPOC-owned businesses, particularly those owned by Black entrepreneurs, with 58% saying their business’s financial health is “at risk” or “distressed”. 

There is no doubt that Black-owned businesses face more challenges in the marketplace compared to white-owned businesses. What might be causing this disparity? Here are several factors that may help provide some insight. 

  1. Lack of marketing resourcesMarketing allows businesses to create and maintain long-term relationships with their audiences. Unfortunately, many Black-owned businesses are coping with today’s economic challenges by cutting back on digital marketing efforts, according to an article by WordStream. As a result, their businesses become less visible and less competitive online.
  2. Inequitable funding: Successful businesses require working capital to hire employees, pay professional fees, acquire equipment and start up their operations. However, many Black businesses are shut out from accessing capital. When they do get funding, the amounts tend to be about $30,000 less than comparable white-owned businesses, with higher interest rates.
  3. Safety concernsAccording to a recent article by Forbes, Black-owned businesses are more likely to be located in COVID-19 hot spots, whereas white-owned companies are less likely to occupy heavily affected areas. This can impact safety perceptions for many brick and mortar Black businesses. 

The history of business ownership and the creation of wealth shows that Black business owners are at a disadvantage. These inequalities hinder Black businesses’ ability to innovate and prosper. 

Black Businesses Matter

In a climate of widening inequalities and persisting racial disparities, it is more important than ever to empower Black entrepreneurs to sustain and scale their businesses. Doing so can create a more stable and prosperous economy for everyone. Here are a few other reasons why it is important to support and empower Black business owners.

1.

In the U.S. economy, an increase in Black-owned businesses contributes to sustained wealth. A report on The State of Black Entrepreneurship in America found that existing Black businesses employ one million people and generate $165 billion in revenue each year.

2.

For Black Americans, ownership of a business is a major factor of wealth. This accounts for 12 times as much wealth as non-business owners. More opportunities for business ownership could enhance long-term wealth for these groups.

3.

Statistically, white households have an average wealth that is 6.5 times greater than Black households, according to the Federal Reserve Bank. Supporting Black businesses can lead to greater wealth for Black families over time, thus reducing the racial wealth gap.

Free Resources for Black Entrepreneurs

Using the free resources below, Black business owners and entrepreneurs can help to ensure the success of their business through the use of digital marketing tips, funding options, planning guides, COVID-19 safety toolkits, entrepreneurship training, association support and more.

Navigate through the resource sections using the following options:

Free Small Business Tips and Toolkits for Black Businesses

Developing business and ongoing operational plans is the first step to building a successful company. Here is a list of free toolkits, plans and tips designed to set Black-owned businesses up for success. 

Digital Marketing Tips for Black Businesses

Another critical step for any business is to develop a marketing plan. Today, a digital marketing strategy is integral to your business’s success and performance. The following resources will help you educate customers, keep them engaged, build a solid online reputation and more.

Directories That List Black-Owned Businesses

Directory listings are a great way for you to expand your business’s visibility and access audiences that may have previously been out of reach. Here is a list of directories that cater specifically to Black-owned businesses.

  • The Black Business List — Since 1997, this directory has been dedicated to helping BIPOC business people start, maintain and grow viable businesses. 
  • Black Business Green Book — Color Of Change’s Black Business Green Book is a directory where you can list Black businesses and discover many others.
  • EatOkra— EatOkra is an app for discovering Black-owned restaurants. They have a “Get Listed” option to help you get started. 
  • Support Black-Owned — This site was created as a one-stop source that is used to bring visibility to Black business owners.
  • Black-Owned Brooklyn — This website seeks to lift up and preserve businesses and rich stories that are often overlooked in the Brooklyn area due to gentrification.
  • BBPA Black Business Directory — The Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) has created a directory of Black businesses in which yours can be included.
  • Shop Black Biz — This website and app lists local and worldwide Black businesses in a variety of categories including beauty, food and drink, health and wellness and more.

Associations That Support Black-Owned Businesses

Associations are an excellent resource for connecting with industry contacts — and, in particular, connecting with other business owners. Here is a list of associations that support Black-owned businesses. 

Funding Resources for Black-Owned Businesses

Even though Black-owned businesses face challenges when applying for financing, there are still several opportunities to help bridge this racial gap. Here is a list of funding resources to help you get started.

Free Crowdfunding Resources for Black-Owned Businesses

The internet has made crowdfunding a viable and innovative way for Black-owned companies and other economically marginalized groups to raise funds, allowing businesses to secure small investments from large pools of investors. Here are some resources to help you get started. 

Free Small Business COVID-19 Safety Resources

A business that demonstrates its commitment to health and safety can build credibility and customer loyalty — regardless of ownership. Here are several free COVID-19 safety resources to help you improve your customer experience. 

Allyship Resources to Support Black-Owned Businesses

There are many ways that you can show your support for Black-owned businesses and organizations, even if you are not an owner yourself. Here’s a list of allyship resources to help you get started.

The inclusion of these resources is for educational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by Berkeley Boot Camps.

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